SAF – Single. As. Fuck. Man, it’s hard out there for a 20-something. Have you gone on a bad date and need to vent? Is your love life reminiscent of a really bad romantic comedy except where it’s mostly sad and no one’s laughing? Yeah, we feel you. Dating is hard. Dating is weird. We’re not experts but we’ll try and shed some light on your current situation based on our own experiences. Send your dating woes and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and Kovie, Crissy, and I might just answer it in next week’s SAF column.
I’m 19 years old (pretty young to be SAF, I know) and I met this really nice guy. We went out for ice cream the other day and really got to know each other. So he explained to me that he used to be overweight and he had low self esteem and couldn’t even get a girl to talk to him. He took a year off from school and shed all of that weight. After that he began partying, drinking (underage because he’s my age), and tried some drugs. Now I like to party myself but, this guy seems to do it every dang weekend. Not just Friday or Saturday but, Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I have a steady job, am a full time college student and about to go to nursing school. I barely have time to party, let alone every day of the weekend. I wouldn’t want to date a guy that parties like a rockstar because I’d worry about the obvious, if he’s cheating on me or if he’s getting blackout drunk. He’s asked me out again and I’m not sure where to take this. I want to continue talking to him because he’s great, funny, nice, cute and really easy to talk to. Although maybe part of me wants to overlook his partying side just to have someone by my side. What should I do?!
Too young to be SAF.”
Kovie: Hi Too Young to be SAF,
First all, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – you’re too young to be SAF. I definitely wouldn’t call you that at all. It seems you like this guy quite a bit but you’re also smart enough to know that he might have a weakness or drawback that you find unattractive. My question is, are you willing to overlook it or not? Because I do think many women especially, go into relationships or even mere dating situations, thinking that we can change guys. And well, it’s a horrid idea, in my observation. If people are going to change, most likely any change that is lasting, will be their own accomplishment from start to finish. Maybe if you do decide he’s worth going on another date with, ask him if he parties like you say he does, all the time, or something in particular triggered it. (I’ve known people who partied because they thought they had nothing better to do when they weren’t in a relationship.)
But one thing I will say is we all have weaknesses and faults. But what are you willing to accept from someone else without completely comprising yourself? And whatever those sacrifices are, are they worth it to have someone by your side? Is he worth it? Or are you perhaps putting up with someone that you don’t want to, just to have something ( i.e. a relationship) that you think will make you happy? Being single sucks sometimes but the only thing that sucks more is being with the wrong person. And that is a fact.
Koty: I dated a guy like this over the summer. He looked great but he had been a fat kid his whole life until a few years ago when he started working out and eating better. Although he had made a lot of changes in his life it definitely influenced his approach on dating and partying. He had a major complex about how others viewed him and so it seemed like he was trying to overcompensate. For everything. He told me he was trying to make up for ‘lost time.’ He was a great guy but the party lifestyle just wasn’t my scene so I ended it. When you said, “ I wouldn’t want to date a guy that parties like a rockstar because I’d worry about the obvious, if he’s cheating on me or if he’s getting blackout drunk,” that pretty much told me you already know how you feel. He might be really nice and cute but don’t fool yourself. If you’re not comfortable with his lifestyle now you’re likely not going to be comfortable later on. In my experience those kinds of red flags only lead to issues later on and then you’re like, ugh why did I overlook this GLARING annoying thing I totally hate about them that was there all along? Don’t settle.
Crissy: Girl, you aren’t single as fuck. You’re YAF: young as fuck. Not a bad thing! You also sound another kind of SAF: smart as fuck. And like, aren’t we all? But I digress. It sounds like you’re just beginning to figure out your own level of partying, how dating works, and exactly what you want out of all that stuff that can be so much fun when done right. He sounds like a Grade A ‘Good Dude’ Gone Bad type. You’re picking up on some vibes that your better angels don’t want to ignore. But it sounds like you’ve only been on one date and you don’t exactly know this dude and his demons yet. Maybe he brags more than he chugs brews, you feel? A lot of people your age spend more time talking about drinking than actually drinking. I was one of them, and it was incredibly uncool…but not unstable. Keep your guard up and maybe hang out a couple more times. You could bring it up without being judgmental, too, with something as simple as, “I feel like I don’t party as much as you!” or “you go pretty hard, huh?” If he starts bragging and pulling out a funnel, run. You’re young, you have plenty of other dudes to date who aren’t budding alcoholics.
