I’m Not That Guy

I’ve read a lot of profiles in my week on Match.com (and OkCupid, thanks to their awesome blog that sucked me in). So far I’ve been “winked” at 36 times on Match, and I usually check out the person’s profile before deciding what to do next. There are a few things I look at right away:

  • Photos (I have to be attracted to the woman. I feel like I’m judging a book by its cover, but I want to do things with women that I can’t do with books. Also, it’s a no-no if every photo is a group photo. Crop, people, crop!)
  • Height (I’m 5’10” on a good day, so I prefer women 5’7″ and below)
  • Books (I’m a big reader/writer, so what a woman choses to read–and if she reads at all–makes a big difference to me)
  • Tagline (people get a sentence or two to draw you in. Do you waste that space or intrigue me?)
  • Cats/Smoking (my two true dealbreakers: gotta like cats, gotta hate smoking)

There are other qualifiers and “match” categories, of course, but those are the main things I scan for.

The thing is, there are a lot of women who meet meet those requirements. So the next thing I go to is writing–how did the person word their profile? Do they write it like a text (“Jus’ wanna hunt 4 the luv of my life!!!! :0 :)” )? How do they express themselves? Although it’s not really fair to base intelligence on writing ability–I know plenty of very smart people who are terrible writers–writing ability matters to me.

Last, it comes down to: What are we going to do together? It’s a good question, and a lot of women are wise to include little hints in their profile. They’d “love to find a running partner” or “want to travel the world together.”

For me, I’m pretty open minded when it comes to relationship activities. If a woman is really into say, mushroom hunting, and it’s important for me to be there for the first day of the season, I’m there. I’m not going to make it “my thing,” but I’ll be there for it. Because me–I like simple things. I like reading in bed before falling asleep. I like walks in the park. I like playing catch. I like cooking together and watching movies and trying new restaurants. I like going to a foreign city and pretending we live there for a week instead of acting like tourists.

However, I think some women are looking for “that guy.” That guy who will be there running parter or their ballet season-pass buddy. This got me thinking about the kind of guy I’m not, and I thought I’d make a list so it will be official. You can scold me in the comments for not being more flexible.

  1. I’m not going to be your running partner. I’ve tried this. Multiple times. I think the key is that I genuinely get nothing out of running long distances, even if it’s supposed to be quality time. I’m a sprinter at heart. The longest distance I ever want to run is 100 meters. That’s not much of a date.
  2. I’m not going to be your shopping buddy. I do most of my shopping online because I prefer efficiency and targeting over options and ambiance. I’ll get bored very quickly if you want me to shop with you. The exception is bookstore shopping.
  3. I’m not going to be your art museum purveyor. Like my desire to be pretentious about wine, I want to like art museums. I want to talk about the deeper meaning of the art and what the artist meant by it and how it makes me feel. But I just don’t have the heart for it. I’m sorry. History museums are better, but I pretty much enjoy them because they give me ideas for novels.
  4. I’m not going to be your musical lover. Sure, I’ll go. But I end up watching the overacting more than anything else. Especially the characters on the sidelines, the extras–oh, they’re so into it! So much pantomiming. It’s actually quite delightful. But people breaking into song? I loved it in 500 Days of Summer, and that’s pretty much it. Give me a good movie any day of the week.
  5. Crowds. This one is tougher to describe, but basically, I don’t like crowds. I don’t want to go to the place that everyone else is going–the Soulard Mardi Gras, the Live at the Levee, the Obama speech. I just end up thinking about how I’m going to avoid traffic when I leave. I think some people genuinely love sloshing around in the mud trying to find their friends for an afternoon. I’m just not that guy.
  6. I’m not going to be your sports coach. This is a tough one, one that I’ve discussed with male friends who play one-on-one sports with their girlfriends. And like I said, I enjoy playing catch. But if I’m going to pull out my tennis or racquetball racket or my sumo belt, I want you to be on par with me, or at least close. I’m sure you’ve all experienced this, and I definitely don’t mean along gender lines. You play a sport that you’re pretty good at against someone who’s not, and it’s just not fun. It’s like Portugal playing North Korea in the World Cup. No one’s walking away from that feeling good about themselves. However, I will say that it’s very attractive when a woman is on par with me–or even better than me–at a certain sport. That gives us not only a friendly competitive outlet, but some quality time with each other. I like that.
  7. I’m not going to be your project. I don’t want someone to treat me as a fixer-upper, a student. I have plenty to learn–we all do–but I want to learn with you, not from you. I’ve noticed that a lot of women learn something about me (like, for example, the thing above about me not liking crowds), and their reaction is, “Oh, we’ll work on that. We’ll get you to do X.” What? Maybe there are guys who like that, but I’m not that guy. I want to be challenged by you, but mostly by example–live your life in an inspiring way, and that’s the best challenge you can offer.

