We need to talk.
I had the strangest case of déjà vu last week.
It started when I was doing homework at the library - by which I mean perusing my GQ with my psych textbook open in front of me. I was in the middle of wondering for the 763rd time how they get away with calling themselves a straight men’s magazine when Jennifer scurried in with a mischievous smile.
“Oh God,” she sighed. “Have you seen that transfer student, Derek? He’s more delicious than a bacon cheeseburger wrapped in marshmallows and sex.” She took a moment to shiver with delight before continuing. “Since so many girls are throwing themselves at him now, I think I’m just going to buddy up to him and lay the foundation for a future hookup.”
I nodded absently and went back to reading my fashion tips for the fall. Later, as Lisa and I were having a cup of coffee in the courtyard, I had a strange sense I was experiencing the same moment.
“Sidenote: have you seen that transfer student, Derek? God, he’s hotter than a blue flame covered is Sriracha.” A tremor swept through her entire body before she continued. “Since so many girls are throwing themselves at him now, I’m just going to be friendly, offer to show him around campus. That’ll lay a good foundation for something in the future.”
I was about to respond when I felt a vibration in my pocket and found a text from you.
Sent 9/15/10 at 2:47pm
Btw, transfr studnt = sexier than 100 male stripprs in a nakd pile.
My phone vibrated again.
Sent 9/15/10 at 2:48pm
Everyone’s tryna holla, so imma be chill and make my move lata.
I was beginning to see a pattern. I was beginning to see a danger. I was beginning to see that you have a weird ghetto accent in texts.
Well, here’s the dillio.
You might find yourself interested in a guy who is, for some reason or another, out of your reach. It is important that you identify these situations so that you can save some time and effort, and possibly even heartbreak as well.
In these cases, it’s not giving up to concede defeat and move on to other prospects; it’s just good sense. Here are five situations when it’s best to stop the chase and sit out of the race.
1. He’s a hot commodity.
“Derek” is a waste of your time, and not just because of all the bitches you’ll have to beat out of your way if you even want to get close to him.
You see, guys like “Derek” have gotten used to attention from members of the opposite sex, and as a result they generally don’t appreciate it too much. A normal guy will at least be flattered if he finds out you’re interested – he’ll give you a little more consideration and maybe spend a little more time trying to picture how you look in a leather catsuit. A “Derek” is so accustomed to the attention that he might not even look twice unless you approach him wearing a leather catsuit and looking damn fine.
Some girls may find this enticing; after all, getting any guy from your college’s “Most Wanted” list would be a status symbol to the lucky girl. Like a Cartier watch or an Hermes bag, but much cheaper and not as versatile when matching with your wardrobe. But just remember that a man who doesn’t appreciate you from the start probably won’t ever appreciate you.
Also remember that leather catsuits are really uncomfortable.
2. He’s hung up.
One of the reasons it’s bad to pursue a guy like Derek is that you’ll be competing against a slew of other chicks for his affections. On other occasions, you’ll find that you’re competing against only one girl, but with a slight hitch - this girl has already won.
You can usually tell if he’s hung up on his ex if you look for the signs: He brings her up in casual conversation; his friends tell you about how inconsolable he was when she dumped him last month; he swears he’s over her, but writes ultra-emo poetry about a “Raven-haired siren.”
He might even show interest in you, but if he’s still hung up on an ex, there’s really nothing that can be done. It just takes time.
Try not to get involved with a man who’s carrying a torch for an ex. Fire is dangerous. It burns and stuff.
3. He’s a little boy.
Some men aren’t ready because they’re still reeling from a past relationship. Others just aren’t ready.
Not all guys have reached that level of maturity by the time they get to college. A guy, or, rather, boy, like this has never truly considered what it would be like to be part of a real relationship with another person. The thought terrifies him too much. He’d rather play Halo at the moment.
This usually stems from an unresolved fear of the opposite sex. There’s still a small part of him that worries he might catch cooties from a girl; sure they’re fine in small doses of making out and hooking up, but any long-term exposure could get dangerous. Spend a lot of time with a girl one-on-one and a guy could start experiencing strange symptoms like severe loss of bro-time and overuse of the word “baby.”
You can’t catch a boy who doesn’t want to catch you. Or your cooties.
4. He’s a Greek myth.
In Greek Lore, Narcissus was a young man who was so proud and self-centered that he scorned all women who tried to love him. In the end, Narcissus starved to death, having fallen so deeply in love with his own reflection that he refused to leave it, even to get food.
If you think a myth like this doesn’t apply to real life, then you obviously haven’t seen the way the Situation admires his abs in the mirror.
Sadly, college campuses are often populated by men who love themselves far more than they could ever love a woman. These are the men who spend half of the four years at the gym, who worry more about their reputation than your happiness, and who tend to laugh at their own jokes more than anyone else does.
You probably won’t be able to grab this guy’s attention for long enough to work your way into his heart. And if ever you do, it’s only a matter of time before you find an empty condom wrapper lying next to the mirror. Best you move along before you get to this point.
5. He’s a eunuch.
In your life, you must have known at least a couple of guys like this - a guy who’s cute, who’s personable, who’s thoughtful...and who shows absolutely no interest in dating or hooking up. These are men that I like to call eunuchs; it seems so odd to imagine them in a romantic context that they might as well be dick-less.
A eunuch is not a man that you want to pursue, and not just because there’s a danger he may actually have lost the family jewels. In my experience, a man is a eunuch for one of three reasons: 1) He’s socially awkward, and to relieve his anxiety about the opposite sex he simply pretends they don’t exist; 2) His strict, religious parents shamed his penis into hiding, and it will only come out once the certificate is signed on his arranged marriage; 3) He’s killing time until he comes out of the closet.
If you ask me, none of these options sound too appealing. But if it does turn out to be the third, please do me the favor of giving me a heads up.
In the end, we all love a good chase. The men that fall into our lap don’t give us that same sense of accomplishment as the ones that we have to be a little crafty to secure. But some chases will never really end, and you’ll just find yourself out of breath.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save that energy for something a little more fun.