***This post was originally titled “Dating Theory” and was published in the Boston University Independent Newspaper The Daily Free Press. It was published on September 30, 2009 when the author Billy Kirland was a first semester junior. Billy couldn’t figure out girls back then and is still struggling now.***
Recently, my roommates and I debated the reasons girls are attracted to guys. One of my roommates argued that the only things girls are attracted to in a guy are power, money, and status. Needless to say, I started to cry a little during his brilliant dissertation. I wasn’t crying because he was particularly eloquent – I was crying because he made a lot of good points. As a guy missing all three of those key ingredients, the truths he offered were hard to swallow.
However, our profound debate got me thinking on a more broad level. First, it would be incorrect to say that girls are the only sex – granted, there are only two sexes unless you count that South African sprinter – who are attracted to shallow attributes in the opposite sex. Men are just as culpable – I don’t think any of us would swear off our families to be with Megan Fox because she’s a particularly good actress. We’re attracted to Megan Fox because she looks good running in slow motion on the big screen.
The question is if guys really only like Megan Fox and girls are only looking for power, money, and status, how can you ever really know if someone actually likes you? How can you know if you actually like someone? These are good questions that I’m not qualified to answer. But, as usual, I’ll take a stab at answering them anyway.
I don’t think we can come up with a clear set of reasons girls like guys or vice versa. If you think about it, it’s always been hard to explain. It’s been a hard thing to put a finger on since you were in third grade and the annoying friend of the girl you ‘liked’ asked you 20 questions in a failed attempt to figure out why you like her friend. The only reason you could come up with back then – that she smelled good and shared her Lunchables with you – might be the same reason you like a girl today. Is there anything wrong with that?
Liking someone – as in the ‘liking liking someone’ I mentioned last week –is in its very nature void of all logic. We can’t say that the only things girls like about guys are power and money or that the only things guys like about girls are their looks. That’s generalizing the ungeneralizable – yeah, I just made up a word. When you really like someone, you like stupid things about them for even stupider reasons. You can’t really like someone if all you see when you look at them are dollar bills and memberships to elite clubs. You also can’t say you truly like someone because they look good running in slow motion.
As I reread the previous paragraph, I notice my own hypocrisy. I can’t tell you the right reasons for liking someone. All I can say is that the only thing harder than explaining why girls like guys and guys like girls is trying to come up with a coherent column explaining this phenomenon. Next time, I’ll make sure my roommates and I argue about something funnier.
***You can find the original post here.***