The Rules of Attraction

I don’t know how to date. There are lots of things I do know how to do. I can make chicken dumpling soup from scratch, chili too — before I gave up red meat I could make a beef stew that could bring a man to his knees. I can write stories, I can crochet, and I can gleek. None of these talents, however, help me one single bit when it comes to the dating game.

I don’t know the rules, so I can’t play by them. It’s usually after I’ve broken the rules 150 different ways that I realize there are rules. Not that I think that would change anything. I’m not too good with arbitrary rules that are designed to foster miscommunication and obfuscate things (by the way, at the moment I have a crush on obfuscate and extrapolate). This might be why I’m always the last one picked for the dating game.

But that’s not why I don’t know how to date. I don’t know how to date, because I can’t read men. I can never tell if they are interested, or just being polite. For some odd reason I have decided that if they aren’t plundering my breasts on the couch by like 11:30 they hate me. That, my friends, is what we call whacked-out low self-esteem.

When I look back over my mine-filled dating past, I think I’ve known more men who wanted me for sex than wanted me for the good stuff. Or, it very well could be, that I wouldn’t give them the good stuff and only gave them the sex, because that’s all men want, right? I know, it’s weird.

Whenever the plundering ensues the many sides of my personality have a little dialogue.

“He likes me!” the naive romantic Jodi says.
“Uh, he wants to fuck me,” the bitter, cynical Jodi says.
“No, he wouldn’t do this if he didn’t really like me,” the naive romantic Jodi says.
“He would do it because he’s horny and it really has nothing to do with me,” bitter, cynical Jodi says.
“But. . .” the naive romantic Jodi says.
“Shut up! You’re ruining everything,” the slutty loves sex Jodi says, “Just layback and enjoy this. My god do you know how long it’s been since we got laid? We don’t have to like him, it’s just sex.”

I, more than anybody, know that sex does not equal interest. Hell, half the time, it doesn’t even have to equal like or tolerance. Just because a man puts his dick in you, doesn’t mean he’s gonna call you. Also, in my very bad past, it didn’t mean that I wanted him to call me.

Last week, I was telling a friend about this man Kevin that I had sorta dated but really only had sex with. Kevin and I didn’t date; we just fucked — a lot. I’d like to say I don’t know why we never dated, but I know exactly why. Kevin thought I had a boyfriend. He thought that, because that’s what I told him. I have no idea why I said it. It just popped out. We had met at a bar and had a few drinks, then went to his place and had sex. As I was leaving he asked if he could call, and I said sure, but I had a boyfriend so we had to keep this low-key. He was fascinated with Casey, my beautiful, perfect and imaginary boyfriend. Why did I do this? Because I didn’t really like Kevin all that much, I didn’t want him to get attached. I did like sex.

That was many, many moons ago. I’ve grown up quite a bit. My self-esteem is quite a bit higher. I won’t have sex with men I don’t like anymore. Which sounds like the most logical thing in the world. But when you’re a 6’5″ fatgirl, it’s not so much.

So this brings me back to the not knowing how to date. It’s confusing. It’s hard for me, because I’m such a lay my cards out on the table person. It’s really hard for me because my heart is permanently pinned to my sleeve. It’s super hard for me because I pour out every emotion I feel at the drop of the hat on the Web. It’s super duper hard for me because you aren’t supposed to do any of this when you date. You aren’t supposed to be vulnerable and honest. You’re supposed to play it cool and a little disinterested. You’re not supposed to be honest and excited at the prospect of getting to know someone new. You’re not supposed to wait for that next e-mail or phone call with bated breath those are the rules. I didn’t make them up; I can’t even play by them.

Why, why is this all so difficult and confusing?

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2 Comments

  1. Bonny 06.Jul.03 at 1:44 pm

    I was going to send you this quote, which relates to “if you expect to be used & abused, you surely will be.”

    Supposedly Abe Lincoln once said: “If you look for the bad in a man expecting to find it, you certainly will.”

    But then it turns out that Lincoln NEVER SAID THAT! The guys who wrote the movie script for “Pollyanna” made that up!

    Sheesh!

  2. toys 26.Oct.03 at 12:55 am

    Rules are made to be broken – why do we all pay so much attention to these?