I was walking down the street the other day when I passed a 5-year-old who said, “Spring is when you fall in love! But all the cute boys aren't smart.”
She was walking hand-in-hand with her mother, who stared at her with a BURNING look of judgment on her face. The thing is, that little girl was right as anyone I've ever known. And though her mama didn't want to admit it, she totally knew it, too.
Since this past January, I've been dealing with three different kinds of dumb men. It's a shame that these men have been so uneducated about the things that matter and either too lazy or unwilling to educate themselves more. They were beautiful and charming as all hell. But so dumb.
Last week, I went on a date with a bartender. This boy was cute in a nerdy, "Game of Thrones" kind of way, and he was a great kisser -- I'm talking top five kisses I've ever had -- but we didn't have a thing to talk about. Aside from our affinity for cocktails, the only thing we had in common was each other.
Also, he was dumb AF. His lack of ability to keep up with me confirmed for me that there'd be no second date. (He didn't have any hobbies! You cannot trust a man who doesn't have hobbies.)
Before Peter-the-bartender*, there was Garrett-the-finance-guy*. Garrett was stupidly hot -- in an ex-college football player kind of way. But he, too, was dumb. I met him in a bar, and we really hit it off at first. Our tipsy banter was enough to fuel plans for two more dates, but I'd always show him up.
"I write about dating because it's abstract, but it's so interesting," I said over Thai food.
"Right," he said. "Abstract..."
He looked at me with curious, innocent eyes. It was how my nephew looks at my sister when he wants more food but doesn't know how to get it.
And before Garrett-the-finance-guy, there was Colin-the-Irishman*. He wasn't the dumbest person I've ever met, but he was very obviously on a different level than I was. I couldn't talk to him about my work, because it was over his head. He found it difficult to be ~deep~.
The guy was great with logistical stuff, but I'm not a logistical kind of gal. His emotional intelligence was lacking. But I felt an incredible draw towards him, his crude jokes and his bedroom prowess. We had the same lightheartedness ability to laugh things off. Oh, and his accent. Mmm, did it make him tasty.
I'd never thought about why I'm pretty much only attracted to dumb men. One of my readers suggested the world is simply too feebleminded for single, smart, sassy Sheena. I won't lie to you; I nodded along because that's what I wanted to hear. It confirmed the thoughts I've had about the world and all the pigheaded men in it all along.
But then, another one of my readers postulated a more plausible theory for why I date down:
The girl had a point, so I stood down. Why do I choose to spend my time with guys who get lost in our conversations? Why do I take up the cute, dumb ones on offers to drinks and dinner, but turn down the brainy ones I'm actually capable of being with on the real?
It's because I like to have the upper hand. I like being in control. Being queen of the duo makes me feel sexy. Having a man eat out of the palm of my hand because I outsmart him at every turn is thrilling.
Maybe it's a bit of a defense mechanism. I don't want to get hurt, and a dumb guy can hurt you in only so many ways. He can hurt you, but it's not in the same way a smart guy can. A smart guy can get you under his thumb and keep you there,because he understands your Achilles' heel. But a dumb guy won't leave a smart woman, because a smart woman always know what's good for him ... right? And even if he does, it isn't the biggest loss.
As for my need for control? I suppose that comes from feeling lack of control in other areas of life. Eating disordered people understand this way of thinking: I'm a restricted eater, but I'm a smart lover. I choose people who make me feel powerful.
Despite the sweet, naive nature of a dumb guy, a relationship simply can't work when there's a measurable intellectual disconnect. My hope is I'll naturally quit gravitating towards the dummies of the world once I've come into my own a bit more. Because when you truly know who you are, you don't feel a consuming desire to be with someone you feel you have to mommy. Mommying men isn't fun forever.
That's the thing about dumb guys. They're interesting only until you realize you want -- nay, NEED -- more. Maybe that's why dumb men exist: to serve as placeholders for smart women while they explore themselves to their own personal satisfaction. And I just figured out the other loophole of my diabolical, self-sabotaging plan: I don't feel ready for something real. And it's OK not to feel ready for something real.
Well, at least not yet. For now, I like 'em hot and dumb. What can I say? I'm just a confused 20-something trying on all the men in the world for size until one feels right. At least I'm self-aware.
*Names have been changed.