Yesterday, I met one of my best girl friends for a happy hour. We had some serious catching up to do.
See, I'd recently gone on a couple of dates with her friend's friend. Not to be wifed up, but just for the hell of it.
I'm sad to say I wasn't exactly feeling this guy. He was a fun time, a handsome kid, the kind of guy most girls would be honored to take home to their parents. But for me, he was perhaps better off as a friend.
"Please don't drag me into a fourth date with him," I moaned to my girlfriend.
"Sheens," she said, rolling her eyes. "Stop throwing darts at this guy. I think he's really good for you, and I won't let you not see him again."
As I sipped my wine, I started to get angry. "But how do you know what's good for me?" I asked.
She was in an annoying, matter-of-fact mood. "Because I've been one of your best friends for eight years."
It's true. She does have that whole time and loyalty thing on her side, so it'd only make sense she thinks she knows what's best for me.
But this guy and I didn't mesh. I mean, we meshed, but in a Taylor Swift-meets-pop kind of way, not in a Kanye-meets-rap kind of way.
I wanted to be obsessed with him. Trust me, I did. Is there anything worse than not falling for a guy other girls tell you they wished they could be dating?
But alas, for reasons unbeknownst to me, I was indifferent to him. This is the kind of confusing phenomenon you just can't put into words.
I can always appreciate friends who intervene in my love life. Friends know your chores from your hobbies, your favorite foods from your least favorites. They know you.
Too many of us go on dates that other people believe will be best for us. And when we do, we often find ourselves questioning our half-hearted decisions down the road.
Romantic decisions are not to be taken lightly; they're arguably one of the most important decisions we make.
The specifics of why a guy doesn't work for you don't matter. The fact of the matter is, he doesn't work, and that's that. Only you know what kind of guy is good for you.
How do you know if a guy is good for you? It's just a voice inside you that tells you, "This is it."
It's a voice that can't be shut out by even the wisest stranger you meet or the person who's known you longer than anyone else. It's the only voice that matters, despite the people who matter to you telling you otherwise.
At the end of the day, you're the one going home with this guy who's supposedly "good for you" — not your friends, not your family, not an astrologist, not a dating expert.
But don't be salty to those people when they try to force you into something your heart isn't in. It isn't their fault.
Usually, they're imposing their ideas of who they believe is best for us because they're trying to look out for us. A guy who's "good for you," though, isn't a one-size-fits-all dimension.
No, falling in love doesn't work that way. Falling in love works the way my writer friend, Treez, says it does: "Don't listen to the people who tell you he's not worth loving unless he'll love you back. We love who we have to love because we can't help it..."
We can't help who feels good for us.
Dating is a lot like job hunting: You should never take a job just because it looks good on paper. You should never be with someone just because he looks good on paper.
Would you stick around at a job that sucks the soul out of you, just so you could say you worked there and it seems like a good career move? You could. No one's stopping you. In fact, in the professional world, they'd probably encourage you to do so.
But having that glitzy name on your resume will never be enough. Because as soon as you leave that distinguished corner office — the one that couldn't be farther from what you want, the one people have been telling you you should feel over-the-moon to have — you'll still feel a hole in your heart.
And that hole in your heart can only be filled by listening to the voice in your head.
I won't go on a fourth date with him. People keep telling me I should, but if I live life listening to "you should be with this guy" or "you should be with that guy," I may never fall in love.