A Tale of Two Farm Boys…
OK. This isn’t a story about Ryan Phillipe (but the pic was so ridiculous I couldn’t resist).
And they’re not really farm boys. Well. At least I don’t think they are. But… I couldn’t think of a better quick descriptor for my title so…
And you know the type. Owns more than their fair share of Carhartt, plaid, and camo. Might need some help in the hair department, too – but have no desire to get it. A lil rough around the edges, none of the scruff contrived. But, let’s face it, we like ‘em that way.
In the recent past, I’ve met two such gentlemen. Let’s name them… Joe and Mr. B. B. (because I have a sneaking suspicion Mr. B.B. may turn up again…).
I met Joe out for a couple drinks about a month ago. He was definitely cute, but also definitely farm boy-esque. We had a fine time, no lulls in conversation, he seemed like a nice dude. Etc. But. No chemistry on my end. No spark. Although everything was fine… I knew another date with Joe would just be a waste of both of our time. And don’t give me this bullcrap about “well just give it another try!” Um, how about no? When you know, you know. Why bother wasting time and leading him on?
And then there’s Mr. B.B. (those aren’t real initials, which I never use btw, they’re short for a very descriptive nickname). I have to say, Joe is better looking than Mr. B.B. But. Double-Bs? As far as I am concerned? He’s got whatever it is that Joe lacks. Abso-friggin-lutely.
I didn’t go out with Mr. B.B. We just hung out recently among friends. And flirted. A lot. Boy was all up IN my business. And I clearly didn’t mind.
The contrast between these two dudes makes it really freaking clear: It’s not just about looks, people. It’s about attitude too.
Don’t get me wrong. Mr. B. B.’s “attitude” does not equate to “douchebagery.” It’s not cockiness, exactly. It is confidence, but it’s also… well, it’s game – but it’s not douchey or hey-baby-lemme-get-that-number. And, yeah, I get that it’s a fine line to walk.
So yeah. Unfortunately, Joe just doesn’t have it for me. He’s definitely a Nice Guy, and cute too, so I don’t doubt he will find a Nice Girl. But that Nice Girl? Isn’t me. Yeah, yeah I know – no kidding.
Mr. B. B.? Oh yes. He’s got it. Even though he’s not Ryan Phillipe in overalls (… with no shirt. I want it to be right… but it’s still wrong). He’s pretty normal. But hot damn – are those my Vicky Secrets on the floor?
I’d like to use the contrast between these two scruffy, corn-fed gentlemen to make a couple points…
- It’s not just about looks. Sure, being physically attracted to someone is real important, but in my book? That doesn’t end with your physical appearance. Who you are, and how you interact with me, are a big part of it, too.
- Interaction preferences may differ. To take this a step further, just because I like how Mr. B. B. interacts with me, doesn’t mean it works on everyone. I’d argue that, just like with physical appearance (etc), we all have varying degrees of what we like in personality. For me? Mr. B. B. pushes my lil buttons. Or some of them anyway. Joe? Not so much. Do I think that Joe fails the how-to-talk-to-girls test? Actually, no. I don’t. He might fail the how-to-talk-to-me test, but he was fine with conversation (for the most part) and he seemed like a genuine Nice Guy. I fully believe that Mr. B. B. would come on… too strong for some ladies. And Joe? He’d be right up their, ahem, alley.
- Don’t force it. Despite the fact that Joe failed the talk-to-me test, I don’t know there is anything he can do about that. Would I buy Joe trying to pull off the flirtations of Mr. B. B.? Nope. Wouldn’t. Joe is better off just being himself and finding a lady who likes that – instead of trying to figure out what Mr. B.B. has that I enjoy. This would be the larger point here. Don’t try and force yourself into a particular mold, in terms of talking to new people. You are who you are. Work it.
We are, every damn day of our lives, surrounded by pressures that tell us THIS is the physical ideal! THIS is how you should look! At the same time, we’re bombarded with THIS is how you should act! THIS is what the ladies/gents love!
It blows. And, frankly, I kinda think it’s bullshit. I think we like what we like, in terms of physical appearance and personality. Sure, there is that cookie-cutter hot dude/chick that we all find appealing (Ryan in overalls, anyone?), but when it comes down to real effing life and face-to-face communication? There is no one-size-fits-all. And it actually is more than skin deep (anyone else try to date the dumb hot person?).
I also think we are who we are. Yes, absolutely, we should always be adjusting, changing, becoming better people, work on things we want to work on – but we shouldn’t force ourselves to be someone we’re not. Especially if the sole reason we’re doing that is because we think someone else will like us more for it.
Given all that (and in classic verbose fashion), I have to argue, even if I am a lone voice out here, that embracing who you are is far and away a better dating strategy than trying to follow some rules or guidelines that claim to be one-size-fits-all. Furthermore, we don’t all like the cookie-cutter Ryan Phillipes, so don’t worry if you’re not what every magazine is forcing down your throat as the end-all definition of attractive.
Find your confidence, find your comfort. Do you. I bet, at the very least, you’ll be happier for it.
“… I am what I am… I am my own special creation…”