Is It Really All About the Abs?


It’s absolutely pathetic how shallow most guys are, myself included. Since I turned fifteen, I almost haven’t thought about anything other than eating, exercising, and sex; and not in that order. I somehow managed to pause that part of my life and write The Long Road North. It took me two years, but the fact I could focus on something above the waist for that long filled my inner spirits with pride.

For all intents and purposes, I spend virtually all my free time thinking of ways I can get laid or find a girlfriend. I don’t know why that is. I don’t make the conscious decision to force my brain to think of these things. It just happens.

You ever been on a date, and then like five minutes in you can already tell that you and the other person are never going to see each other once you walk out of that coffee shop or bar? It seems like I’ve been on a lot of those dates recently. Some of that is pure circumstantial, the byproduct of a numbers game where the more people I meet, the more people I will evidently not like. But some of that comes down to there aren’t many people who share the same ideologies as I; and there are even fewer where a mutual attraction is evident.

The problem with this is not the wasted money or time, but the emotional letdown I receive. I’m a hopeless romantic, but not hopeless enough to think every date will lead to I do’s. On these five minute disasters. I get three minutes in and am already debating how to bring up the topic of sex, even though I have no emotional interest in the other person. But physically, my mind races regarding the possibilities, shaping how having sex with this person would feel. It’s like a part of my brain gets a rush out of imagining how I’d feel after having sex with someone I don’t like. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck sprout up, and I can feel my body shake, like human nature has control of me and won’t let go. It’s kind of a cool feeling, the fact that this natural chemical in my brain is clouding my judgment and pulling me in one direction. Anyone can get drunk or do drugs and lose control, but when this takeover comes from within, that’s when I feel truly alive.

I have been thinking a lot about women want, especially at my age. I go out with older and younger women, mostly on account of the fact that I try not to turn down potential opportunities to meet someone unique. I prefer older women, mostly because they are more serious and have their lives somewhat together. Older women are typically more honest and know what they want. There is nothing more ho-hum than hearing someone say “I’m just seeing where things go.” It’s not so much the sentiment as much as how it is delivered. It’s usually uttered in an indifferent tone, her eyes breaking contact with mine and finding some obscure photo on the wall, or anything that diverts both her attention and gaze away from me.

Besides the clichéd “being myself,” I don’t know what I should do to become more appealing to women. A lot seem to have this archetype built in their head, and if I don’t check all the boxes, I might as well stop trying. I think of many presumed favorable aesthetics in a guy, like tall, smart, funny, handsome, etc. But I don’t know if that’s really what women want. “I like a guy with a gut,” one woman said to me a while back. “Then I can put my head on it,” she said so resoundingly. I couldn’t help but chuckle, mostly at her statement, but also at myself, because I’ve spent the last half-decade trying to carve out the perfect, six-figured stomach. I used to think that this physical development coincided with a change in my dating fortunes. As time has elapsed, I have learned that simply isn’t the case.

When I was growing up, I loved watching sports and action movies. The guys in these mediums always had six percent body fat, chiseled cores, and most importantly, the gaze of the best looking women. But I didn’t know anything about who they were as people. Were they fun to talk to? Did people gravitate toward their personality? I’ve spent the last couple years trying to distance myself from most guys. I didn’t want to be that guy who couldn’t talk about his feelings or show vulnerability. I’m far from perfect, so the idea that I’d try to create an image where I was seemed exhausting. Women slowly appreciated this fact because I was indeed different from the Fireball-slamming, inexpressive brutes they were undoubtedly accustomed to dating.

But recently I’ve hit a point where perhaps I’m too demonstrative and transparent. It’s like the normative has shifted and now I’m the one pleading for explanation and insight. “I don’t like explaining myself,” another woman said to me. And when I kept hearing that, I realized that all the time I spent trying to be different from guys wasn’t that at all. I was trying to be different from everyone.

People don’t want to have weaknesses. Moreover, they don’t want others to know their deficiencies. That book I mentioned earlier, The Long Road North, is basically my insecurities and life experiences on paper. And once again, many people gravitate toward that raw honesty. Perhaps unfortunately, these are people from all over the world that took the time to read my story, most of whom I will never meet. Consequently, the only gratification I will get from these seemingly like-minded people comes in the form of snail mail or Facebook messages. And so the search for those like me continues on.

I have to end this post the same way it began: full transparency. I think it’s because of the weather shift, and the thought of going through another winter alone again, but I want a quote unquote girlfriend. I want someone who will bang my brains out every night. I want someone who can spell and use proper grammar. I want someone who can appreciate me for more than just vanity. And no, you don’t have to commit yourself to me for the rest of your life; even that sounds a bit much. You just have to be honest with me. I want all this, and I don’t want to apologize for that.


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