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what does love feel like? what should you feel for somebody if you've just started dating them? you don't love somebody that you want to date, right? are you automatically physically attracted to a person that you want to date, or do you grow into that, just like you grow into loving them? can it differ, like it's entirely possible to date somebody where the physical attraction was immediate, but it's also possible to date somebody who you weren't initially attracted to, but as you got to know them, you found yourself feeling attracted to them?

because here's my trouble. i'll write about jen later, but i'm 99% sure she wants to date me... and i like her. but i just don't know if i like her in a dating way... and i just get so mixed up... because what the hell is 'a dating way' to like somebody? i mean, i dated t4 and i didn't like her in a dating way, and that ended, because i didn't like her in the dating way. i dated pinky for about 2.5 seconds, and that ended... well, it ended because i went insane, but i never felt like i liked her in the dating way, either. but then sometimes i wonder if it's always possible for you to know that you don't like somebody in a dating way without having dated them... like maybe if i t4 lived here, and i had given it a while, it would have worked. or maybe if i hadn't gone crazy, and had kept trying to date pinky, that would have worked. i mean, i didn't like marie until she flirted with me...

but i guess when i think of people like marie, i'm just tripping myself up... marie was a million different things, over the course of 3 years, but i'm not trying to date any of the people that i've known for 3 years or more. i'm trying to date somebody new... so assuming that i'm going to date somebody i just met, i guess i have 3 options. for examples, let's pick 3 girls that i just met, one from each category.

missy is hot, and she is nice to me. i am in awe of her and i find myself acting like a 2-year-old around her, which always gets a reaction from her, like a smile that tells me you're so cute. i love the feeling it gives me when she smiles at me like that... and i am intrigued by her. i want to find out everything there is to know about her, but i don't necessarily want to do it by having conversations with her (although i'm not opposed to that idea). being around her just makes me want to listen to her, so any time she walks by me, i pay close attention to the way she looks and the way she smells and where she's looking and what she's saying to who. (basically, she brings out the child and the stalker in me.) but i'm not attracted to her, in the sense that i can imagine myself having sex with her, or kissing her, or anything like that.

holly is HOT. for all practical purposes, i know nothing about her personality, but i still think she is sexy... i have to work to keep myself from staring at her ass, when she walks by me... and i can easily imagine myself getting it on with her... i don't mean to say that i daydream about having sex with holly, because i honestly don't. it feels wrong, seeing how i hardly know her. but there's no doubt in my mind that if she came up to me tomorrow and said, 'i'm attracted to you. let's date,' i would have no trouble having sex with her. but there's nothing particularly intriguing about holly. if, for some reason, she did want to date me, that alone would make her intriguing, but right now, she's just another straight abercrombie girl with a really nice body.

jen is nice. i think we have a lot in common, but enough differences to keep things interesting. there are minor things about her that make me wonder if we could really make a good couple, but they're minor enough that if i really liked her, they wouldn't get in the way. but don't feel like i really like her. for one thing, i'm just not attracted to her... we slept in the same bed last night, and it didn't affect me in the least. i may as well have been sleeping with her pet dog... and when i started to feel like our 'hanging out' was turning into a date, just to test myself, i tried to imagine kissing her. i couldn't imagine that it would be particularly thrilling... i mean, she's not ugly. if you ask me for a description of her, i'd tell you she's cute, and i'd mean it... but i just don't feel any physical attraction... and i don't really feel intrigued by her, not like i do with missy... i'm comfortable talking to her, but it's so comfortable that it sometimes gets boring... it just doesn't seem like there's any spark...

i know that realistically, the only one i have a chance with is jen. but because i'm trying to figure out how dating should work, let's just imagine that all 3 of these girls came up to me tomorrow, and asked me to date them. assuming that i had to pick one, which one should i pick?


