There are few things I hate more than gherkins. People who put pens which don’t work back into the drawer. Relentlessly positive or negative people. Arsenal fans. But above all of those groups, even Arsenal fans, are naive utopians.
A friend recently added me to a local singles group on Facebook. A cursory look through the membership showed a wide range of people with varying hopes of ever leaving that group ranging from slim to none. For a while, I genuinely thought it was a sub-group of those deemed too ugly to be part of a Channel 5 documentary.
Previous posts swung from “Why can’t I get a date?!” to “woe is me” via a helping of “I don’t understand the reason why people say I’m negative and oversharing, nor do I understand the irony of moaning about this on a social network”.
Just for shits and giggles I decided to post a few semi-controversial topics in order to stir up a little activity and conversation, hoping in the process some new connections might be made. My first post, therefore, was “Can you ever really have a dream relationship with someone who isn’t on the same intellectual level as you?”.
I put it up there as a genuine question – personally, I believe that levels can be fairly wide, but overall you need a degree of parity with your partner or you will forever feel inferior/superior. It takes a very strong person indeed to manage that disparity long term.
It took three replies before people started spouting pious, holier-than-thou diatribe along the lines of “don’t judge a book by its cover”, “it’s what’s on the inside which counts” and “No-one should judge anyone”. I was, ironically enough, judged very poorly for being happy with being judged and for judging others.
I’m sorry, but that’s bullshit.
Everyone judges everyone all the time. We make judgements about all manner of things. We may acknowledge that we have no right to impose those judgements on others nor to force them to conform with your own ideals and principles, but judging people positively or negatively is a normal and useful part of life.
I am a judgemental person, and I know it. If you have a face full of tattoos I will judge that you never want a job involving customer service. I could be wrong, and you could be superb at helping people getting all they want, but it’s a judgement I would make. If all you say are negative things no matter what the question then I’ll judge you to be a negative person. If you are a fan of Mrs Browns Boys I will judge your comedy tastes in the harshest of possible terms.
I was later asked what I was actually looking for; I replied that I was after someone I was attracted to physically, mentally and emotionally. Boy, did that stir up the hornets nest. I was apparently searching for the “perfect woman” and would probably therefore end up alone as “perfect women don’t exist”.
Once again, I’m calling bullshit.
I don’t think it’s wrong to be looking for someone I find attractive. I could never be with someone who was lovely on the inside but physically repulsed me. Call me shallow, but physical attraction is an important part of the puzzle for me, and I don’t apologise for that. It’s by no means the most important factor, but it is important nevertheless.
And as for the perfect woman – whilst I’d be over the moon to find her, I’m not actually after the perfect woman. No, I’m after the woman who is perfect for me. She won’t be perfect for everyone, but our versions of crazy will match up enough to make us both happier than we ever could be apart.
It’s funny how many people will jump straight to platitudes and instagram quotes when it comes to what they are looking for without actually taking the time to consider what their own dreams and red lines actually are. It’s not wrong to be looking for someone who matches your dreams; if you’re open to being surprised by someone unexpected then all the better, but don’t settle for what you think others think should be the thing to settle for.
In an ideal world, a utopia, everyone would find everyone else attractive and see all the positives in them. We don’t, however, live in a utopia. We live in a world full of humans who have evolved to find certain traits attractive. Intelligence. Strength. Beauty. These are all evolution’s way of pushing us to select mates who give our offspring the greatest chance of survival; traditionally men find women with curves attractive as it implies childbearing hips and the ability to raise strong children, while women traditionally find men with rippling muscles attractive as it implies they are able to hunt and to protect.
Times have, of course, changed seismically since those were real reasons to find those traits attractive, but we are all biologically bound to them to a greater or lesser extent. Everyone is welcome to find whatever they want attractive, but to judge someone because they are looking for someone who intellectually and physically stimulates them is just wrong.
I don’t actually care about other’s judgements. I will keep looking for that elusive someone who makes my mind buzz, my heart beat faster and other parts of my anatomy do things all of their own accord. That’s my version of perfect, anyway.