A man asks Josie and Eli how he can tell his friend that she’s setting her sights too high with the men she crushes on.
Originally appeared at She Said He Said
Dear Sexes: I have a friend who constantly tries to date WAY out of her league. I wish we lived in a world where that wasn’t true, but we don’t, and it is. After two years of dealing with her non-stop heartbreak and drama, I just can’t take it anymore. I desperately want to tell her that she needs to, in the short term anyway, “lower her aim.” The problem is, I’m a guy, and I’m afraid it will sound insulting no matter what I say. Is there any way to clue her in without losing her as a friend?
She Said: It sounds less like she has a problem with dating out of her league as she does falling for unavailable guys. There’s something about the unavailable guy (or girl)… The thrill of the chase, the fantasy of the conquest… There’s such a huge ego boost in getting attention from that special someone who can’t/doesn’t/won’t give you what you need. You’re like a starving man gobbling up crumbs. It feels good for a moment, but you’re still starving in the end.
This is crazily unhealthy! And you’re seeing it in front of your eyes. And that’s where you start with your friend. Tell her what you’re seeing, and how it makes you feel. Don’t make it about “leagues” or other outward values. Make it about the real issue, and that’s her interest in unavailable men. Ask her what makes her think she isn’t worthy of the real thing. Ask her why she thinks a guy’s looks are so important. Ask her if she feels like guys should feel the same way about women (but don’t make her feel ugly, just ask rhetorically, about all women), and if they only dated outwardly beautiful women what she would think of them. It’s no different if a woman is shallow than if a man is, but my gut feeling is that this is more of an intimacy issue than anything else.
He Said: I wish we had a bit more information here, because I love the topic of your question. People’s poor choices in dating is always a good place to start. But how are these guys out of your friend’s league? Are they too cool? Too rich? Too famous? Too attractive? These are really rhetorical questions, because there’s no such thing as someone being out of your league (unless… is your friend incredibly ugly and extremely mean?).
It’s cliche, but it’s true – beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. I’m no Brad Pitt, I’m not a millionaire, I ain’t a rocket scientist, and I don’t have a 12 inch penis. Still, I’ve always dated very beautiful women. For the most part, these women were all smart, successful, and very pretty (at least I thought so). How is this possible? How is this NOT possible?!? Your league is what you make it. Be kind, be confident, be enthusiastic, be perceptive, be open, be sincere – you’ll be doing just fine (in life and dating).
Now, if your friend is going after guys who make themselves unavailable or inaccessible, that’s something different. Or, if your friend has unrealistically high expectations of men in the dating world, then that’s something she needs to address. If you want to help her with her love life, remind her to go after dudes who are single (for starters), interested in her, treat people well, and are open to a relationship (or whatever your friend is looking for). Color me jaded, but I still think this is all a plot to limit her choices, until she has to date YOU!
Photo—Bossy businessman from Shutterstock