The Off Parent admits to his animal instincts.
From across a 100-foot divide I can tell if a woman is attractive to me. What? What am I looking at, at that distance? Like a dog, from behind, I can only be keying off her overall ratio (hip-waist), the cut and color of her hair, and what she’s wearing. How can those simple details be enough to get a rise out of me?
And when given more time, and more angles, but with about the same amount of information, how can I work myself up into a lather about a woman I know nothing about?
And when the cutest woman in the world is sitting across from me, and has already asked if I wanted to kiss her (Here and Now), what is it that begins the turning away? A wag is just an initial blush of arousal. But without it, the arousal may never come.
I do believe my metaphor about two dogs meeting in a park is quite accurate in assessing the “wag.”
The Dog Dating Metaphor
Two dogs meet in the park
a. either both tails are wagging
b. only one tail is wagging
c. neither tail is wagging
That’s it. It’s that simple. The quicker we can admit the wag or non-wag, the quicker we can get to the next step. Relating. But without the wag, there’s no need to take the next step, unless you are looking for a running buddy rather than a mate.
Taking the dog metaphor one step further, I believe we are born a certain type of dog. For example, I think I’m a Boston Terrier. That’s how we look, how we behave, and it defines a lot about how attractive we are to other dogs. If you’re a poodle and you’re into Bostons, we’re in business. If you think Bostons are ugly, or we simply don’t get your tail wagging, there’s not much else either of us can do about it. I’m a Boston: tenacious, a bit on the muscular side, and very positive and boisterous.
So, seeing the woman with dark hair from 50 paces is very much like spotting one of my preferred breeds across an open field.
And when I get her to the table, even is she’s my type, and she’s interested, there’s got to be the next part: relating. Does she make my brain sizzle? Is our conversation equally balanced? Does she have more going on in her life than work and the gym? Is there a place to slot me in for some activities?
With the smiling woman, cute as a button, and run-obsessed, is there anything else? Is she working on anything extra? Does she have ambitions beyond having fun when she’s not running or working?
I wonder if I’m only going to be interested with artistic women. As a writer, I need someone else who shares a passion for creative expression. Another person who can appreciate the whim of the creative process that can hear, “I’m really hitting stride on this project, can we skip tonight?” and not freak out. If the person doesn’t have that burning desire, what does this mean to them. Does it mean I’m not that interested in her? Does it mean that she is not a priority in my life?
But more than that, what is she bringing into the relationship? What passions and creative ideas can she deliver?
If there’s nothing there. The wag simply becomes a wag. “Wow, a very attractive woman.” Just like the woman at the top of the page. She is a woman with potential. She’s a breed and fit I like.
We are a lot more like animals than we think. By being closer to my animal instincts and listening to the my internal Boston Terrier’s heart and compass, I am steering myself towards a partner with both wag and swag.
The Off Parent
< back to On Dating Again index
- The Divorce Library (reading list)
- Songs of Divorce (free listening library – youtube sourced songs)
- Laugh It Off (building a resource library of funny videos and other diversions)
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- The 5 Love Languages (a book on love styles by Gary Chapman)
image: boston terrier, jennifer, creative commons usage