What about you? What types of things are you not “that guy” or “that girl” about?

Daily Quickie: Regan Leigh was so kind as to feature me on her blog today. I was flattered, and she even made me look good. Thanks Regan!

18 Responses to “I’m Not That Guy”

  1. T-Mac says:

    This is a very realistic list, and anyone who knows you know that the things you put on your “not going to do” list are not things you’ve refused to try. I know you’ve genuinely given each of those things a shot with previous girlfriends and that you’ve learned from the experience. It’s better to let a potential partner know these things early on so the other person isn’t expecting you to be her running partner/shopping buddy/crowd enjoyer.

    Speaking of crowds, I completely agree with you on that one. I just don’t get the appeal of going to a bar where you can’t hear anyone and have to squeeze between people to move/get a drink/go to the bathroom/etc. I’m glad most of our friends have met significant others now and no longer feel the need to go to the place with the most people. I’d much rather go to the place with the least people & get drinks quickly, hear others, and be able to sit in a comfortable seat with plenty of space around me.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      So I’m curious, do you not have any things like the activities on my list?

      I hear you about our friends not being into the packed-bar scene anymore. I’d much rather just hang out at someone’s home or go to quiet, smoke-free Bissingers.

      • T-Mac says:

        Actually, points 3, 4, and 5 are definitely on my list as well. Point 2 is somewhat on my list.

        I’d switch out bicyling for running. I’ll do an occasional bike ride, but if someone is looking for a long-term biking partner, that’s not me. I just don’t find it fun or rewarding.

        I actually like being the coach occasionally, but it’s nice to have someone who is athletic in some way (e.g., Laura’s a good volleyball player).

        A big one I’ll add to my list is trashy reality TV…not all reality TV, but things like “The Hills” or some shows that are all about people hooking up and fighting. I will not sit through those. The same goes for some daytime talk shows (like Jerry Springer…if he’s even still on TV).

        • Jamey Stegmaier says:

          I totally agree that it’s nice to have someone who’s athletic in some way–that’s awesome that Laura is good at volleyball.

          I want to officially add trashy reality TV to my list as well. I have no problem with someone watching it (and some might consider Survivor, which I love, trashy, but I think it’s just good reality…it’s in a different class than The Hills and Jersey Shore), but I don’t want to waste my time watching those shows.

        • @JMJKDulce says:

          Amen! Life is too short! That’s all I’m going to say on reality TV and talk shows. 🙂

  2. @JMJKDulce says:

    More proof that dating is finding out what you don’t want, more than what you want. You know what your aren’t above what you are. Everyone is different, so it’s about who matches the best. Great list! I don’t think it’s unforgiving at all.

  3. Amanda S. says:

    1. I’m not going to be your exercise partner/running buddy/PE teacher. I like my personal workout time, it doubles as my alone time. I think that if my boyfriend likes to workout that’s fine, but please don’t ask me to run with/spot you/coach you/or help you decide on your future goals.
    2. Your work is your work, my work is my work. I want you to stay out of my work affairs unless I come to you with a certain situation and ask advice. Don’t try to get me involved at yours unless you need me on your arm at a social gathering, don’t ask me to fill out a form for you, don’t ask me to talk to your boss/co-worker.
    3. I’m not going to be at your beck and call. We both have lives, it’s great that they overlap sometimes. I’m not willing to give up my hobbies and activities to be available for you. We can see each other when it’s convenient for us(a couple times a week?) and for the love of Christmas don’t get clingy and nosy about my time and whereabouts.
    4. I will not let you change my clothing style. You dress your way and smell like the male hooker you wish to be, that’s your choice. When you start insisting I change my clothes and body spray, that’s my turf. It shouldn’t matter what clothing I or you wear, if we are indeed a couple then the clothes won’t stay on for long anyway. I deal with you smelling like the Hollister store, you can deal with me smelling like Victoria’s Secret.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Awesome! My favorite line is “smell like the male hooker you wish to be.” Ha ha…it almost sounds like you’re referencing someone real!

