Anthony – a cute friend of mine whom I had a rainy night futon movie date with last weekend – said something wise and column-worthy to me. It was in the middle of a conversation where we were both describing what traits turn us on in the opposite sex. I told him how I’m a sucker for secret literature dorks, basketball player builds (the taller the better), and foreign food enthusiasts. I learned that he veers toward artistic females, ones who can articulate their political views, and ones with curly hair. Two out of three ain’t bad.
And then he said: “Men have preferences, but females have standards.”
“That’s deep,” I said, immediately delving into the ever so obvious, yet never stated truth.
“Think about it,” he continued, “I might really, really love certain qualities about a woman physically and intellectually, but if someone else comes into the picture without those qualities, and it feels right – I’ll go for her anyway. You women have deal-breakers and things of that nature.”
I nodded in agreement. “That we do.”
“I mean it’s not like I’m not picky. But I bet anything you’re more rigid in your expectations.”
I nodded again. “You’re right. For example, I would never date a cigarette smoker. Ever.”
“Yuck, I know. I hate that.” And then Anthony held up his pointer finger. “Buuuut, if a Shakira-looking, Obama-loving woman presented herself to me and was a smoker…I’d definitely pursue.”
“Ugh,” I shuddered at the thought at the taste of cigarette breathe. “I don’t care if it was Gabriel Aubrey with was literature degree. I still wouldn’t bite.”
Anthony made a face. “Halle Berry’s man? That’s who does it for you these days?”
I gave him a long swooning “mmmmm-hmmmm.”
But back to preferences vs. standards. Had the mystery of the dating sphinx been solved so easily? No. I wasn’t satisfied. It’s probably the fact that I’ve been a journalist from the womb, but the incessant questions just keep spilling out, regardless of whether I’m conducting an interview or on a date. Technically, first dates are nothing more than glorified interviews anyway.
I wanted to ask if men get butterflies. But I stopped myself because I didn’t want him to think he was giving me butterflies. Because he definitely wasn’t. But he was giving some great insight into the 26-year-old male mind. Which I assumed never went much deeper than basketball stats and Victoria’s Secret models. But I stand corrected.
Lord only knows what was going on in Anthony’s head. Sometimes, out of nowhere, he starts singing random R&B songs. The funny thing is, he does it as a joke and possibly to break silence – but he has a fantastic voice. If this is his form of ADD, I could really get used to it.
After that evening ended, I immediately wrote off Anthony as simply a friend, not a dating prospect. But then I realized that this is the protocol for me. The guys I end up really falling for are the ones I write off as a good friend from the very first night. I have been unconsciously setting my very own rigid standard – he’s got to be my friend before can qualify to be my loverboy.
Crazy isn’t it? Not as crazy as busting out into a random Usher medley in the middle of dinner, but still…