I want to first say that I feel WAAAY better after my little ranting episode. I don't hate men, I love men. I was mostly angry at myself for letting someone be so disrespectful to me - I'd called the whole situation, and could have prevented it by simply canceling and never seeing the guy again. That's not a guy thing, that's a Casey-should-have-stuck-to-her-guns thing. So, apologies for the man-hating in the rant - sexism from either side is a no-go in my book.
I'd say that a lot of my anger came from fear, and that I haven't yet figured out the having-someone-love-me-back part. Actually, I haven't figured out the having-a-mutual-love-thingy-with-someone-I-think-is-awesome part. It's the awesome, you see, that gets me into trouble. I want awesome. I'm not talking perfect - fuck perfect. I want someone who is interesting to me, someone who is creating something great in their life. I'm really not into someone who has given up on being themselves - in a job they hate, in a life that's not theirs... do not want. Unfortunately, most of what is out there is not awesome, for me at least.
Going back to the fear for a moment: a lot of that comes from the fact that I know that I will pick single over not right, over boring, over unkind, over not awesome. I don't want to remain single, but I will fucking stay single if my only options are that and someone that I don't absolutely dig. And that scares the shit out of me. And I am confronted with that fear every time I put someone to the curb, because it reminds me how far I am from what I want.
Having said that, there are a few guys that I have been seeing, with varying degrees of seriousness. Most serious is N, a guy with many of the qualities I'm looking for - intelligence, humor, kindness, passion. He definitely makes me a priority, which feels pretty great. Unfortunately, I'm not super attracted to him. I suspect that if we'd met and gotten to know each other as friends (instead of on OKCupid), we'd be great friends where an attraction would build naturally. So, I'm hanging out with him to see if he grows on me.
This makes me wonder what standards I should set for myself as far as compromise is concerned. Should I consider seriously dating someone who would provide wonderful companionship, but with whom I don't have a lot of physical attraction? Should I hold off for being swept off my feet, or does that even really exist? At what point does loneliness outweigh the need to find that mythical unicorn, the perfect match? I have to get to sleep now, but will definitely be thinking about that over the next couple of days.
So, while I am feeling much better about myself and men, I think that balancing standards and natural attraction will be the theme of my dating life.