Note: When I started writing this, it got a little lengthy. So I'm breaking it into two parts. Here's Part One, to lay the groundwork.
I've dated aplenty since The Dude and I ended things almost a year and a half ago. For the most part, I don't chronicle that here -- I have never wanted to be a dating blogger, by any stretch. I usually don't blog about a guy unless he's someone really special to me, or unless there is some apocalyptic fallout that garners a passing mention or rant.
But I've eluded to the fact that I put myself out there, a lot. I'd only been dating one person in particular lately, but for awhile before that I was on a roll. It came in waves, really. Some months brought a couple dates a week, until I'd meet someone I thought might have potential and I'd focus on them until it fell apart. And I love first dates. Aside from falling in love, there's not much in romance that's more exciting to me than that rush of adrenaline and hope in meeting someone new, testing out the flirtation, electrifying at the first brush of a hand against a knee and anticipating the first kiss.
I maybe was addicted to that. And after 10 straight years of committing myself to relationships, I needed the break from something serious. To just date for awhile, but stay single, have fun and figure myself out.
(Note to all the trolls out there: this doesn't meant I slept with a bunch of dudes. Just innocent dates. I know the comments you're already preparing.)
So now that I've established my credibility as an expert (little lawyer humor for you there), I have this to report: I thought I knew my "type" when I started out. And really, there wasn't a long list of characteristics. But I was sure of a couple of things: tall (no less than 6'), built (no less than 190), broad-shouldered, Caucasian, all-American. (I hope no one makes the mistake of taking offense to that -- we all like what we like.)
And I stuck to that for awhile. I'd venture down to a guy who said he was 5'11", knowing that meant he was probably 5'10", feeling that it was as short as I could go. I'm 5'6" and curvy. I was dead-set in believing that I needed a tall, broad-shouldered man in order to make me feel feminine.
We've all said that so many times, right? Or listened to our friends say it? We want tall men standing next to us because we want to feel smaller. We want to feel like ladies. Even my 5'1" friends say this.
And I know most of you ladies still believe that and would take it to your grave. But I have a few friends with strong beliefs about dating shorter men. One of my best friends dated a man 7 inches shorter than her for several years. One of my good guy friends is shorter and I wouldn't hesitate to set him up with a single lady -- he's a catch. So why couldn't I date someone maybe, say, my own height?
After letting their reasoning sink in for about a year, I finally gave in and decided I'd stop paying so much attention to a man's stature and more attention to his personality, his passions, how he spends his time, how he expresses himself ... because aren't those the things that really make a man a man after all? How ridiculous is it that I was more willing to say yes to a date with a tall guy and an ok face who might be a boring asshole, than a slightly shorter guy with a pretty face that I might actually get along better with?
I mean, I'm definitely not saying that I started dating guys I wasn't attracted too -- I'm still a sucker for a slightly rugged, but pretty, face -- but I did finally start dating outside of what I thought was my comfort zone ...