Friday, September 09, 2011

The Type

I remember the first time I fell in love, in grade 2 my first year in Alfredton Primary school, I became instantly enamoured with a classmate one day on a wet weather time table, confined indoors the teachers chose to entertain us by having a dance session. She threw herself at the twist with a reckless ambition that one me over. It was not love at first sight, I fell in love upon seeing this.

It was all very confusing and I remember wandering listlessly around the school oval for what in my short lifetime seemed like years but was probably weeks when suddenly she was moved away by her parents never to be seen by the likes of me again. I don't even remember her name, yet I feel as though I remember exactly what she danced like.

Since then the people I have fallen in love with have been less mysterious, and distressingly for me, appear in my life less frequently. I do have a type, I know it when I see it, but find it hard to describe.

The first time I realised I had a type was the week after schoolies, in my final summer in Ballarat I began dating a girl in year 11 from another school cross town. Our set up had been... awkward, when I picked up her best friend (which was awful) she told me after our session that her best friend was into me and 'what did I think of her?' somehow we then managed to start dating. In our second phone conversation I fell in love with her, the instant when she suggested our first date be at the pancake parlour.

That's my type. See my problem? Anyone could suggest a date at the pancake parlour, but that's not it at all. My type of woman is the type that would suggest a first date at the pancake parlour.

Obviously it's so much more, but there's no hard and fast rule to these things. All I can say is, generally I have made up my mind from the first conversation. It only just occured to me, but as somebody with an Audio preferenced learning style (ie. I can sit in lectures, take no notes and recall most of the course content) it now makes sense that my biggest interest cue is verbal.

I guess the one quality I look for in not just partners but all my friends I willingly spend time with is an ability to surprise and delight me. I am yet to meet any magician whose ability to pull unexpected objects from my ear, or their sleeve overcomes their conversational shortcomings, thus most of the time this quality is embodied in their style of speak.

I mean it sounds a bit like an 'it' factor where I am sorry to say people tend to have it or they don't. Perhaps egotistical on my part, but it has become perhaps the primary dealbreaker that has now kept me single for years. Times were that I could date a girl based on physical attractiveness, intelligence or other qualities I was socially conditioned to admire. And whilst some physical attraction is essential, the others have sort of gone by the wayside in importance, or tend to correlate anyway. I've dated 3 women that didn't speak my language, and I've learned my lesson now.

I think they all had an appreciation for how I speak, and that is flattering and kind of reciprocally attractive, but my experience taught me that time spent with them exclusively was boring, claustrophobic and now generally I avoid such partnerships because I have too big a guilty conscious to emotionally handle one night stands or even dumping people I knew I wasn't that into in the first place.

I have had the luxury now of having a relationship with people whom it is a delight to spend my whole day with, day after day after day. To have had it once was great, twice I know I am luckier than most, to have it again would be perhaps more than I deserve, to be that person for somebody else would be I feel my life well lived.

Which I guess I could, I come across women in much greater numbers that appreciate my style of speak, yet have not the style of their own. I am not pessimistic (or "realist") enough yet to settle for that one way street, I am optimistic that I will meet somebody eventually whom is my type and will feel mutually.

I do despair though for those women who just get it wrong with me, I feel bad about it because there's no graceful way to just drop on somebody 'sorry but you're not my type' unless they ask you out, which women generally don't. I feel safe in saying that no women whom give me the impression they are attracted to/flirt with me actually read this blog, but I'm surprised at how amazingly unconscious women who get it right with me do so, and how painfully conscious it seems for the women who get it wrong. It feels like a train wreck speaking to them, like torture, like I guess seeing a salesman's pen leak into their front pocket during their sales pitch.

And sure I may not be your cup of tea, but if you are ever drawn to somebody by their humour here is my advice from my personal experience:

1. Funny people crave 'looping' too. The neural synchronisation so annoying in teenage girls on public transport, but so, so good when you find it with somebody else. Yes they are trying to make you laugh, but what they really crave is for you to go with them and take conversation to new and unexpected places. It requires a similar or greater level of intelligence, reaction time etc.

2. Don't mistake an education for intelligence.

3. The easiest way to destroy a looping opportunity is to comment to the effect of 'you're funny.' Just laugh. It's really that simple. (ironically one of my longest standing and closest friends pretty much said nothing but this throughout the year 7 class we first sat next to eachother. But he had science and art to fall back on). (also another close friend of mine, doesn't really laugh, just says 'that's funny' in the flattest tone imaginable. Like what you would sue a Doctor for if they told you 'your son is dead.' in the same tone. She made me fight so hard to impress her.)

4. You may not be funny, but almost anybody can be offensive, just try hard to offend them. But remember 'the epitome of wit is to insult people without offending them, nerdiness the opposite.' There is nothing more genuinely offensive than being boring and predictable to some people.

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