JWC Day 10: The “What if?”

Just yesterday I said I was trying to live in the moment. The “What if” question directly opposes that new life philosophy. But, of course, there are always some “what ifs” lying around. For me, the big one is almost always in the form of a fantasy about the future: “What if (insert guy here) and I took things to the next level?”

Like I’ve said before, when I date, there is an end goal of marriage in mind. Doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with someone I’m dating even if he doesn’t seem like he fits my idea of the perfect life mate, but I am looking for that Mr. Forever. So, I *ALWAYS* think about how this relationship would be if it went to the next level. 

datingnextlevel

It helps me to determine how I progress with a person. Someone who I don’t think is worth the effort to make it to long term won’t get to see all of me. They will get only a particular side of Liz. I will choose a role for them in my life, and that becomes their function. It may be that they are my confidant, the person to whom I tell all my secrets and worries. They may be the person with whom I like to go dancing. They might become my museum buddy, or movie buddy. On rare occasions, they may become someone who I keep around for just physical reasons, but whatever role they fill in my life, that is the main side of Liz they see.

That doesn’t always mean they are stuck in that spot. If, after getting to know them better, I see some potential I missed in an earlier assessment, I may be open to giving them another shot at being that forever person, though the odds of this happening are exceedingly rare.

I keep trying to warn people, I am extremely picky.

picky-shoes-and-dating

But I feel like my required traits are open to a broad interpretation. I’ve dated men in a broad range of shapes, sizes, and colors, from an interesting mix of career paths, and a wide variety of stages in said career paths.

I don’t have to have a man with a degree, because sometimes the passion you have for what you do can be more exhilarating (and thus sexier) than someone who has all book smarts. The Artist, the Boy, the guy from my apartment complex a couple of men before the Boy, none of them had bachelor’s degrees, and it wasn’t an issue… at least that wasn’t what kept us from making it to the next step.

And it’s been proven to me that having a degree is not a measure of how much you make, although it helps… Besides, how much a man makes is not a factor in their attractiveness to me. Admittedly, I like it when a man pays the bill, but it’s not a necessity, and eventually I will feel bad if I don’t get to return the favor every once in a while.

If we look at just a small sampling of men, including the three I’ve mentioned before, you’ll also notice that they are of different basic shapes.

!men-body-shape-red-lines

The Artist is more of a boxer build, all lean muscle, and skinny. Let’s put it this way: he’s not the type of guy that I’d ever be able to wear his shirts around the house… I’d never be able to get them over my girls. But I’ve worn the Boy’s shirts a time or three. I like sleeping in them. He’s a bigger guy: his shoulders and hips are wider than the Artist’s, his arms and legs are thicker, there’s just generally more of him. Both men are about the same height, but they wouldn’t be fighting in the same weight class, is all I’m saying.

Superman, on the other hand, was a good half a foot taller than the both of them. Even in my 4 inch heels, I still had to look up at him. And as far as muscle mass, he was somewhere inbetween the two, at least in proportion to his height. I think his shoulders were as wide as the Boy’s, but with the extra height, it didn’t seem the same, and while both the Boy and the Artist feel solid, Superman was not quite as firm… Which is to say I think there was more fat than muscle happening there.

As for race, that has absolutely no bearing on whether or not a guy makes it to the dating stage with me, though, I’ve noticed that African American men are more outspoken when approaching me. I’ve been hit on by more black men than any other ethnic group, which means I date them more, but not because I particularly prefer them more. The “once you go black” saying is not true. But that other saying about black men, well… it’s only been proven true once, in my experience.

In the past year alone, I’ve dated men who were black, Hispanic, and white, and the guy I was dating simultaneously with the Boy in the very beginning was of Asian decent (though that was nearly 2 years ago).

I am for the most part color blind.

colorblind

I do, however, find a person’s family/cultural history fascinating, and sometimes (in this world where everything has to be so politically correct all the time) I’m afraid that when I ask certain questions, it comes across as being racially motivated when in reality it’s just curiosity about a person’s past, or sometimes about a culture with which I’m not familiar.

I hate that sometimes I feel the need to censor myself because of a fear that someone who doesn’t know me will think that I’m being prejudiced. Like in looking for an image for the word “colorblind” I was hit with a handful of memes about how being colorblind is another way of trying to deny one’s “white privilege…”

warning rant

I’m not white, I’m not privileged, and I absolutely hate that term. It suggests that the color of one’s skin determines one’s position in life. My family struggles to pay bills. My father retired, but had to go back to work, and my mother works three jobs. I was denied food stamps the only time I’ve ever tried to ask for government assistance because of my family’s “white privilege,” and was told that if I were to quit college, I wouldn’t need the foodstamps because I could work the hours necessary to not need the foodstamps. Never mind the fact that my rent was paid using some of my financial aide…

Ugh. “White privilege” has very little to do with color, and a whole lot to do with social standing. So maybe my mother won’t be followed around in a high end store because she’s blonde, but she also can’t get much needed government assistance for the same reason. And what does that say about our country?

I’ll admit race is still an issue, but that doesn’t always mean that white people always have it better, that’s all I’m saying.

endrantAnd now, back to the point.

I choose my men based on their character, their intellect, their personality, not something superficial like race, body shape, or the size of their paychecks. And I always try to figure out where they can fit in my life, if it’s leading towards my end goal, or if they are going to serve a different purpose in my life.

I feel like this one “what if” doesn’t go against my new “In the Moment,” mentality because it does directly affect how I interact with the men in question. Maybe I should be more open to the possibility of a man moving into different roles, like I have been with the Boy, but, at least initially, I need that “what if” to help me determine how I interact with a man until he’s gained my trust enough, or proven himself worthy of moving into a new role.

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