“I am a size 12, and I am 5’1. I’d like to think I’m a solid 7 on a 10 point scale. I’d also like to think that I have have profound thoughts, read literature, and occasionally, crack a decent joke. I understand that attraction occurs based on how people look, and it depends on what you’re attracted to — but my question is, is there any objective truth to a certain size or body type men do and do not find attractive? Or am I crazy?
Jilly. 22. Trying to Lean In and Not Give a Shit, But In Distress.”
Kovie: Hi Jilly,
First of all – you. are. not. crazy. Both science and society suggest that men do like certain things. For instance, a particular waist to hip ratio in women because of biology – it indicates fertility. Men apparently also like big eyes and lips of a certain shape or size, and long necks in many cultures. It’s exhausting to think about, isn’t it? But my first question to you is this: Are you comfortable in your skin? And yes, we all get self-conscious from time to time about how we look, our faces, our bodies, etc. But having had the privilege of being in a few different cultures, I know that men also do like different things. (No matter what society says. And yes, even despite science because beauty is part biology, part social construction, and part an individual choice.) But if there is one thing men seem to want in every culture, every place – it’s a girl who is comfortable and confident in her skin. The truth is there is not a single human being on this earth who everyone finds attractive. And it is soul-crushing when we are attracted to someone who is not attracted to us. But it is a part of life that almost all of us have experienced.
I think many women (and men) spend our time comparing ourselves to unrealistic standards of beauty that we think people want. The truth is most mature people know that looks are not everything, even if attraction is important. And in the end, we all want someone who is as attracted to us as we are to them. But that aside, I think sometimes we forget that love is a marathon and not a sprint. And in this marathon, looks only account for a minor thing that will take you to the finish line. Know that as long as you’re taking care of yourself, yes, physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and focusing on the things that matter – like being kind, and laughing till it hurts. Those are the things that matter not only now, but in years to come. Hope this helps. Hang in there.
Koty: You’re not crazy. People can be ridiculously shallow and shitty at times, especially when it comes to a woman’s appearance. Society and pop culture like to make us think guys only like one type of girl or girls only like one type of guy but that’s really unrealistic and honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. For example, I have almost exclusively dated ‘shorter’ men, even though being tall is considered an attractive trait for men in our culture. I always find myself more attracted to men that are 5’7″ or 5’8.” I don’t know why. It’s just the way I am. My friends on the other hand have told me they won’t date anyone that isn’t at least 6 feet tall. Have I dated tall guys in the past, even though I wouldn’t say they’re my ‘type’? Yeah, of course. My attraction to someone is never based just on physical attributes. Their personality, sense of humor, and interests are a big part of whether I decide if I’m interested in them. Attraction and chemistry is so varied you can’t predict what people, including yourself, are going to be attracted to. You can’t get hung up on what you should or shouldn’t look like. You have to just find happiness within yourself.
Crissy: It’s good to be self-aware, girl, but you don’t need to be any number on any scale to be 100 at all times, and yes, I am speaking specifically about the emoji and the general idea of keeping it 100. You aren’t crazy. Humans can be mad superficial, and we judge each other on looks often. That said, every dude who’s ever blown my mind hasn’t been the kind I’d do a double take for. I know it’s corny, but I truly think they only objective truth is in confidence. How do you feel about how you look? It sounds like you feel pretty happy with yourself. That attitude will only help you weed out the people who aren’t right for you. You aren’t crazy or blind to some objective truth. In fact, you’re pretty well-adjusted in a world that’s crazy about making all of us feel like shit about our bodies. We all give a shit and get insecure, that’s normal. Just keep your head up and try to remember that there are plenty of dudes out there who you don’t find attractive, and the same goes for you. But for every one guy who doesn’t find you attractive, there are ten more who want to jump your bones. Trust. Stay sparkly, you’re beautiful.