“You’re my type, baby — a woman!” Larry Fine, “Three Arabian Nuts”, 1951
While it’s still February and the specter of “International Sucks If You’re Single Day” still fresh, I thought I mind ponder what my “ideal” woman might be like. I actually did a post like this way back when, but since it’s been about 2.5 years, I imagine it’s ripe territory to revisit. After all, I’ve rehashed other stuff like angst about my virginity more than once, so it’s fair game.
To be honest, whenever someone would ask me what type of woman I was most interested in, I would often feel awkward. But I guess this isn’t enough of a description since just about everything involving women or romantic overtures makes me feel awkward. I feel awkward when I get out of bed in the morning, on a weekend. To be more specific, just thinking about ideal traits I might prefer in a woman feels demanding to me. It feels like I am being picky or judgmental, even of hypothetical women who do not exist. And to be fair, many men have absurdly high standards and demands of women they date or bestow interest in. In fact, when you admit to being an older male virgin online or even acknowledge having little romantic experience well into your 30’s, inevitably someone will insist that the problem is that your standards are too high. And, admittedly, for some men out there that’s true. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, having no ideals or standards for a woman one prefers is bad too. A guy who is “eager to stick it anywhere” is seen as a sleazeball, and he probably is. People want to feel special, like someone who has chosen to date them has chosen THEM, not aimed for the nearest human shaped wad of meat that got within range.
Last year I got a reminder than as much as I bleat on about being an older virgin, I clearly am not willing to lose it at all costs with literally any woman. I know for a fact that a friend of my mother in her 60’s is very much into me physically, at least because younger white men are her fetish, and I couldn’t be interested in the least. In fact the woman creeps me out to be honest. So I clearly have standards, which means I clearly have an ideal for someone I would like to date. Is it possible to have one without being too picky or demanding?
For a lot of guys, most of the traits of their ideal woman are physical. I know that when I dream about women, they never are alike. They often are of different ethnicity, hair color, skin color, shape, and size. If I had strict physical demands, I’d imagine I would always be dreaming of, say, blondes, or so on. Some guys have a fetish for a particular hair color or even ethnicity, which can be gross. Fetishes also play into ideal women I guess. But I don’t, and my physical type is very flexible.
I like to think I am a “face man”. I basically have to “like” a woman’s face. Anything else after that about her, at least physically, is a detail. Naturally, unless you are dealing with identical twins, faces are unique. I can’t narrow down what details about particular woman’s faces that I like, because I have gone for a wide variety of them. It is the sort of thing that is hard to pin down in text and comes off as wishy washy. “Oh, he’s just trying to convince people he doesn’t just troll for hotties”. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There’s been a wide variety of women I have looked twice at. Some have been over 200 lbs, one was a “little person”, I am not put off by physical handicaps. I have naturally looked twice at many “conventionally attractive” woman too. I don’t expect brownie points to being open minded and having a wide physical palette, I am just saying it like it is.
In terms of body type, my philosophy has always been that I do not expect a woman to be a perfect model unless I am one myself. I am not, so I am not mainly looking for that. While I won’t lie and say that there aren’t upper limits to my liking in terms of under or over weight, usually that’s only at an extreme. Again, I have been attracted to women of various sizes. I don’t believe that alone is a strict ideal. At this point in my life I don’t “judge” (for lack of a better word) a woman’s looks in a number scale like a damn lot of men do. “Oh, she’s a 4, she’s a 7, she’s a 10,” none of that noise. To me it’s more of a “my type, not my type”. It’s yes/no, pass/fail. This sounds strict, but it’s actually been more liberating for me since high school. I can go onto any bus or subway or be in any gathering and instantly see many women who, at least on initial physical appearance, are “my type” and they are a variety of shapes, sizes, and ethnicity. I think it gives me more options.
If I am honest, one sort of strict physical ideal is height. I would be intimidated by a woman taller than me. That would be 5′ 11” and up. I would feel even more emasculated than I usually feel. That isn’t to say I would be scornful, or if I happened to go on a blind date with a woman who was 6′ 3” or something I would demand she hunch. But it would be intimidating for me, and make me feel more neurotic. I can feel out of my league around any woman, much less a towering Amazon. It would feed into what I always inevitably think around women – “What in the world could she possibly see in a loser like me?” Some guys are turned on by women they think could toss them around, but I am not.
