19 September 2012

Dating a real man

By: Jessica B.

Saturday night, a friend and I went to dinner and I started nicely asking for details about a guy she is seeing. I was not in a coherent state when she first mentioned him a few weeks ago so I wanted to sit and get the details because, I could tell something was different about this one.

And when she was done telling me the updates, I sat back in my chair and said one thing.

“You’re seeing a man.”

And she nodded, both of us looking at each other a little like, “holy shit.”

The conversation and my comment immediately made me think of an article Mindy Kaling (love) wrote for Glamour about dating men vs. boys. The full article is here, but the crux of it is below.

Until I was 30, I dated only boys. I’ll tell you why: Men scared the sh*t out of me. Men know what they want. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before.

OK, maybe men aren’t exactly like this…The point: Men know what they want, and that is scary. What I was used to was boys.”

As a woman, let me be clear: This is pretty dead on. I’ve dated boys and a man and it was that man’s security and sureness that scared me away.

In Chicago, I feel like there are a lack of men. In my experience, men here are married, dating, engaged or interested in you for a few weeks and then don’t respond to texts, because remember, we should just KNOW when you’re done with us.

But more than him being a man, my friend said that he likes her just as she is. Which made me immediately think of this.

Note: Bridget Jones Diary is applicable in almost every woman’s dating life.

As scary as it is to date a man who knows what he wants (e.g. you), it’s equally scary to realize, he likes you just as you are. After years of dating bad guys, who like you but would like you so much more if you JUST did this one thing, It’s refreshing to be the real version of you, but unnerving too.

So, no real point here, just saying, Mindy Kaling gets me, and my friends.


  1. bryan farley says:

    I probably did not become a “real man” until I met the right woman. There are many times when my wife still questions whether or not I know what I am doing (and often she is right), but something changes.

    Even now I barely understand myself, so I do not have any secret information, but I wish you luck.

  2. allison says:

    dear jessica – you must be a fly on the wall in cleveland somewhere because this is a frequent topic of conversation too. Where are the real men? I’d like to shake one of their hands and ask if they have a single, good-looking cousin that they want to hook me up with.

  3. A Super Girl says:

    Oh I love that clip so much! But the men v. boys thing is totally accurate.

  4. it wasn’t until i started dating my “real man” that i could even put the idea of marriage/kids/etc into my brain.

    what you wrote is SO TRUE and spot on i can’t even handle it.

  5. I will add an Amen to this. The Modern Love Machine was/is the first person I’ve ever been with who loves me just the way I am. It was so refreshing, I was not fazed by us getting engaged eight months in (which otherwise was totally unlike me). And yet, it’s still unnerving. Because of my lengthy history of guys being turned off by one thing or another or guys getting distracted by other girls and ultimately dumping me, I feel like I still look over my shoulder on a regular basis. Even though I know in my head he loves me as I am, my heart and gut wonder when the other shoe will drop as it’s done every other time.

  6. Jessica says:

    This is so true! I have just started dating a man, and was totally nodding along! It’s scary, but oh so refreshing!