  4. Georgia says:

    #3 piqued my interest. This seems to be on everyone’s list that I’ve bumped into with only two exceptions in my life. There are only a small handful of people willing to go to the art museum, have a look around and listen to why a particular piece is historical. (However there are more people willing to join you in the process of making art if this is what you do.)

    If only the art museum and the history museum were to combine their efforts…it might make the experience more interesting for MORE people!

    And as far as being on par with someone athletically, it IS pretty dissapointing when you try to play frisbee, or baseball with someone and as much as they try, (and even with some coaching) they simply do not have the skills. UGH! It’s like playing Chess or Stratego against someone who doesn’t have a strategy in mind. Boooring.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Georgia–I totally hear you about chess and Stratego! I like it when someone else is truly into the game–not only do they attempt to have a strategy, but they’re trying to win. It’s not a matter of being super competitive or something. It’s just that people don’t play chess to have fun. They play to win. So try to win!

  5. Justine says:

    You have a very good and realistic things that you “aren’t.” With having two older brothers and mostly guy friends, this is the kind of guy that I am mostly around and to whom I’m mostly attracted.

    1. I don’t like the whole idea of running partners. I personally like walking/running by myself while listening to music and having my “me” time. It’s one of the best opportunities to get alone time. I’d never ask you to be my running partner…you’d run too fast! 😛

    2. I hate shopping. Period.

    3. The last guy I date and I decided to go to the art museum in St. Louis and it was nice for ME…I was running around looking at stuff and reading about the art, but we ended up being in there too long and he got tired and even though he liked art I think he got bored. Again, that’s something I would personally do for “me” time, so I can run around and look at whatever the heck I want and not have to keep looking for the person who came with me. Disaster. Let’s go to the park and have a picnic instead or something.

    4. I don’t go to musicals unless my friends are in them here in town. I made my friend Craig go with me to “Little Shop of Horrors” and he actually liked it! But other than that, I appreciate it, but no thanks.

    5. The only crowd I like being in is the crowd at Mizzou football games; we get season tickets. You’ll have to go with me to a couple games if you like them at all.

    6. You don’t need to be my sports coach…I’m amazing at all sports ever invented. Oh, and I have two brothers who play sports, so I don’t need you. 😛

    Things that I look at right away on profiles:
    – If you’re attractive (everyone does, don’t lie)
    – If you’re taller than me
    – You better not smoke
    – Hope you don’t have any kids
    – Your photos are more than just of you completely wasted–If all your pictures are just of you partying and drinking, I won’t talk to you, even if you’re crazy hot. If the only good photographs of yourself are of you drinking and partying then you need to get a life. I drink and I don’t care that you drink either, but come on dude!
    – Hope you’re not on a dating website and openly desperate for finding a serious relationship, saying lines such as, “I’m a great guy, give me a chance, I want to fall in love!” I hope you’re on there to “see what happens” like me!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Justine–thanks for your comment. It sounds like you have a very good understanding of what you like to do with your “me time” and what you like to do with a significant other.

      That’s also a great point about the photos. I’ve noticed a lot of photos on Match where every photo is a crazy party. I think it’s great that people on Match have friends and go out and have fun, but I think the most effective photos are just a few simple shots that show what the person’s face and body look like. And maybe include one photo that tells a story, like them on vacation or with their cat or something.

  6. Blogstalker says:

    As my mind was wandering today, I thought of an idea for you. You should just go crazy and go out on a date with someone who you aren’t interested in at all. Someone more chubby, maybe not very attractive, someone who you aren’t compatible with…like someone who scored a 14 on your test. Then you could be completely sure you know exactly what you want.

  7. Lorena says:

    Haha, are we really going back to the sprinter long distance metaphor? 😉 That’s like vintage material right there!