Therefore, most of my idealized traits I look for in a woman wouldn’t be physical. Probably the first trait I would idealize would be intelligence. A sense of humor is an absolute must. Kindness would be nice, but on the other hand I like sass too. I imagine a woman would have to be a little patient with me, but I’m not looking for someone to mother me. I get enough of that from my actual mother. Understanding is a key trait too, but within reason. I mean, I won’t deny I can be full of crap sometimes (or a lot). I would be anxious around someone who deferred to me TOO much.
Ideally I would prefer a woman who was into, or at least open towards, a lot of the geeky stuff I am either into or on the periphery of. I imagine this is universal; an artist or musician is likely to prefer someone who either is into similar things or is at least tolerant of their arts, for instance. That isn’t to say that we need to be lock step in everything. Like if she’s more into board games or STAR TREK while I am more into comics and anime, that is fine. I am very flexible. But if she wasn’t even tolerant of that stuff at all, I doubt we would sync up very well. Accepting this about myself has also been a process, albeit one which has followed the course of society. When I was in high school and even college, things like comic books, anime, and video games were still very niche and cultish. That isn’t to say that plenty of people didn’t like them, but they were more fringe. Over time that changed and now it’s not uncommon to see online dating profiles where people list what anime, board games, or comics they like (or for even “mainstream” people to admit a favorite film genre is “superhero movies”). Prior to 2008 or so, this was much rarer. I welcome this change, and can only shake my head at angry guys who act like “gatekeepers” of this both online and off. It is a shame that it’s happened when I was well over 30 instead of when I was younger, but such is life.
Therefore, when I was trying to date in my younger years, I kept those geeky things close to my vest. I sort of had to; they were fringe stuff, and I was already fringe enough. This included my previous halfhearted attempts at online dating and 75% of all of the speed dating I did. In contrast, the last speed dating event I did in 2015 was at the New York Comic Con and it was pretty liberating being open and honest about the nerd stuff. Even when there was no chemistry, we could usually talk about that stuff for a couple of minutes.
Now when some guys say they want women into geeky things, I sometimes wonder if they may need to be careful for what they wish for. That is, these days it may be possible to run into a woman who actually knows MORE about their chosen geekery, enough to “school” them on it. There also involves a give and take with passions, which goes with anything people like. Each person has to be willing, at least a little, to indulge the other. If you want your partner to like all of your things but aren’t willing to even try some of theirs, that’s unfair and hypocritical. I am absolutely down to learn some more about someone else’s passions. In fact I usually find talking about what drives another person really intoxicating.
Now onto the “mature” stuff. There is a study that says that adult virgins are so unpopular that even other adult virgins don’t want to sleep with them. Now ideally, I would prefer a woman with experience, if only so at least one of us knows what they’re doing. Two virgins trying to have sex with each other is awkward enough when both are teenagers, but things get worse if you’re both in your 30’s I imagine. This isn’t to say that if somehow I wound up meeting a woman I really dug and she told me she was a virgin, that that alone would be a deal breaker. I would just feel even more pressure since neither one of us would have a clue as to what to do. I also would feel a great swell of pity that her first time was with me. If I’m terrible at sex, an experienced woman can at least let me know so I have some hope of improving. Even though I am pretty shy and awkward about tactile stuff, I have always fantasized about cuddling or caressing. Naturally that would mean I’d prefer a woman who was into that stuff. I do have a fetish but it isn’t anything I rely upon exclusively nor would I ever reveal unless I was in a deeply committed relationship, and maybe not even then. Ideally, sure, I wouldn’t mind meeting someone who was into it, but it isn’t a deal breaker.
Ideally I would prefer a woman who was able to have fun without spending a ton of money. Naturally this is mostly because I am broke, not because I think women are “gold-diggers”. Hell, I think plenty of men are gold-diggers these days and I think that trend is on the rise. Sure, I am game for some activities which may require money sometimes, but I also enjoy simple pleasures. Conversations, stargazing, walks in the park or on beaches or some of that sappy stuff, just enjoying the company of other people. Even when I am with friends, while bars and clubs are nice and so are movies, sometimes I just like to chill and enjoy their company. Someone who wanted to drop $100+ on a whirlwind of clubs every other night may not be my type…at least not for long.