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here's my 10 cents, my 2 cents are free

I obviously know squat about dating...so I was going to refrain from commenting at all, but unavoidably the topic was in my head and I kept thinking about it...at first I didn't really get it at all, because I didn't really see how someone could not know if they liked someone...I mean, from my own personal experience, I've liked people for the wrong reasons before, just because I was mistaken about who they really were, so I was really liking an illusion and not them, but as far as my feelings, I at least knew that what I felt was liking, even though it was misguided, you know? But upon further thought, I realized that I just really didn't know these people that well at all, and if you were a little more prudent than I am about jumping to conclusions, I can see how that might lead to an unsure state rather than a liking state, which is probably a good thing. For example, one time I liked a girl that used to be in gsg just because she was cute and had cute mannerisms, but then upon actually talking to her and getting to know her personality I realized that she was really not the type of person I would ever even consider dating. Of course I had already spent a few months before then convinced I liked her, which was only because I didn't know her. Of course it was just as likely that her personality could have been perfect for all I knew...that's the kind of process I would see at work for the situations of Holly and maybe even Missy. You obviously are basing your judgments on fairly superficial impressions, so deciding based on that information if you actually wanted a serious relationship with them would really be a crapshoot. (This is assuming that by "dating" you are talking about at least a semi-serious relationship, as opposed to just getting some action #16 style, in which case knowing Holly was hot would be the only qualifications you would need...)
So, I think I would agree with the idea that you have to get to know someone at least somewhat, be friends or whatever, before you even consider dating them, unless you just want to go on a lot of blind dates or go into it for the action and end up like that "morning after" show on MTV...good for viewing amusement, but I doubt many of those people actually build a serious relationship out of it...
That being said though, what about the opposite case where you like someone as a friend but don't feel particularly attracted to them, more like the jen thing? Once again, I am not qualified to know about any of this, but I feel like you have to have at least some physical attraction, otherwise why not just be friends? I think if you like the person's personality but aren't attracted to them physically, it's much better than the opposite way of just getting it on for the sake of getting it on, but in this case you'd sort of run the risk of ending up like Jessica Stein, and having to get drunk every time you make out with your girlfriend. As far as it growing though, I really have no idea if this happens or not. I feel like if you're completely physically repulsed by someone, it's unlikely that you'll later decide they're hot and irresistible, but I don't think that's what you are talking about. I guess maybe some of it sort of depends how much weight you base on physical attraction in a relationship, vs. just having someone you like hanging out with and being around. Maybe some people might not have as much of a problem being in a relationship where they were practically just like best friends, whereas others might start getting antsy really quickly if it didn't live up to their standards of hot and heavy.

Re: here's my 10 cents, my 2 cents are free

hmmm... ok, first, my problem isn't that i don't know if i like her. i know that i like her (as a friend) and i know that i don't like her as anything more. my problem is that i don't know if that is something that could change. it's a lot like how you can like an illusion, but stop liking her once you realize she's not what you thought she was... only i'm thinking that i can not like somebody for the illusion i've created to fill in the parts i don't know, but once the actual person fills them in, i will like her. or once she does the 3 days of being touchy-feely with me. or once she shoves dog food in my mouth a few times...
so i know that falling for marie was the wrong thing to do, and that i shouldn't have let the touchy-feely thing, or the dog food thing, change my mind about her. but i'm not convinced that, just because letting her change my first impression of her was wrong, means that changing my first impression of anybody would be wrong. i don't feel that *zing* with jen, but i'm pretty sure that, by behaving similar to the way that marie behaved, she could create that feeling... and once you're in a relationship and the *zing* is there, is an artificially created *zing* any better or worse than a naturally occurring one?

ok, the part about #16 made me laugh out loud, but yes, i mean dating, like a semi-serious relationship... i am not #16 (nothing against her though, since she said you had weggies in the bag!)

I feel like if you're completely physically repulsed by someone, it's unlikely that you'll later decide they're hot and irresistible...
i hate to keep bringing this up, but have you forgotten marie already? i was replused by her... and within a few months, i was dying to have sex with her. maybe it's unlikely for a normal person, but for me, it doesn't seem to be that unusual...

i don't really know. i just feel like i'm at a huge disadvantage here, because i cannot say for sure that i do or do not want to date anybody... most people can just say, 'oh, she's my friend, i could never date her,' or, 'oh, i could never see her like that...' but for me, it's more like, 'well, i don't think i could date her, but maybe i could, if...' or, 'i could probably not see her like that, unless...'
so maybe i should just go with my initial impression, and forget all the second-guessing and thinking and all that... but what if i'm passing up on my soulmate because i haven't given her a chance because she doesn't look the way i expected her to, or because she has a few minor character traits that make me squeamish?

Re: here's my 10 cents, my 2 cents are free

but what if i'm passing up on my soulmate because i haven't given her a chance because she doesn't look the way i expected her to, or because she has a few minor character traits that make me squeamish?

