20(-Something) and Single: Young Men Navigating the Dangerous Waters of Modern Dating

While I was still single, I had both celebrated and despised my status. I had seen all my friends – ok, probably a good 90% of them – getting into serious relationships and felt like the Only (Single) Girl in the World (take a guess; it wasn’t very Rihanna-like).

The official single guy, Barney Stinson.
However, I was only thinking of my girlfriends. What about the guys? To be brutally honest, till recently I’ve been having mostly same sex friends. Even though I would hang out with guys in high school, it was mostly because we belonger to the same clique (:group of friends). It wasn’t until university that I actually had to sit down and have one-to-one conversations with men.

Here’s where it gets interesting: They can be as single and happy or as single and sad as we do, ladies. Sometimes I find discussing with men about their single status more fascinating than with women. Why? They simply have a different perception of things.
What follows is my attempt to “categorize” my single male friends:

The Classy One
Here comes a man with fine taste: He’s eclectic and sophisticated; he’ll open the door for you, take your coat, spoil you, take you to the opera, and talk to you about his travels around the world. He also happens to know the best places to do anything. He likes to plan his dates with a meticulousness that would put even a heart surgeon to shame, reaching a level of obsession. Please don’t take it wrong, deep down he’s as anxious as you do and he’s just trying to do his best to impress you

The One Who Likes to Date Younger Girls
Actually there’s not only one, they are many! According to them, 20-something women are overly emotional. Wait a minute, that was the euphemism I invented for their saying “batshit crazy”. Younger girls – yep, high school girls – are “easier to impress and to have around”. This kind of men might be the sloth-iest to be found, but, nevertheless, their student status, apparently cool attitude and party hard lifestyle seem to attract younger girls like a magnet. Of course they’d never admit that I’m probably right when I say that the “batship craziness” of 20-something girls might sometimes be the result of some 20-something university student with lots of free time and car messing around with their heart when they were only 16, but that is another story.

The Friendzoned
We’ve all known a guy like that; the one who tells the funniest jokes, wears sensible shoes and is actually a decent listener – for a guy, at least. He’s also the one who would hand you the box of tissues after a painful break-up, make silly faces for your Instagram photos and allow you to tag him in ridiculous Facebook check-ins – when picking up frozen yoghurt it’s not that necessary. You “looooove” him, but wouldn’t really consider dating him; he feels more like a brother to you that like a potential love interest. And it’s contagious; it seems like every single girl that gets to know him only sees him in this way.
The One Who Doesn’t Know He’s in a Relationship
Let me rephrase it: The One Who Doesn’t Know He’s Dating Someone and Things Are Getting Serious. He thinks he’s still single, but he’s the only one thinking so. The rest of us can recognize the signs of casual dating slowly progressing into a relationship. It is a typical characteristic of the typical guy fear of settling down and being exclusive.

The Womanizer
This word doesn’t necessarily imply that this man engages in coitus with multiple ladies. For me, it refers mostly to someone who is a huge FLIRT. There, I said it. If walls had ears, he would probably flirt with them as well! He is good looking, charming even, outgoing and – unfortunately – well aware of it. Every girl that has him as a friend knows she s-h-o-u-l-d-n’-t even consider him in some other, non-friendly way. I think that he is most often than not the type of guy most women decide to date in order to “change” him, convert him from a shameless flirt to a serious and most importantly monogamous guy. This plan does not usually work causing more tales of change and desperation.

The One Who Is Too Busy For All That
Hmm, well this one is kind of rare. Once upon a time, there was a prince so engrossed in his studies/work/Game of Thrones/music/other field of interest that he forgot that there was a princess waiting for him to rescue her. Now she is probably too old – if not dead – or dating some other mythical creature. And he only recalls his single status when he is slightly intoxicated due to alcohol abuse, stating with bitterness that he is and will always remain hopelessly single and ignored from all female creatures.

The One Who Just Got Out of a Serious Relationship
Remember that box of tissues I mentioned above? There is a chance you are going to need it. This guy, the last in my list, has just gone through a very painful break-up. Therefore, he is tossed once again, this time against his will, in the dark dangerous waters of modern dating, in which he might or might not be ready (yet) to swim. In the second case, he will probably go through many phases and many of them will not be pretty. He will be depressed and obnoxious; have one night stands and then regret it; go through his whole booty call list and regret this as well. Have classy dates like the guy of the first category. Have flings with younger girls, pissing of the guys of the second category. Get friendzoned or turn into a womanizer. Try to keep himself busy with work, sports, friends, trips, knitting, feeding cats, Ben & Jerry’s and alcohol. He will recall things about his ex in unfortunate moments and drunk text her in even more unfortunate ones. If you happen to be a witness of all these, stick around and show sympathy, he is after all your friend and needs your help now more than ever.

Have you met or been friend with any of these guys? Would like to mention another “category”? I’d love to read your comments!

Un beso enorme,

F.

PS: Facebook anyone? Tweet me maybe?

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4 Comments

  1. Cool post. 🙂
    As always, you did a good job in "categorising" 😉
    I have met and been friends with quite some guys that match your categories.
    Honestly cannot stand the ones dating younger girls. Sure there is nothing wrong with an age difference if it just happens to be… but the ones dating younger girls because they are "less difficult" I just hate. I blame it on their lack of maturity. If you cannot handle a woman your age, you are probably not mature enough for a serious relationship anyway.
    Also met (and have to say, for a long time been friends with) the Womanizer. I have to admit I like a guy with good confidence, who knows his effect on women and loves to compliment and flirt with any woman around. Having the Womanizer as a good friend (and always knowing that there will never be more, on both sides) can actually boost your own confidence from time to time. He knows when to give out a nice compliment 😉
    As long as they do not take it to far and evolve into some kind of Casanova 😛 From this point on, they are just annoying.
    Admittedly, I have never really met the classy one, or to be honest I think the ones I have met are all gay. Maybe that is their thing? 😛
    But most of all I have spent my time with the Friendzoned ones. And I have to say they are usually the ones deserving a serious relationship the most. Because to end up in a friendzone, you have to be perfect boyfriend material. They are the ones that set the standards, fall in love with their best friends and then watch them run into the arms of yet another jerk…
    A long time ago (think it was still high school times) I read a great text, which I just link here. It is a tribute to the nice guys.
    http://forums.school-survival.net/showthread.php?tid=12333

    Waiting for more great posts as usual 😉

  2. Hahaha, I love "because to end up in a friendzone, you have to be perfect boyfriend material", got to show it to one of my guy friends who recently got out of a big relationship and ever since thinks that no girl is going to look at him as more as a friend! I really enjoyed the text you sent me, I could easily copy-paste it straight away into my "friendzoned" paragraph, but that would be plagiarism. 😛

    As far as the classy one is concerned, they are quite rare, I've met one or two and most people thought that one of them was gay. Questions about his sexuality came up so often, it got really annoying. Has fine taste and an affiliation for theater and the arts become synonyms for homosexuality? :/

    Last night, after I published this post, several guy friends (as well as my boyfriend) messaged me full of curiosity, asking in which category they might fall into. Truth be told, every guy has some characteristics of all the categories above. No matter how much I love categorizing, no one can really be that one-sided!

    Looking forward to reading more of your insightful comments!
    xoxo
    F.

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