Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tempted No More

A few years ago, someone accused me of being too picky when it comes to guys. It miffed me, to be perfectly honest. Actually, I think they were saying that at my age I shouldn't be picky, I should be happy to get what I could. I could write a whole post about how wrong that sentiment is, but that's not my chosen topic today. Instead, let's discuss one of those things that might actually qualify me as being picky.

I don't want to date a man who is obsessed with something. Anything. Passionate, yes. Obsessed, heck no. And yet, I date guys who have obsessions. In fact, all the guys I've dated have been obsessed with something - to varying degrees, it's true, but still obsessed. Are there guys out there who enjoy a lot of things, are passionate about a few, but obsessed with none??? I'm beginning to have my doubts.

Today, I discovered that Anthony certainly isn't one of those hard-to-find guys. He is obsessed with a video game in which he's a warlock and goes around on quests and winning money to increase his power (or something to that effect, after awhile, my eyes glazed over and I drifted to an alternate reality). I asked how often he plays it. Every day. How long every day? When I get off of work (3:30) til I go to bed (10ish). On weekends I play it all day.

And, in that moment I lost my attraction for him.

And it's not just because I have absolutely no interest in video games. True, it's harder to tolerate an obsession that doesn't really interest me, but I'd still be bugged if the obsession was something I like. I mean, I love to watch football as much as the next person, but if I dated a guy who had to watch every game, who only talked about football, and had football memorabilia all over his room/house, I'd dislike it as much as if the obsession was with a video games.

Well...almost as much.

Because, if there really aren't guys out there who are obsession-less, I'm willing to make a deal. I'll do my best to support the obsession as long it a) involves a lot of time in nature (hiking, camping, skiing, etc.), b) allows for true human interactions (as opposed to the faux interactions that online video games boast - and, attending video game conventions doesn't count -not in my book), or c) is productive - like cooking.

See, I'm not that picky.


Madman said...


Where do you draw the line between obsession and passion?

I believe that everybody has obsessions. The strengths may vary, true, but they are obsessions, nonetheless.

Booklogged said...

I think Candleman is just the guy for you! Oops, he's already married and to me. And he's too old. Anyway, he really doesn't have obsessions although he sometimes goes through obsessive stages. He's always commented that he seems to be a jack of all trades and master of none because his interests are so varied. Fortunately for me, he's not into football or other televised sports.

You'll find the right guy and don't listen to anybody that says you're too picky.

julie said...

Madman, I wondered how you'd take this post. And, no everyone doesn't. I don't. Honestly, it's something I've given a lot of thought. I struggle to even have passions! I wish I were more passionate, but I'm glad I don't get obsessed.

Book, ahhh. A jack-of-all-trades is exactly what I think I'd like. Someone with a wide range of interests, open to new stuff, and not too focused on anything. Obsessive stages, eh? I can sense there's a difference but can't quite grasp it. Help? And, thanks, I'm trying to find the right guy. I often lose faith, though.

Mellissa said...

I agree with you there, sister! Ben occasionally plays video games (he's far from obsessive) and when he does it's like he is somewhere else. Have you heard that comedian talk about the "nothing box?" Yeah, I think guys in general (sorry to any guys who might take offense) have a big nothing box. I do, too. Just not as extreme.

julie said...

Sorry, Mad, I just realized I didn't answer your question. I'm not sure where I draw the line. It's not an exact science and maybe what I'd call obsessive someone else might call passionate.

julie said...

Missy, may I ask what your nothing box is?

Mellissa said...

Sorry, do you mean the nothing box in general, or what my personal nothing box is?

I don't think I have a specific nothing box. I'd rather stay busy and out and about than open my nothing box. Occasionally I'll laze about and watch the few movies I have, but for the most part I'd rather be doing something.

And if you were confused about what the nothing box is, it's where Anthony goes when he's absorbed in his video game.

Cardine said...

