Something I’ve discovered from not looking is that I’ve become objective about the men I see, meet and talk to in a way I never was when I was actively looking. But this change – from partisan participant to independent observer – is a true double-edged sword.
On one edge, I no longer see potential in just anyone; there has to be something quite compelling about a man. And for me, compelling means much more than looks now that the visual element has been downgraded. He has to be interesting and outgoing and smart and funny – in essence, he has to have a personality. This edge of the sword is the good one; it’s saving me from wasting my time on beautiful unsuitables.
But on the other edge, I no longer see potential in anyone at all. Because I have to wait to be drawn into eye contact or invited into conversation, it’s down to men to catch my attention. Their personalities aren’t brought into relief by my expectation, flirtation or flattery; they have to do it themselves. And so far, none of them has managed.
No men I’ve met since I’ve stopped looking have seemed to have much depth to them. As I said before, in general they now seem a bit two-dimensional. Scathing I know, but someone has to be pretty special (not in a window-licking way) to pique my interest. Needless to say, this edge of the sword is the bad one; it’s making me bored.
Perhaps it was always a case of two dimensions, even before this not-looking experiment started, but I was looking too hard to notice. Perhaps it was only my initiation, input or investment into someone that highlighted their depth, facets and colour, and generated a genuine interest in me. To put it simply, I am their third dimension.
My own personality – the things I say, the jokes I make, the eyelashes I bat – is what brings someone else’s personality to the fore. It makes sense really. It could well apply to friendships too. If I made no effort to spark up conversations, engage the other person, entertain them, make them enjoy talking to me, I wouldn’t like the people I like and have the friends I have.
If we find matches in friendship like that, surely we find matches in love like that too. And does that maybe say that not looking is not going to work?