True Attraction and Connection

Not very long ago when I was out and about at a dance event a male dance acquaintance of mine was talking about the frustrations of online dating. While I haven’t used any of those platforms in a while, I can definitely relate. You think you might hit it off with someone and then they ghost you, women getting infinitely more messages and options to choose from than men, creepers galore, you name it. I’ve had a few of my own online dating horror stories, but those are for another blog.

Anyhow, all of my dance friends know I’m not in the market for dating and that I’m with someone. This friend of mine said something to the effect of that he’s jealous of my boyfriend and that he’s a lucky fellow.

And I replied simply that he didn’t know me well enough to make such a statement, which is true. He kind of chuckled and the conversation moved on.

Now, I guess you could say that this sort of statement could be taken as a compliment, as in: “you’re attractive,” or just a statement about how he wishes he had a relationship.

But something irked me about it. And I think I can articulate it better now than in the moment. What bothered me about the exchange was that in order to be jealous of someone, you usually have some idea why. Other than seeing how I dance and how I look, this person really doesn’t know anything else about me. And … I don’t know. I guess I sometimes detest surface level connections? A fault of mine. Anyhow, it’s hard for me to think about someone wanting to date me without actually knowing me. Of course you can have an initial physical attraction to someone, I guess, but being demisexual myself, it’s hard for me to fathom being physically attracted to someone I know nothing about. I have to have an emotional/intimate connection first before physicality comes into play or a desire to “date.” A man being aesthetically pleasing alone doesn’t make me want to jump in bed and to be completely honest, I don’t really even find people physically or sexually attractive until I have some sort of stimulating conversation with them. So… yeah. Male models? Built people? Tall men? What society tells me I “should” be attracted to? Doesn’t sway me. And believe me, I know relationships aren’t all about physical connection, but I felt that this offhand comment made by a friend sort of boiled down relationships to just that. Like, you have no idea about my inner world or my life— is that not also attractive or part of what you might like about someone? Maybe I suppose you could try to infer some of that from dancing with me, I guess, but ugh. Sigh. I get so frustrated sometimes and overthink things (autism? I take things very literally and get super hung up on people’s meanings because… I don’t often understand). Perhaps it would have been more accurate for him to just say: I wish I had a relationship right now.

Boom! I would have been fine with that, nothing in it about me. And I could understand the intended meaning. If that wasn’t the meaning, it just makes me think he wants a girlfriend and doesn’t really care about what their inner world is like. Which, no judgment here if that’s the case, it just wouldn’t be someone that I would want to date. You do you, bro.

I do think that this touches on something larger for me: I can’t stand small talk and surface level connections. And if someone says they’re jealous of my partner and don’t know me (in my mind) well enough to say that, that’s aggravating. I know I’m no picnic all the time, but I also know there’s far more to me than how awesome I dance and how I look.


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