The title of this blog is actually directly from a voicemail I got from my dad a few years ago when he thought I was being too picky about guys. I once told my parents that I didn’t care for bald men. Oy – that was a mistake. (My dad, like both my grandpas, is bald.)
My dad rarely gives me love advice, but one day, I was going through my voicemails, and I came across this one from my dad: “Hi Eri. I love you. Don’t forget that all men go bald, ok? And you know what else? All men have earwax.” Then he said something to the effect of, “So, go out with them.” Keep in mind that my dad jokes around a lot, so he was of course just being silly about the earwax part, but maybe what he was saying actually had some truth to it. Was he right? If you like someone, you may be able to overlook things that you would normally not go for. I remember I once met a guy (at jury duty, of all places) who I really liked for his effervescent personality, and because of that, I actually thought his bald spot was kind of cute. But then I thought to myself, would I have given him a chance if I met him online? Maybe not.
My dad’s advice actually taught me to be more open upfront. Jeremy and I sometimes joke that I’d give anyone a chance, which is why I went on so many dates. He was more selective before agreeing to go on a date, which is why I was only his only fourth JDate ever. (Lucky me – I made the cut!)
We are very good (women especially, but men too) about speculating about a person or ruling them out based on one small thing – I don’t like blondes, he picked a lame spot for our date, he has a tattoo, she gets flowers painted on her fingernails (yes, I do this often), he wore an ugly shirt – but who cares? Do bars and ugly shirts and nail polish matter in life? Nope. Is this person nice, genuine, thoughtful? Those are the things that matter. You might go out on many more bad dates by being more open, but it makes the pool of potentials that much bigger.
On a related note, we also often talk ourselves out of things because of one little hang-up. He works here, so he must be this way, so I won’t like him, so I won’t e-mail him. Sound familiar? I actually sometimes think of it as a job search. About two years ago, right before I met Jeremy, I found a job I wanted to apply for in California. I’d always thought I would move there to “go for it” with my acting, but had since changed my mind. At any rate, I almost didn’t apply because of the fact that I might have to turn it down in the end if I wanted to stay in DC. But then I thought to myself – why not get the chance to turn it down? So, I applied. I didn’t get it anyway, but I was glad I gave myself the chance. Same thing with the online dating game… it’s good to give yourself the chance to turn something down if, in the end, it’s not what you want. But you might as well open more doors at the outset because maybe hiding behind that one thing that doesn’t seem perfect is a great person.
So, try to forget for a minute if he’s bald… or has earwax. Thanks, dad.
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, helping people find success in online dating and getting them excited about its possibilities. “Like” A Little Nudge on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.
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