There’s this theory. That you rate yourself out of 10 and then you can date people two points either above or below that figure. My friend, my rugby playing, non-emotional, beer drinking brother-like friend recently told me I am an eight. I laugh awkwardly and sip my coffee, then think about all the guys I have ever dated. What were they? He asks me about my recent romantic endeavour, one in which the guy eventuated into a drug mule and chlamydia carrier. Undoubtedly ending in disaster.
“Was he hotter than you?”
“What? Hotter? I don’t know. You met him, he was cool,” I said. Ish. Cool-ish.
“He was definitely not as hot as you,” he said. And I sat and thought about it, wondering if it was vain to agree or not, and was that weird.
“I don’t get it, aye,” he said, after I told him about Chlamydia Drug Mule Guy. “Really hot girls will date rank guys ‘cos they’re sensitive or intelligent or whatever and hang out for a while and think it’s great. Then the guy freaks out because he realises he’s punching well above his weight and can’t keep pretending to be cool and dumps them. It’s fucked.”
And it is fucked. Did I really think someone in thick-tongued skate shoes who refused to meet my friends and was constantly stoned was the kind of person I wanted to spend the dregs of my pay cheque on? We get told we’re picky if we have prerequisites for dating, frigid for not pashing that average guy at the party, and dumb bitches if we sigh, get fed up and lower our standards in a blind moment where we think we are being cringe women waiting for love in a hopeless place:
1. The muso, who’s hair smelt but had a great iTunes. Shame you had to go and watch his metal band at some back alley bar on Saturday nights and pretended that you enjoyed it.
2. The ‘free bird’, who was spontaneous and exciting, dropping over to your house randomly with vegan dinners and plans that entailed staying up to 3am climbing trees. Except three months into it, he moved to Asia. Indefinitely. And forgot to tell you.
3. The stoner who was philosophical and cute and you connected on like, a spiritual level. Except he was super poor so you had to pay for every date and he ended up wanting to smoke bud more than see you.
4. The party guy, out on a Wednesday night and a chronic instagrammer. Great banter and dance moves, although he probably wore a puffer jacket and air force ones. Also likely to have a penchant for B/A class drugs.
5. The geek chic guy, who would read aloud F. Scott Fitzgerald to you in bed and accompany you to art house films even if they were a bit cringe girl. Often wearing jeans two sizes smaller than you and freaks out when you want a bit of a real man. (NB: These males often do not pass my guy friends’ prerequisite of being able to start a lawn mower).
6. The jock-y summer fling that continues into autumn. Conceptually he was great when the ample sun time spent outdoors meant ultimate ab exposure. Unfortunately when it gets cold and you’re stuck indoors, the conversation’s shit and you find out they’ve been texting seven other girls for the last two months, despite the fact that he drunkenly turned up to your house in the middle of the night to tell you he loved you.
7. The young professional. On paper, it’s so appealing. He has a nice house, wants to do nice things and buys you Elle Macpherson. Except his friends are kind of boring and patronising about how disinterested in the share market you are (‘I can’t believe you don’t know what quantitative easing is), leaving you talking about shoes and Beyonce with his flat mates girlfriend until you can go to bed and have sex.
Who does that leave? I’m not quite sure. Perhaps it is a matter of doing the rounds until you find someone who is like a dollar mix of your favourite characteristics and you theirs. Or you just have non-emotional flings until you’re 50 and adopt a child from Africa in your bid to do something towards global overpopulation issues.
Or you keep remembering that you are not a number, but a person, who is worthy of greater love than you often think you deserve.