Wednesday, August 09, 2006

When I first met theCSO, I thought he was too young and too skinny for me

Hafidha has a really excellent post up about all the ways in which her significant other doesn't match what she was looking for.

TheCSO was closer to what I was looking for, though again too young for me and too skinny. I had always dated people who were older than me because when you're in your teens and early twenties, nobody your age has really been anywhere or done anything or even read all that much.

Before me, he always assumed that the woman he ended up with would be into all of the same Geek stuff he was. I can hold up my end of a Dungeons and Dragons game, thank you very much, but when he goes off to anime conventions, he goes off alone. (Much like I went to GA alone, though I hung out with LinguistFriend there a lot.)

I think that our differing interests is one of the cooler things about our relationship, actually. I've grown to be interested in some of the things he likes, and he has done the same with some of my interests, but we maintain separate intellectual lives and learning stuff from one another is a constant source of mutual joy.

Seven years after we met, six and a half years after I was irritated with my long distance boyfriend and asked theCSO to spend the night, I still feel like theCSO and I could be stuck on a desert island for many years without running out of stuff to talk about.

A few years ago, I was good friends with a Baptist minister. One time, I was having dinner with his family when his wife asked about theCSO. In telling her about TheCSO, I mentioned that he was really good at making computers talk to one another. (He's a systems engineer.) She laughed, and said with mild disdain,

"He sounds like a NERD!"

Before this, I had known intellectually that different people look for different things in a mate, but what she said really hit it home for me. She wrote off theCSO just that quickly.

I wouldn't have dated her husband either.

But both men are great guys.

I guess it all comes down to who you fit with.



LaReinaCobre said...

Haha, I think you mentioned recently in passing that the CSO was at an anime event. The DH went to an anime expo shortly after I returned from GA. I have seen exactly two anime films (Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle).

There are so many ways we write someone off, assuming we need this or that, or they won't want us for this or that reason. I thought I needed to date big, strapping guys because a thin guy wouldn't want to be with a zaftig woman like myself.

I would never have known from looking at him that the DH used to be quite overweight; he'd lost 70 pounds the year before I met him; and he often shakes his head at female celebrities: "Why is she so skinny?"

Argh - the assumptions I made!

Chalicechick said...

Wordy McWord. As recently as last night, I was having a long talk with a Caucasian guy long married to an Asian woman. He referred to her as his “little Pepperpot.”

Were I a short, fiery person, I would not even date someone who called me that. But the guy said it in a tone of voice that made three decades he’d loved her quite obvious. So I guess she puts up with being a Pepperpot. Maybe she even likes it.

Would I have really decided not to date an intelligent, interesting person because he gave me a nickname I didn’t like? I hope not. But I don’t know. I did once decide that there would be no second date when a guy counted his pocket change at the table. Don’t know why. It just bugged me.

People so easily write one another off. I’ve rejected people far more often than I’ve been rejected. That’s one of the nice things about being a chubby woman. What most people would consider your biggest flaw as a potential date is right up front. People who can’t deal with it never ask you out in the first place.

The biggest rejection I ever received was an “I think you’re wonderful, but I’m sorry, I just can’t get over my ex and now my ex wants me back.”

I was in that wedding. They’re still together and happy. I was heartbroken at the time, but I don’t really feel the lesser for having been rejected like that.

In retrospect, I’ve rejected several people for stupid reasons. And I’ve held on to a few people whom I thought of as fixer-uppers longer than I should have. But I absolutely regret the first decisions more than the second ones.

After all, we’re all fixer-uppers. Even those of us who are successful and complete as people need to learn some new stuff to fit with someone else who is pretty complete.

Anonymous said...

My partner doesn't fit what I was "looking for" either. For one thing, I don't usually like quiet people, and Joyce is quiet (like most quiet people, you can get her started talking....or arguing.) For another, I thought I was looking for someone male.
I have gotten more into her main interest -politics- than she has into mine -architecture/kitchen design- but we are both interested in religion (her in history, me in the future) and food. I remain computer illiterate, but she has learned some about dentistry from me. (I don't kiss anyone who doesn't floss daily). I have, of necessity, learned a bit about kids because she has two boys. She's learned a bit about gardening from me. She's even gone to ballets with me.

LaReinaCobre said...

LOL on Wordy McWord. I thought only me and my friend S- ever said that! Yes, we are mostly all fixer uppers. A very important moment for me was when I realized that I should never take rejection personally because I rejected others for all kinds of random reasons. Unless I was willing to date every single person who presented himself, how could I be angry or hurt that someone didn't want to take me for a spin around the lake?

Kim - okay, you win! Going with someone of a different gender than you were looking for is definitely opening oneself up to possibilities!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was pretty surprising. But my brother and sister both took it in stride. I think our UU upbringing was part of that flexibility. Though neither my brother nor my sister are still UU.
I think it's really interesting how some people look at UUism and see a real religion and others look at the same thing and see something that isn't a religion at all. Our perceptions are so different. I think religions have layers, and it depends on which layer/s you are looking for whether it looks like a religion to you or not. Layers like spiritual, intellectual, ritual, ethical, telling you what to think and how to behave, authority style, arbitrary rules, style of community interaction. Different people resonate with different aspects. My sister doesn't think UU is a religion at all. I do.

Anonymous said...

Mine was too old, too tall, too skinny and too Republican.

The hard part is figuring out how many of the things you don't have in common are unchangeable (i.e. there won't be any compromise, nor someone going over to the other's side), and how important those things are. The too tall won't change but isn't important. The too skinny has changed a bit and isn't important. The too old hasn't changed, and is a factor in the things that are important (differences in amount of experience, etc.). I'm still trying to sort out whether I'm more flexible than I think I am about the significance of physical intimacy (whether a sexually "open relationship," or having a third party involved, or erotic massages or lapdances, are OK with me), and how important the difference in values in that area is. I think it's going to end up being a much bigger stumbling block in the relationship than political differences, even though (or perhaps because) those get aired out on a nearly daily basis.