Yes to passion! No to obsession! I love this post. I've gotta say that it's really attractive when people are a little passionate over something. Like, maybe they're passionate over ... playing the guitar or baseball or something. But, yeah. If it's an obsession to where that's all they do and their minds are constantly mulling over the obsession of the day, then yeah, that is unattractive.

julie said...

Missy, I was asking for your specific nothing box. I think an occasional laze-around with a movie is perfectly healthy. Sounds rather nice, actually. I like the term "nothing box", it seems apt. Do you mind if I adopt its usage? I'll give you full credit whenever I use it. :)

Cardine, I agree - passionate people are fascinating! I love listening to someone talk about their passions. Like I said to Madman, I'm not sure where the line is between passionate and obsessive, but I think I recognize it when I see it.

Let me clarify - I have never ended a relationship because of a guy's obsessions (though if Anthony and I were still dating, I would break up with him because he'd obviously be neglecting me if all he did was play video games). I just think it'd be nice to date someone who doesn't have obsessions, or too many mega obsessions.

Who knows, though, maybe I am picky and will never find someone because of it.

Framed said...

I can really relate to "my eyes glazed over." That's what happens to me when people go on and on about the same thing. I don't know if they are obsessed because I am no longer paying attention. But perhaps I'm just envious because I'm not really passionate about anything let alone obsessed.

tearese said...

very good choice. Seriously. There are soooo many young couples I know that the husband plays games online (World of Warcraft, usually) in all their spare time. And I think, wow I wonder if they'll be divorced in five years.
I am happy to say Joseph hasn't proved to be obsessed with anything...yet. But then, we agreed when we got married that he wouldn't get a video game system because he KNEW he'd spend too much time on it.

Mellissa said...

p.s. You are not picky. You just deserve more than most guys can give.

julie said...

Framed, sometimes I'm jealous, too. I would like to be a little more passionate. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a little too lukewarm.

Tearese, yeah, World of Warcraft is the game Anthony plays. I can't imagine being married to someone who plays that or any game all the time! That's really good of Joseph to not get a gaming system knowing how he'd spend too much time on it. What a great guy!

Missy, thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

I understand your desire to be more passionate. Sometimes I am so... lazy... and I feel like my brain is going to rot.

Keep the "faith".

Anonymous said...

I feel like I have a box called... my laptop.

It's not "nothing"... but I definitely spend lots of time... relaxing... with it.

Too much time.

warnser said...

I really want to write about the post that you didn't write,
But I will also try to keep my comments relevant to the post you did write.

On being picky.
I'm not sure really when a person becomes too picky.

I think it is important to have some things that you just won't compromise on. People really do deserve a relationships where everybody gets a good deal.

As for when a person becomes too picky, I think it is when they get too many non-negotiables. I think it is good and right to have somethings that a person is picky about, but the more parameters we set, the less we can demand from those parameters. Not all of those parameters, though, having a few non-negotiables is generally a good or at least healthy thing.

I think that the key, as in most things is two-fold: communication/ understanding, and Balance.

I think it is important to understand that people have different passions, and important to understand why, and to what degree, and to talk about them, but of course not just about them.

But even more important than this is to keep things in balance, to keep the important things important, to have time to work, time to relax, time to love, and time to learn and grow.

or something.

julie said...

Sarah - yeah, sometimes I feel that way, too. Like I'm going to waste, like I could be doing so much more! Then, I decide all I want to do is read/watch tv/play games with my friends and family/etc. :)

Warnser, as happens so often, you've hit the nail on the head. I've struggled to define, even to myself, why obsessions are so unattractive to me, but it's because they make a person UNBALANCED! They are so intent on their obsession that they leave other areas of their life unbalanced. I LIKE balanced things. Ahhhh. I love it when other people help me understand myself better - thank you!

And, I agree, there is such a thing as being too picky, having parameters that are too narrow. Or, too many parameters that are too narrow, to be more accurate. I hope that I'm not too picky - I don't think I am, but sometimes you can't tell if you are or not, someone else has to tell you. Am I???