I just finished reading Paper Towns by John Green, ahead of going to see the film which came out this week. Now…he is not my favourite author by any means, as I think his characters are generally grossly unrealistic and faintly irritating. And Q is the most irritating of the bunch. But I do think that Green has some very valid things to say in this novel, which are so relevant to the dating world that I am in right now.
The first quote which really struck a chord with me was when one of his friends told Q ‘you expect everyone to be you’. And he went on to explain how you shouldn’t really do that because everyone is different. And that’s ok. I definitely do this when I am dating.
In my head I have quite a specific idea of who I want (although obviously the people I date often vary from that). But in my imagination he is this tall, dark, handsome guy who is educated to degree level, really into books, will write me poetry with a slim build and ambitions to make his mark on the world…basically me. And, although he doesn’t show his emotions often, I will know that he really cares and is a huge softy… me again.
I feel like I am projecting myself into a male form because I actually have no idea what I am looking for in a date, so it is just easier to replicate someone who I have had to live with for 23 years. But this is 100% a mistake because I am a complete nightmare and I actually don’t like me very much. So no wonder, the majority of my dates have actually been unsuccessful!
SECONDLY, Paper Towns talks a lot about the differences between how you perceive a person and who that person actually is. And this is a problem that I find I am getting over and over again in my dating life. Either they are douches who just aren’t interested in getting to know me (and are clearly just in it for sex) or…no that’s it really.
Even when I think I have gotten to know someone really well over a number of months, I have soon realised that I barely know my date at all when I think about it. I know a lot about what they are doing right now but sometimes I don’t even know that, and they don’t tell me anything about their lives outside our little dating parameter of their day to day lives. I don’t know their hopes, dreams, stuff that has happened in the past, their favourite colour, how they feel when their aunt comes to stay, when they rode their first bike…nothing which bridges the gap between dating and a relationship.
I split with more than one guy I was dating because he wouldn’t open up to me, didn’t want to take things further and wouldn’t allow me to start seeing who he actually was. But even if he had done all that, would I have actually been seeing him at all? Or would I have just been seeing what he wanted me to see? An interesting question John Green…