Rainbows & unicorns: dating the deluded"/>
Why are men so delusional? I have hung out with numerous attractive and seemingly smart gentlemen in their early 30s over the past several months who all seem to have created a fantasy of what love is. They complain that they just want to be in a committed relationship and create a life with someone they love. However, they apparently expect this person to be a long-haired, naked blonde who will slide down a sunlit rainbow on a golden unicorn. The world will turn fuzzy on the edges. They will instantly fall in love. And they will "just know" that she is the one.
Until she arrives, they cannot consider dating someone else whom they genuinely like to see if feelings MIGHT develop over time as they get to know each other, as happens with normal relationships. I have gently tried to suggest their heads are up their asses and that they have seen too many romantic comedies. I would think that as we get older, most of us realize that love isn't going to be what you felt as a 22-year-old. What's your take on this load of crap?
Cranky, Cranky, Cranky!
My take on this is that the holiday season is upon us, and you should be sipping eggnog and buying yourself presents—not hanging out with Mopey Mikes who would rather have sex with themselves than with a real flesh-and-blood woman. Let them wait for their mystical, mythical golden girls—you and I both know they're gonna be waiting for a long-ass time. But why the hell should you be sitting on the bench keeping them company?
Your big mistake is thinking you're talking about men here. I don't care if they're 13, 30, or 300, any guy who is holding out for love-at-first-sight, sock-in-the-gut insta-love cannot be defined as a man. These are immature little boys, and they're actually saving you a lot of finding-out time by behaving like teenage girls who've read too many romance novels. It's not exactly a secret that the best relationships evolve over time. Holding out for Miss Perfect allows them to avoid getting involved in any kind of real, committed love thang. So instead of admitting that they're chickenshit (and who isn't?), this line of thought allows them to picture themselves as tragic romantics—tortured souls who want to love but, alas, cannot find a worthy candidate.
This scenario brings to mind another affliction I've encountered countless times. I call it the One-Who-Got-Away syndrome. These victimized gents bravely explain (inevitably post-sex) that they can never love again because some cruel shrew robbed them of the ability to do so. They lament their broken hearts and yet pine for the she-demons who did the breaking. But lots of times when you look real close, these guys are not the hapless wounded they claim to be.
For example, Ian, an aging B-list rock "star" I am acquainted with, has bored all his friends to tears lamenting that his one true love, Christina, will never love him in return, and he in turn will never love another like he loved her. The friends who don't know her curse the bitch, but their mutual friends know the truth: Ian was a lout when he had her and then dumped her in a particularly cruel manner. Of course, once she was gone, he realized what a jackass he'd been. But because she didn't stalk him or beg to be allowed back into his sad little life, he shifted the blame for the relationship's demise onto her. Same with my friend Freida's ex-husband. He broke up with her on New Year's Eve (nice!) a few years back. Devastated, she promptly moved 3,000 miles away. I ran into him about a year later and he attempted to bitch and moan to me about how she ruined his life by leaving, he'd never love again, blah, blah, blah. That I spent the next 10 minutes laughing in his face did not please him a bit.
However, I must clarify that delusion is not a trait possessed only by the hairier sex. I know plenty of women who've passed up perfectly lovely men for perfectly moronic reasons—he was the wrong religion, didn't make enough money, etc. You know the drill. These deluded dames are holding out for the male equivalent astride that same golden unicorn. I'd suggest we hook these people up, but it would never work.
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