Angry Single Blogger: Why I'll Always Want The Men I Can't Have

little girl reaching for candy

There's a reason the majority of the female population is swooning over Ryan Gosling. No, I'm not talking about those blue eyes, that bizarre charm of his or even the fact that he recently said "I think like a girl." Maybe it's because we can't have him… and because we don't know if we ever can? 

The University of Virginia decided they wanted to see exactly what the hell is going on inside a woman's brain when it comes to the type of men to whom they're attracted. The study took a group of college women and showed them the Facebook profiles of four male students who had looked at their profiles, and were told that the fellas had made a decision about them — solely based on looks, of course, because how much of one's personality can you detect from a Facebook profile? Oh, great, they think Fleet Foxes are badass and their favorite book is The God Delusion… and look! They like to do shots off their roommate's sleeping body… cute! But I digress. 40 Ways To Get In The Mood For Sex

The three levels of likability that the women were given were "(a) the guy liked them a lot, (b) the guy liked them only an average amount, or (c) the guy liked them either a lot or an average amount (uncertain condition).”

Guess what? Most women were attracted to option c. 

As my buddy Scott Alden over at HowAboutWe, where I first saw this study, (OK, I don't know the fella, but I think we could have few debates on certain subjects) was quick to point out, this isn't about the mentality of women wanting what they can't have, but rather women wanting what they're unsure they can have. Alden, in all his infinite wisdom, has a theory based "solely on anecdotal evidence," to use his words: "Women don't want to just be accepted for who they are, but they don't want to be mistreated either. They just want to earn what they get." Love Bytes: How To Spot An Emotional Vampire

I'm a woman, or at least I was the last time I looked down at my perfect breasts, and while I'm sure my feelings on the subject don't represent all women's opinions, I'm going to assume at least someone out there is going to agree.

My theory is that there's something to be said for the "thrill of the chase" involved in not knowing, and also some level of "safety" in this chase. I'm basing this on an untold number of years of being a gal and thousands of drunk-brunch conversations with my fellow women folk. The chase? Super fun and exciting! It's fuel for the "does he?" or "doesn't he?" fire — and perhaps the reason one just might play The Smiths purposely just loud enough for the man in question to hear and spark conversation. The safety? It's the reason so many women fall in love with their gay male friends: what you don't have can't hurt you. If you can prolong the chase, you're procuring a level of self-preservation for yourself. 11 Things Never To Say To A Single Woman

Yes, women do enjoy positive attention from men, even the ones we'd never consider dating, but it's the guy who's playing coy, the one with whom we can't tell whether he's flirting or not — that gets us every time. It's hard to like someone who puts all their cards on the table. It's as though there was no effort to be had, the challenge has been subtracted from the equation, and you're left with this mentality of "What now?"

I will never be reasonable in my choices of men. I will never go for the one who likes me immediately, I will never want the who makes me feel as though I earned him with my charms and quirks. I'll go for the one whose intentions and feelings I'm never quite sure of, who may have a skeleton or two in his closet. I need that fire of mystery to burn in my veins: I know I will have "won" in some way when he's sleeping next to me at night. I don't want that chase to ever completely end. Uncertainty still leaves room for pedestals, and I don't fall from pedestals. 

But hey, that's just my opinion on the matter. And I'll believe it despite what my therapist says.