And since I wasn’t able to discuss the show until after the airing, I can also now dish on the very dapper date my friends and fam chose for me. Affectionately called by so many: The Guy on the Right.
The first date went great–national television and all. Guy on the Right seems to be a person with solid values, a good sense of humor, strong sense of self, and–as noted by my mom’s friends–quite good looking. Guy on the Right and I laughed a lot and, despite the fact that cameras were on us and tourists were taking pictures of us, we had a great time and decided to do it again. But, as it happens with celebrity couples, the paparazzi was too much for us to bear. So the date never happened. Still, Guy on the Right is an incredibly stand up gentleman, and I’m very happy to have met him.*
Though Steve Harvey didn’t find me love, the experience already changed my dating life. And it’s because of the fence that Steve talked about. Not everyone was on board with the fence metaphor. I fucking loved it.** To paraphrase, Steve said that a woman needs to build a really high fence with barbed wire on top, trying to make the point that a man needs to earn a woman’s time and attention.
I like the idea of a guy having to work for my time and attention, climbing over barbed wire, knife in mouth, fending off rabid dogs just to have a shot at my heart. The problem is that the fence idea walks a fine line with “playing hard to get,” which often gets confused with playing games. Though different concepts, having high standards and playing games get grayed together in the dating world.
And this is where I’ve run into trouble with dating. I don’t play games.*** So much so that–as my family so kindly pointed out on national television–I’m often an open book. And because I don’t play them, I don’t understand them anymore. And kinda forget they exist. Just like all my ex-boyfriends.
Steve was very adamant about a the guy paying for a woman as a part of building this fence. (The picture to the right is me breaking a sweat when Steve stared me down, pointed, and said, “Don’t buy another man NUTHIN’.”) But having a high fence involves more than the good gesture of buying drinks or meals. See, when I’m in a relationship (yes, I promised it’s happened, dear reader) I’m alllllllll in. Just as some examples: I’ve worn a Nigerian headdress to a Nigerian**** wedding, I’ve spent long weekends in Indiana, and I’ve even dressed up for Halloween–so they’re not donate-your-kidney gestures, but they were big enough to mean a lot to the person I was dating and completely take me out of my comfort zone. (I fucking hate Halloween.)
I’ve always believed that you shouldn’t expect people to treat you the way you treat them. It’s my choice if I want to go the extra mile for another person and there should be zero expectation for reciprocation because that was my decision. But I’m beginning to understand that concept doesn’t–and shouldn’t–apply to intimate relationships. I’m certainly not saying that I want a quid pro quo relationship where we’re keeping score. (i.e. “I went to your cousin’s Bat Miztvah, now you’re going to go buy me tampons at CostCo.” Which actually seems like a fair trade.) But I have every right to expect a man to treat me the way I treat him. Which is like fucking golden-dipped tater tots. (I dunno, I just love tater tots and was trying to make them more valuable by dipping them in gold. Which kinda takes away the appeal. Another. Successful. Metaphor.)
So now I have a fence. And the way for a guy to get over it is through kind gestures, considerate actions, generosity of spirit, and–God help me–someone who laughs at my jokes and has a job. I just want to be held in the same priority status that I hold my partner. Without having to fight my way to be there.
Enter Music Man. You know these guys. They’re super into music–they attend all the fests, know the latest bands, blah blah blah. That’s great. Everyone needs a passion. Just don’t judge me if we don’t share the same fucking passion. There’s nothing worse than a music guy who looks at me all crookedly because I fucking love Taylor Swift’s new jam.*****
We decided on a Friday happy hour. The day came and at 1:00 I hadn’t heard from him, still didn’t know where we were going or what time we were meeting, and I was beginning to wonder if this would happen at all. At 1:42 I received a text from Music Man asking if we were still on. We volleyed text messages back and forth, and I realized that he was trying to get to a music fest that night and our date was sandwiched in between. He invited me to come with as an alternative option.
I didn’t feel like this was fence climbing.
I told Music Man not to worry about it. That he should go enjoy the fest with his friends and we’d do it another time. He was hesitant, but I insisted. We could reschedule for a time that worked better for both of us.
We never contacted each other again.
I wasn’t playing games; this wasn’t a test. But I certainly didn’t feel like this guy made our date a priority. He hadn’t planned ahead and he was trying to have me meet him at a convenient time and place so he could get to his real plans later–all signs that he wasn’t really into it. Does that make him a bad person? Yes. Just kidding. It just means that neither of us felt that strong of a connection. And I’d much rather open a bottle wine and read Jenny Lawsen than go on another mediocre date.
And that, my friends, is how to climb a fence.******
*That’s all true, but I’m also afraid of getting sued for saying anything else.
**My affection for the fence metaphor could also be directly correlated to my love for hopping fences. Not metaphorically. I literally love to climb them just to see if I can do it. My one pair of jeans can attest to it.
***If you want to read an amazing post about guys and girls dishing honestly on playing games, check out Fran’s post here.
****No, I don’t have a picture, and yes, it kills me that I don’t.
*****How could you not? Do you have no soul??
******I realize that ending doesn’t make a ton sense, but it’s so strong and confident that I had to keep it. But now I guess this is the real ending to this post. If you’ve made it this far, then I admire your tenacity. Let’s go fence hopping together sometime. Not metaphorically. The real kind. (Refer to ** to know what I’m talking about.)