“Creeps don’t have good friends,” says the bride from the wedding featured in last week’s New York Times. I’ve been wondering all week whether that’s necessarily true. I don’t think it is.
Obviously, there are good reasons why a creep might not have good friends. The guy—let’s call him Dating Creep—might be creepy to would-be friends and they’d ditch him. In fact, some creeps, perhaps even most creeps, are mean to just about everyone. These creeps just can’t stop themselves. So in that sense, there’s probably something to what the bride has to say. It may be a useful guide.
But I think the bride’s statement goes a little too far. For instance, Dating Creep might be good to his friends but a jerk to his dates. It might even be a running joke in that circle how undateable Dating Creep actually is. Surely, we’ve all known some guy who is both beloved by his friends but perpetually single.
In fact, Dating Creep might be so devoted to his circle of friends that he doesn’t see any real need to find a long-term romantic partner. I think that’s some of the reason the Soulmate-Who-Got-Away (SWGA), who is well into his 40s, has never been in a durable relationship. He just never saw the point. Nearly every night, he has dinner with one of his pals. He goes to bars with friends. He goes shopping with friends. If he wants to see a movie, or hit a casino, or just hang out, someone’s available.
What about sex, you’re asking? Well, if we’re talking about gay guys (and, yes, I know the bride wasn’t!), sex is always available. For some, anyway, finding a sex partner is as easy as hitting a bar or a chat room. That hasn’t always been my experience, but it’s definitely been SWGA’s. He has a sort of boyish charisma that definitely works on first meetings.
(Is that true for straight guys? That’s outside my area of expertise. Do straight guys have many fewer, um, outlets for easy sex? If so, that may serve as a deterrent keeping your average guy from becoming an undateable creep. Maybe that makes the bride’s statement more trustworthy as a guideline.)
SWGA, anyway, wallows in an acute network of friends, and I can’t say that I really blame him. (Well, ok, maybe I do, just a little). When I first fell into his life all those years ago, I think I halfway wanted part of his life. I wanted him definitely, but I wanted to belong to such a tight-knit group. Those guys loved each other, and they were there for one another. It showed, powerfully so, to someone as lonely as I was.
But SWGA is still undateable—at least in the sense our bride means. He rarely dates someone more than three or four times. He says he’s not at all sure what falling in love feels like. He’s insensitive to the feelings of sad guys, like me, who fall for him. When it comes to dating, he’s a creep. Despite the network of good friends.
So don’t take that bride’s statement too far.