In my previous post I discussed four criteria which make up the ideal romantic partner. Of course, because I was describing an ideal, I was also describing an impossibility. In my eyes a dream girl/guy would be very funny, extremely attractive, have genius-level intelligence and be as loyal as a lark. In reality, candidates are bound to fall short in at least one of those categories, usually at least two. I fall short in all four.
But hold the phone! My goal is not to discourage people! As Built to Spill’s first album’s title told us: There Is Nothing Wrong With Love! What is wrong is having ridiculous expectations. In this second part, I am going to reveal my second system of romantic qualification: S.A.F.E. (again, this took about 4 minutes of development and is undoubtedly flawed). The S.A.F.E system outlines my qualifications for what constitutes an appropriate partner to pursue romantically. While the F.A.I.L standards will only end in disaster, the S.A.F.E criteria should lead you to a happy and healthy relationship. Let’s begin:
Part Two: S.A.F.E
Lots of people say opposites attract. I say: bull-shit. What group thought of that logic and what evidence do they have for promoting it as true. Here are two people who are opposites: a heterosexual and a homosexual. You think that relationship will work out? I doubt it. How about a black person and a member of the KKK? I’d say for the most part people don’t like people who are opposite them. People might look at DJ and I, and say, “There you go, opposites attract! How can a tall, tough-looking guy who likes metal be friends with a shorter, skinny hipster?” Well people who say that are really not looking at the bigger picture. Those brief observations don’t really set us up as opposites. To be perfectly honest, our list of similarities (though not many are based on our physical appearances) is much longer than our list of differences. Actually, to be exact, it’s 86 characteristics longer. Similar people attract. Evidently, humans are not magnets. The first thing I would recommend when looking for a romantic partner is someone who you would be compatible with, someone who shares some of your interests and has a complementary personality. Clearly, this is a revolutionary insight.
Whoa! Did you expect that? Both my F.A.I.L and S.A.F.E systems include attractiveness at their second criteria. Of course! It should be a no-brainer. I’m not suggesting that the you should set your sights on the most attractive girl/guy you’ve ever seen. In that case you may be setting yourself up for disappointment, but the idea that you would start dating someone who you don’t find attractive is counter-intuitive, if not idiotic. If you find someone who is very similar to you, but who you also find ugly, I would not recommend becoming romantically involved. I would recommend a friendship. You should definitely not just be dismissing people you are not attracted to (because sometimes people are late-bloomers and you don’t want to miss out on that. Incubate it, baby).
My third criteria for romantic involvement: friendliness! So far this candidate-lover should like some of the same things as you, they should be a cutie, and now I will recommend that they have a good personality. In my eyes being friendly and having a good personality are pretty much the same thing. Maybe that is subjective, but I don’t think I would ever consider someone to have a good personality if they were always unfriendly towards me. It doesn’t compute. You want your significant other to be nice to you, right? They could be similar to you, you could find them attractive, but if you are going to just argue all the time…well, what’s the point? Forget it. It’s always a shame to see people extend relationships for the sake of it, when clearly there is a lack of mutual kindness. The person should be there to make you feel better, not lousier. That seems like a major stipulation that people often forget about.
Last one, and it is a crucial one. You may be able to identify someone who has similar interests, looks great, and has a really sweet personality, but if they aren’t interested in being with you…well, you are out of luck my friend. You can’t start a relationship with someone if they are not also eager to start a relationship with you. I know, I know…this post is just an endless fountain of insight, my most profound post to date. But, I mean, it does have actual implications. There are plenty of fish in the sea (though who wants to kiss a fish?). If you’ve got your eyes on someone, but the feelings aren’t being reciprocated, that’s a deal-breaker, ladies. Eventually you’ll find an eager beaver and it will be much more satisfying than chasing something that isn’t there.
Hope this advice helps- though now that it’s said and done it seems incredibly rudimentary, pretty much common-sense. But, as I recently learned on the History Channel, once activated the libido numbs the parts of brain associated with judgment- so maybe it’s worth writing. If you’ve been questioning your romantic relations, I would look over this list again to assure that you’re getting your due. The one criteria I may question is the first. I’d be interested in hearing an example of opposites attracting. Other than that I can’t imagine any good opposing arguments.