Okay well yes it always is a good idea to try not to be too superficial, but keep in mind that you have to draw the line somewhere...I mean if you really keep thinking like that, you'd end up having to date every single person in the world because what if you pass up your soulmate because he's an 80 year old frenchman, or because she's a murderer in jail, or because she's 20 years younger than you and still a baby right now? I mean, there's millions and millions and millions of people in the world, and you're going to pass most of them up, no way around it.

And yes, your feelings did change about marie. But she didn't exactly end up being your soulmate anyway, did she?
I'm not necessarily saying someone can't pleasantly surprise you and make your feelings change in a truly healthy way, but I would just let them surprise you first before you change the feelings. Otherwise you really are just operating on an illusion, which is exactly what you were trying to avoid in the first place, wasn't it?

Re: here's my 10 cents, my 2 cents are free

oh and just out of curiousity...what minor character traits make you squeamish? squeamish just seems like an interesting reaction to a character trait...

In the end, it's really up to you what you decide to do though. None of the options in the poll seem like your best bet, so I didn't vote but since Jen is the only one with much of a chance I'll talk about that. The fact that you're not really that much into the idea of getting into a relationship makes me think you guys probably won't end up together forever or anything like that. And if you don't really feel like you want to do it, don't do it just because she says you are hot and not sweaty and you feel like you should. But, if you're pretty sure you won't end up marrying her or anything but still want to try it to get some more dating experience under your belt, that's up to you too. You'd have to be really careful with that to make sure you don't end up hurting her feelings or anything, but in the end what you do with your life is up to you and her life is up to her. I mean...it didn't work out when you tried stuff like that before, but there was always another excuse, right? Maybe you just need to be a pimp and keep trying different people until you finally figure it out...just don't get an STD though...

You need to concentrate on yourself.

Ok your poll sucks, you're leaving out options. Like not dating any of them. You put to much thought into what you think you should feel, let alone who you think would be atracted to you. For instance, I'm not vain but I know I am pretty good looking, however I typically date men that aren't categorically handsome. I date the people I date because they are great to talk to, we share common interests, and there has to be that spark. You either know the spark is there, or it's not there. And the way you over analize these women and your interactions with them, I wouldn't be suprised if you have completely missed that spark w/ any of them or someone else. My suggestion to you is to relax, enjoy their company. Try thinking less and feeling more.

Re: You need to concentrate on yourself.

it seems like thinking less is always the best answer to my problems, but it's the one thing i have the most trouble doing...
but i do think you're right. i just need to relax and forget about who i should be dating or what i should be feeling... i'm just going to get to know a lot of people, and not worry about dating anybody until it feels right, without needing pages of analysis to talk myself into it... thanks for the input!

I probably shouldn't be responding to this given my ovious lack of knowledge on the subject. but once again I seem to feel as though I have been where you are in one way of another.

Val, the woman I love with all my heart and soul. My first love. Not attracted to her. There are things about her personality and the over all intensity of my feelings for her that would make sex with her possible. And I don't necessarily think that she is ugly I am just not attracted to her.

EJ. You know how stupid I was about EJ. How crazy I would, and still do, get about the chemistry we have. But I don't find her physically attractive.

I struggle a lot with the fact that I seem to be so superficial and so stuck on looks and physical attraction. I scream and yell that I want a woman who will love me, and be sweet and whom I can date and then I get bogged down with looks. There are some people that will say looks don't matter what is inside that counts but I haven't met a soul yet that meant it. Looks do matterand attraction does matter. But when it comes to dating...

Dating is friendship with the possibility of more. It's hanging out with a person you are getting to know with a context of becoming closer physically. SO i don't think you need to be some one's friend to start dating them. And going from your history I don't think you need to be instantly attracted.

In your pole I picked Hilly, because I know me and I would have picked Holly. Truthfully I think Jen. And the reason I say that is because she is local, and you can hang out, and you can get to know each other and at some point something will happen - be it a kiss, a hug, or a look - and you will know without any question whether you want her as your friend or your girlfriend or just a casula screw partner.

People get caught in labels and trying to figure things out and forget how to just ride it out. She doesn't have to be the love of your life, she doesn't have to be your soul mate, she might not even end up being your girl friend. But she can be an experience. She can be your friend.

So the next day you have off, call her and see what happens....

yeah, if i honestly had all 3 options, i know i would pick holly... i just don't know if it would be the right decision or not!
but yes, you're both right. i am just going to keep hanging out with her, and see what happens... thanks!

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