    Anyhow, I’m late in the reply game, not too bad though. So, I haven’t used match.com (not that I have anything against online dating type sites, mind you, just haven’t used it), but I can put down these things:

    1) I’m not going to want you to watch my girly shows or movies with me. You will not appreciate them in the same way, and I want to give myself to them emotionally. It’s ‘me’ time, if you will. I realize you may have an effeminate side, but Pride & Prejudice and Twilight are just not movies I want to share.
    (an aside: my boyfriend is a TV producer, so we watch a lot of TV together that is more geared at women than men. For instance, Project Runway. Some shows he really enjoys, some he is watching for how they produce it)

    2) I’m not going to be your running partner. If you like running, great. I hate it. I really, truly hate running. And don’t think I haven’t given it a chance. I’ve certainly given it more than one. It’s disgusting and hot and gives me a horrible headache. I swim. I’m a swimmer. That’s what I do. So, enjoy your run. I’ll be watching P&P while you’re gone, thanks.

    3) I won’t do yoga with you. I just am not into that.

    4) House, techno, and goth dancing and music is a major no. I won’t date you if you are into this.

    5) Football, baseball, and basketball. Sorry, I’m not watching these sports with you. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching sports. I watch soccer and hockey. I’m pretty into soccer and hockey. I own a Giggs jersey and have a Penguins keychain. I understand the other sports, but I have no interest in them. March Madness and NBA playoffs? I view these as a major issue because they take up valuable air time that could be put towards Champion’s League games, the end of the EPL season, and Stanley Cup playoffs. If you want to watch those sports somewhere else, awesome. I’ll be at home watching my DVRed ManU game or P&P.

    6) Love of pitbulls. I don’t do pitbulls. I’m not that girl.

    7) Involving me in your hardcore activism. There’s nothing less attractive than an annoying person soliciting your signature for some petition that will never get on the ballot and if by some wild chance it does, it will never pass. We all have our passions, but hardcore activism will never be mine. Sure I recycle, but I’m not going to go rallies about green peace.

    Okay. I’m gonna end this here. And maybe go watch P&P when I get home. I really <3 that movie.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      What a great list! How many times have you seen P&P?!

      Sidenote: I appreciate you saying DVR instead of TiVo since you don’t actually have a TiVo (from what I gather). Us true TiVo owneres need to be able to identify our own.

      I particularly related to the house/techno/goth music item and the hardcore activism item. I don’t understand superfans and super activists. I WANT to understand superfans, because I need to get some for my publishing company, but I just could never see myself doing some of the things superfans do just to see their idol. Same with hardcore activists. I’ll recycle, I’ll vote, I’ll turn off the light when I leave the room, but I highly doubt I’ll ever care about anything political to the point that I’ll been an activist for the cause. Maybe if there was legislation that would increase the amount of chocolate I receive from the government. Maybe.

      • Lorena says:

        American chocolate comes from pasteurized milk, which guarantees it’ll never be as good as non-pasteurized chocolate. What you really want is a legislation to lower or remove import tax on German and Belgium chocolates (and beer, because I said so).

        I’ve never had a TiVo. Which is a bit of a shame since they have a cute little logo creature. But I don’t think we get to choose those things. It’s what cable company services your area, no?

        I have 2 DVD purchase rules:
        1) I’ve seen it at least twice before and liked it and it’s available in wide screen for $10 or less.
        2) I’m about to rent it for the time that would push me over the $15 total expenditure mark.

        P&P purchase fit rule #1. I saw it originally in theaters. Before purchase I saw it with my sister (2 times?). After purchasing it I’ve seen it probably 3 times. Mind you it was purchased in 2010, probably March. So, there’s no known number, but we can make an educated guess of 6-7 times.

        • Jamey Stegmaier says:

          So would you be an activist for non-pasteurized chocolate legislation?

          You can get TiVo anywhere with any TV service–it’s completely independent from your cable/satellite service. But it’s also more expensive. I got mine 5 years ago with a lifetime subscription that has paid for itself twice over.

          Those are good DVD purchase rules; I need some rules for that. Back in the day I bought DVDs all wily-nily, but I haven’t bought one in years since getting Netflix.

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