Monday, February 15, 2010

Ego Tripping

"...I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal I cannot be comprehended except by my permission..." - Nikki Giovanni, "Ego Tripping"

While my tastes in men have evolved since I started dating, one thing that has pretty much been consistent has been my preferences for men with a little bit of swagger. Simply put, I prefer men with an air of confidence and maybe, even just a touch of arrogance. Not dripping and overpowering, mind you. Just enough so that (1) he always projects a sense of strength to anyone he meets and (2) isn't intimidated by how challenging I may get or how strong-willed I am.

Anyway, the objects of my affection have embodied some semblance of this confidence in different ways. For example, I was infatuated with Vincent in high school because he was the coolest guy in my class: well-liked, popular and always dated upperclassmen. The thought of landing him was a catch in and of itself. And I was drawn to that allure and the confidence he projected.

Since then, most of the men in my life have been the same way, which was quite fine by me. However, I started to wonder that after spending some more time with Jackson this weekend.

As you may know, Jackson and I have been on a little bit of a spin the last couple of weeks. First, we had a great meeting and date... Then it ends rather quickly... And then we take another run at it. But now, it's a hung jury -- mainly because the quality I'd loved so much in past flames is... Well, a little overdeveloped in Jackson.

So, I made plans to see him on Friday night, which went well: really low key, nice glass of wine, good chatter and some warm comfort. In short, a lovely night between friends.

Anyway, after falling asleep, I woke up the next morning happy with the night before. So, when we started talking about dating and hook-ups, Jackson made it a point to say that for some reason, women have never been able to just "hook-up" with him. Somehow, attachment always gets in the way (mentally and emotionally), and that he manages to establish a strong physical connection with women, even if his "performance" is sub-par. In short, he's just good at being him...

Now, I could appreciate confidence in what you bring to the table -- physically or otherwise. However, his tone and arrogance had instantly turned me off, making me much less attracted to him in a matter of moments. I suddenly felt like he'd reduced our connection to this one-sided thing in which I would helplessly be fawning all over him. And while I had indeed been swept away in our meeting and initial encounters, in my mind, it was directly connected to the vibe I was feeling between us -- not because of a magical spell I was under.

I don't think I misunderstood what he was trying to say. But, I admit that it actually disappointed me and to some extent made me a bit self-conscious about us. And I'm thinking that's not so good...

I mean, what could explain why he'd feel the need to say that? Now that's the part that's tripping me out...


  1. Maybe he was just setting up the fact that he doesn't want to get emotionally involved. He's just afraid to tell you that directly, which makes me question his confidence. Anyway, do you want to just hook up with him, or do you want a relationship?

  2. OK, so truthfully? When I met him, I had no idea. Really. I'd been holding out for someone else and there were a lot of things going on... Then, after our first date, I saw the potential. He was being super sweet, romantic and it was clear there was physical chemistry. I mean heck, even he seemed taken aback by it -- or so he led me to believe. But then after the girl before me came back into the mix, I opted to just have fun with it. I mean, I did him cute and it still seemed like there was possibility for a great time if nothing else. But, the way we left things -- and how cocky he seemed just threw me off. It was like hot to lukewarm in a matter of moments. And, it made me wonder what happened.

  3. Another title for this might be "Getting what you like and not liking it!". You like swagger and confidence, so don't be too put off with the ways your "likes" may manifest themselves. Instead articulate better for yourself what desirable characteristics look like and maybe what other characteristics should be on board to temper said characteristic. Say, "knowing what to say and how".

    Personally, I'm a strong willed, intelligent and wildly me cat, so I always said I like a good "B" (don't ask) by my side. What I really wanted was a girl with her own opinions and mind and also willing to be open and honest about her feelings for me (rare). This was in response to girls I'd been interested in who gave no signals whatsoever and then when I'm with another girl I get the "How come we never hooked up..." or "I was so in love with you.." with me thinking "B. when" LOL. What I ended up with was "B"s of all types from selfish and/or trifling to simple and unrelenting. You can't really fault a 'ride or die B' for picking fights in restaurants or church can you? No event too sacred and nobody off limits, right! Eventually I learned that a women doesn't have to be a "B" to have the qualities necessary to be my equal.

    Ultimately, what's behind the swagger isn't always what you think. You may also find that for what you're looking for, swagger doesn't always have to be on board. You shouldn't hold this against him either. Kelly makes a great point too. Arrogance not dripping or overpowering...what are you proposing arrogance done right! Oh, the good arrogance. My appologies.

  4. Preternatural: Definitely appreciate your insight! To that point, things were actually fine before the conversation transpired. My concern here was not just his confidence, but instead how we went from him deciding that we worked well together to reducing what happened between us to his effect on women. That's when I felt confidence was magnified in a way that's unnecessary.

    So yes, I appreciate confidence -- but more so of his way with the world -- not with the way he sees me. That's different, I'd say.