I recently received this letter from one of my readers:
I haven’t had much success with men and, the majority of the time, I thought it was them. Granted, there were several men who were legitimate assholes that deserved to be dismissed. However, there were definitely some men that had me wondering why they lost interest so abruptly when I thought everything was going along smoothly. Then it dawned on me last night when I had my latest ‘crash and burn’ conversation with a man that I’ve been talking to for 3 weeks. The reason why men don’t like me is because I’m boring! All this time I thought it was because I wasn’t a slender woman, but that’s not it at all because I can definitely attract some men. No, it’s the fact that I’m absolutely boring!
It’s not that I’m socially awkward; rather, I just don’t have 20,000 hobbies to entertain myself with in order to have something to discuss. I don’t like lying on my dating profile about what I do in my free time. The truth of the matter is that I’m too damn tired half the time and I like to veg out in front of the T.V. or just surf the net in my free time. What’s wrong with that?
I just wish people would realize that just because a person doesn’t have a 1001 hobbies and social activities scheduled on their calendar, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with that person. What’s wrong with just wanting to chill at home during your free time? Some of us prefer it that way, but hate being single because of it.
Oh, there is so much here to cover, but first, let’s address the idea of men not liking you because you’re boring. Forgive me, because I’m a jaded bitch these days, but many men will find you fascinating if you spread your legs, and maybe their boredom came from the fact that you weren’t doing that quickly enough. And if that’s what is happening, consider yourself spared — and I hope they didn’t slam the door on their way out.
Of course, in a less jaded mode, my answer might be the more politically correct response that you just haven’t found your match yet. I’ve met men who have bored me to tears — and some other girl inexplicably finds them fascinating. And I’ve had men reject me who go on to fall in love with women I find as boring as a box of rocks. Boring, like hotness, is subjective. What works for you won’t work for someone else, and vice versa.
Also, to be honest, I don’t want to date someone with 1001 hobbies and social activities because they’re annoying. You know why they’re annoying? Because there is no room in their life for you. I appreciate that dating someone with an active and fulfilling life can be intoxicating and enthralling, but like with everything, moderation rules. There are few things as unsexy as trying to make plans with someone and them telling you that they can squeeze you in for coffee three Thursdays from now.
And, people who are that busy are, actually, usually boring. That’s why they have to fill their lives with so much stuff. Because they can’t handle being alone with themselves. (They would die of boredom.)
In my impression, most people over the age of twenty-five (definitely over the age of thirty) like to chill out at home in front the tv or the internet, and this does not make them boring (well, maybe a little). But what it does make them is normal.
The issue, above all, it seems to me, is what you have to say when you’re out in public. Do you really feel like you have nothing to say? If all this tv watching time is rotting your brain, then try watching tv a little more actively. Get invested in your shows. Because, let me tell you, few things will get me more passionate than talking about my tv shows. I mean, they’re awesome. And if you watch the same shows I do? Oh my god, so fun. We can talk about it all night.
And what are you looking at on the internet? Are you reading articles on The Atlantic or The Daily Beast or The New Yorker? Because there are tons of great conversation topics out there. And if you want to combine your tv with your news, watch The Daily Show. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve mentioned a Jon Stewart skit in conversation.
But remember this: you aren’t watching these shows or reading these publications because you’re trying to make yourself more interesting. You are doing it because it feeds your brain and because it gives you fun stuff to talk about at parties. For someone socially awkward like myself, they can be gold mines of anecdotes and witty commentary. So watch them and enjoy them, but do it for YOU.
To get back to an optimistic Hallmark moment, the right person won’t find you boring. And they definitely won’t find you boring because you watch tv. In fact, they will enjoy talking to you about the shows you watch. They may even enjoy watching them with you.
(A brief aside: I watch a lot of tv. I have always watched my shows alone, on my laptop, because I’ve been single for a million years. However, I recently bought a television set. Like, a real television set. Because watching shows on a laptop sucks for two people. And you know what I love even more than watching tv? Watching tv with someone else, someone with whom you can get all intertwined and gossipy, someone who loves the same shows that you do, someone who is going to get as excited as me about a new episode of Scandal. Now that is domestic bliss.)
If a guy is being a jerk to you, if he’s not taking the time to get to know you, to discover what makes you interesting, or if he just doesn’t find you interesting, then he’s not for you. Don’t change yourself for him. Don’t change yourself for some hypothetical person and some hypothetical relationship. Be the person you enjoy being and one day someone will come along and enjoy you.