It still feels strange for me to list ideal traits I’d prefer in a woman to date. That’s because I consider myself open minded, and I’m not just looking for an ideal. Especially since my love life has barely even begun and I am not looking for someone to marry right now. I can try to find something in common with almost anyone by using empathy. And I am aware of my many flaws and shortcomings. A woman who were to date me is slumming it, and I know that. Therefore I do my best not to be demanding and to be open minded. It would be hypocritical of me to reject a woman I otherwise was liking for something small or petty and to pine if she did the same to me. I try to lead by example, even to a fault. I try to be open for new experiences, especially with women. After all, I have rarely gotten to be in the company of women I desired or was attempting to court. A woman could suggest bungee jumping without a rope and I’d likely be game for it if I was into her enough. Unfortunately, being this way is considered being a doormat and is unappealing. The bottom line is an ideal is just that; an ideal, nothing real. It might be a guide to work with because life’s more confusing without a plan, but it isn’t anything I rigidly adhere to.
Perhaps the most important trait in a woman I’d prefer would be that she actually likes me romantically. It sounds dumb to say it like that, because of course that’s what everyone likes. I’ve never experienced this in my life, though, so it still seems like an exotic novelty. To have someone who I desired actually desire me back, even if only in a small way. Even if it was at the level of a shrug of the shoulders and a sentiment of, “Eh, I’ve dated worse.” That alone would be incredibly intoxicating to me. I honestly have no idea what such a thing feels like. I often fear that were it to happen, I’ve been without it so long that I wouldn’t believe it or would be suspicious. At the very least I would assume that if a woman did desire me back, it was out of some sort of fluke or ignorance. Either I had somehow stood in the right light or unknowingly capitalized on a solar flare, shift in the cosmic axis or an undiagnosed optical condition. Or through some fluke or pure accident I managed to strike a perfect first impression which I would have no way of following up on. In some ways I wonder if that would freak me out more than a rejection. I can deal with rejection; I expect rejection, and consider it the inevitable outcome of any overture or romantic attempt. I would have no game plan for the opposite. If a woman called me a waste of life, I’d probably shrug and agree. If she called me cute, I’d wonder if she’d ever met another man in her life. I would worry about living up to her ideal, and fear she was seeing something in me which wasn’t there. Which is why having a poor esteem is a trap for any woman I go near (since there’s no way to win), which is one reason why I usually consider this stuff futile.
Having an ideal is a fine thing to have, so long as it doesn’t lock you into one rigid course. Life, and people, are full of variables. A key rule is to be just as understanding and open mined, if not more so, than you’d expect someone to be with you. And that means while having some idea of an “ideal woman” somewhere in my head isn’t a bad thing to have in terms of having a basic road map, it isn’t anything I am hung up on. Least of all because it implies me having a set of standards I expect a woman to live up to, when in reality, I am the one who has to match her standards from a disadvantaged position. Being the Dateless-Man, I am already entering any romantic situation from a position which is only slightly above zero. I am the one who has to make that number rise through continued effort. I am the one who has to prove my worth, live up to some expectation or demand of what she wants a man to be. I feel like I live in a world where everyone is either yellow or blue, and they become green when they meet, and I’m stuck being spotted polka dot plaid. I’m a platypus at a swan lake. Tofu at a steak house. A puppet trying and failing to be a real boy. So in that regard, going over what I would want in an ideal woman can sometimes feel like spending time focusing on a pipe dream.
Still, this has probably been my longest offering in a while, and a rare month where I got in two posts. Next month, I acknowledge another year older as the Dateless-Man. It usually always comes with some degree of depression or malaise, but this year feels different. I haven’t gotten as anxious about things which didn’t relate to work so far. I don’t long to not be alone as much as I used to. Maybe after so many years, and so many posts, I have gotten out a lot of the emotions about this which I had within me. Maybe Zen is becoming closer. Maybe the acknowledgement that finding romance with an ideal woman or even any woman is simply another impossible fantasy to abandon like so many parts of my childhood is near. Maybe I can truly close this chapter of my life this year, and be done with it once and for all. Sure, I wouldn’t mind it happening for me, but I could say the same for finding a jet-pack or a suitcase full of a million in cash. Part of becoming an adult is realizing what is obtainable versus what is a dream. Maybe in not chasing an ideal woman, I can finally wake up.