Friday, May 4, 2012

Why It is Awesome That Your Taste in Men Is Different from Your Friends'

My girl friends and I rarely have the same taste in men. Sure, we occasionally gush over the same celebrities (e.g. Hugh Jackman) but we hardly ever find a non-celebrity guy hot at the same time and we don’t simultaneously get attracted to him. 

One might be too  confident/not confident enough, nice/too nice, tall/short or slim/well-built,….etc. for the other. And this is great news for our friendships!

I do believe that good friends come before a boyfriend, especially if he is not the one. And let’s face it- “The One” won’t have problems with your friends, so let’s go with “good friends, male or female, come before boyfriends”.

Michael Trevino - Tyler from Vampire Diaries. 

Ian Somerhalder - Damon from The Vampire Diaries. Image via

I might be one of the few fans of the series that thinks Tyler is hotter than Damon. But I have always found good boys hotter than the bad, and with the exception of season 1, Tyler has been a pretty impressive guy, and given my soft spot for Jonathan Rhys Meyers (who Michael Trevino reminds me of), it is no wonder I prefer one over the other. But hey - it is exactly the point- difference in tastes, whatever the reasons.

You might think that even though you are attracted to the same guy, your friendship is strong enough to survive, whether the guy of interest chooses one of you or not. But even though your friendship might come out of this situation unscratched, your ego might not. You might find yourself thinking “what does she have that I don’t?” or “She must be better/prettier/sexier/more interesting/more exciting….than me.”

As much as we appreciate the good/awesome/attractive qualities of our friends, we don’t exactly want to get a comparative evaluation- and of course this is if he picks your friend. 
Your friend might experience the same insecurities as you if the situation is reversed,  and even for the most non-jealous types (and I’m one of them – envying a woman for hooking up with the celebrity of your dreams (e.g. Josh Holloway) doesn’t count, things could get complicated, and I am honest enough to admit it. Well, at least to you and myself, that is.

Of course you might take the higher road and never let the guy know you are also interested, but that might not exactly make you feel better either. What if he is the one, and you let him get away? And this is real life, not a romantic comedy that I’d love. The right guy doesn’t take one look at you and realize you are “it.” And it also takes a helluva lot more than a look for you to notice the right person too. And it is OK. But realizing that you made a sacrifice, and your friend didn’t – and especially if you are the one making sacrifices and compromises more often in your friendship, the higher road might damage your friendship more than a direct competition would.

But if you have noticed, the situation where there is a subtle or a not-so-subtle competition between me and my friends is hypothetical. At least it has been hypothetical for me. Because it makes talking about guys a lot more fun. There is no risk for your ego or friendship. You can be very objective about the problems your friend is having in her relationship (or let’s say it is much easier to deem the guy a jack*** and support your friend 100%.)

However, like almost everything in life, there is a catch. When you don’t find the guy attractive/cute/nice/dateable at all, your friend might get offended and start getting extra defensive. Or she might feel discouraged and have a little less fun because you don’t see what she sees.

Now of course this situation has happened to me a lot. But hey, when this happens, I always remind to my friend that it is so much better that I get to see what she can’t, and that we won’t ever have to compete. And maybe it is a protective instinct on my end to keep our friendship as intact as ever, I try to see the good in the guy, so I can get excited when he is nice to her. Nobody enjoys a friend who keeps complaining about her relationship. But it also means I get to see what’s wrong with the guy even when he seems good in theory, or when she seems unreasonably smitten.

This works before they get together as well. Because hey, this is not The Vampire Diaries, and you are not Elena (i.e. Matt, Stefan, Damon- and on occasion, I suspect even Elijah.) Not every guy you have ever been interested in becomes smitten by you. 

Sometimes your crush is unreciprocated.  When this happens, it is so much easier to come to the rescue and help your friend get over her crush, or at least tone it down because you know why the guy is wrong for her or why he lacks so many things.

For instance, one of my best friends had a crush on this guy. I’ll admit, if I consider his looks objectively, he is good-looking. But knowing he was arrogant and overly confident, I didn’t even notice he could be considered attractive until my friend forced me to really look at him. But when I did, there was no attraction on my side, because arrogance in guys is a complete turn-off for me. And there is the thing that I like my guys taller than me. Hey, like Rachel said in Friends during a fight with Ross, size does matter. Of course she was talking about something else, but hey, the principle is the same.

So yes,  it might be less fun when your friends think your boyfriend is not at all that impressive or severely-flawed or vice versa, but it helps both sides remain objective, fully supportive and bring humor to the table when needed. 

So yes, I think that having totally different taste in men, when it comes guys in real life, is awesome. Don’t you?