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Simply Solo Spotlight: Dangers of Dating Yourself

February 28, 2012

Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by Jenna of Cyril and Vivian, a lifestyle blog about everything from relationships to style to travel to embarrassing childhood memories. I love that Jenna offers another perspective to bad boys, a theme we’ve been talking about a lot lately (remember last week’s guest post?). When you are done reading and commenting, be sure to visit Jenna’s site for more of her writing!

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at:

Dangers of Dating Yourself

Precipitation always cluttered our past. If it wasn’t pouring rain, it was snowing. Our love was relegated to the annals of winter and early spring (in Canada, this is also known as “still winter”). Now that I look back on it, the weather was so telling of our tumultuous relationship.

Back when I was into bad boys, I was a bad girl myself. The nice guys who bought me flowers and didn’t ask me for money and rides, I’d treat them the same way that the guys with tattoos and drug problems treated me: with aloofness, indifference and late night bootie calls.

And then I met D.

D was a resident bad boy. He had gorgeous long hair, played guitar, smoked like a chimney, broke all the collegiate rules I knew about and back in his day, he was even a novice arms dealer. He met all the major (and minor) 453,431 things on my checklist.

But what made him a bad boy the most of all? That fact that he wasn’t single.

Even though D wasn’t a douche bag when we met, he became one due to the circumstances of our relationship. I was a sordid secret banished to long weekends when D’s girlfriend was out-of-town and surreptitious nights at the library where we’d meet somewhere between the Pre-Raphaelites and the girl’s washroom.

And always during awful weather.

When our torrid affair was over, I was heartbroken. What I knew on the last day was the same thing I knew on the first day: he’d never leave his girlfriend for me and I’d forever remain the shamed other woman.

Why didn’t I get myself out of a bad situation sooner?

Well, D taught me a lot about myself, a lot of which never really resonated until I met my current boyfriend. Years after D, I continued to search for his replacement: someone who collected vintage guitars, someone who revered Plato and Homer over modern-day celebrities, someone with the same insatiable wanderlust and thirst for arcane knowledge as me, someone unavailable, and most importantly, someone who was incidentally just like me.

The things I loved about D were the same things I loved about myself. But at 19, the things you love about yourself tend to be shortsighted and kind of contemptible. At 19, I was a pretentious, self-centered snob. I read a lot of postmodern literature, I quoted a lot of German philosophers, I watched a lot of French New Wave cinema, I listened to obscure Scandinavian music and I wore my hipster flag proud.

And so did D.

When we’re young, we want our social circle to be a mirror to our own identity, not a mosaic or a net. You try to surround yourself with people who are just like you, people who make you feel secure with yourself by liking the same things. This rule applies to the opposite sex as well. But one of the repercussions of finding security in a doppelganger is the insecurity that comes with dating yourself.

Think about it. We all know how insufferable hipsters can be.

Even though the thrill of the forbidden clouded our affair, in the end, that wasn’t what made it so exciting. Sure, not being able to call him or drop by his apartment or hold hands in public brought some excitement to the whole tryst, but what made it really exciting was the absence of any discernible failings on his part. Perfection is titillating and stimulating but it doesn’t exist, which is why when we think we’ve found it, we try to hold onto it. I was obtusely blind to his faults.

And why would I have been more aware? I couldn’t see my own negative qualities, so why would I see them in my reflection?

But those bad boys we bad girls (and good girls) chase in our youth are so necessary in the grand scheme of the dating process. Yes, I went out with a guy who used to scream out baseball statistics during coitus. Yes, I used to go out with a guy who called me at 7 in the morning asking me to go over and help him clean up after a huge party he’d had the night before. And yes, I answered those bootie calls. These guys not only exemplified the type of guy that I didn’t want, but also, they helped me discover the type of woman I wanted to be.

When my current boyfriend and I started dating, I realized how much I didn’t want to be with someone who was like me. I was selfish, impatient, reckless, very irresponsible and had incredibly low self-esteem and no respect for myself. Not good traits to have in a mate.

Love, walking on the beach, couple

Jenna and her special someone

Being a narcissist is just a by-product of being young. Realizing that you’re narcissistic and knowing that you no longer want to be is the reward of maturity.

And now when the weather is bad, I have an amazing boyfriend to curl up in bed and watch The Office with.

To those of you who are attracted to bad boys, did you date them because they were extensions of yourself? And if not, did you ever date someone who was just like you? Do you prefer partners who are similar to you or different?

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2012 2:34 pm

    Totally agree with this post. It’s important to date someone with some similar interests, but since I’ve grown up a bit, I’ve held that it’s important to date someone with a different, but complementary, personality.

    • February 28, 2012 3:56 pm

      Thanks! And I really like that you use the word “complimentary.” It’s not about finding someone who is completely opposite from you, but it’s about finding someone that you get along with really well but can still learn a lot from.

  2. Jes permalink
    February 28, 2012 6:37 pm

    “Being a narcissist is just a by-product of being young. Realizing that you’re narcissistic and knowing that you no longer want to be is the reward of maturity.”

    Wow, Best Line Ever!! I may have to quote this multiple times in my life!!

    • February 28, 2012 7:33 pm

      Thanks Jes! I really appreciate your comment. And I do hope you use it down the road!

  3. February 29, 2012 6:31 pm

    As a naive, bias teenage girl myself, I feel I’d like to defend a young womans dating choices. I’m 18 and have so far rejected all 11 poor souls to ask me out; I just never seem to find anyone that interests me. Dating when you’re young isn’t about finding your life partner, it’s about having fun, and I’m sure you had fun with your bad boy type! I wish I could find a bad boy, or a good boy for that matter, with any kind of pretentious, sudo-interlectual view on the world (just like me) whom I can regret when I’m older!

    • February 29, 2012 7:25 pm

      As you should, sucettesoleil! I don’t encourage women to seek out destructive relationships (I’ve known many who have been in very abusive ones and the only person that wins in the end is the abuser) but I do think that sometimes dating the wrong guy for you can be a good thing.

      Don’t worry sucette, you will find your boy eventually, whether he is bad, good or in between. You’re right: experimenting in your youth is what being young is all about.

      • March 1, 2012 2:39 pm

        If only my name was sucette, it’s such a lovely word. But sucette soleil means sunshine lollypop in french (I was singing the song when I started my blog.) Merci pour vos conseils (thankyou for your advise.) Menfolk are a difficult bunch, but it’s all about learning and experiencing I suppose!

  4. March 1, 2012 3:28 pm

    I only dated one true bad-boy in my youth and the attraction to him was the fact that he was the complete opposite of me. I was pretty much a goodie-two-shoes until I got into college, so being around a guy who smoked, had tattoos, drank too much– all things I would never do– it was like I was able to be around those things and associated with them without actually doing them. The thrill of the differences in us is what fueled our relationship, even if it only lasted for a couple months. Everyone’s gotta have at least one dapple into the “dark side,” even if it’s to realize that you want nothing to do with it for the long-term.

  5. March 1, 2012 11:09 pm

    Well true, but what you mean, is the partner reflecting/having the same bad qualities /weaknesses as yourself.

    If 2 people are naturally friendly, honest, compassionate, etc., there’s nothing wrong there since they would share the same good values.

  6. March 5, 2012 5:55 am

    God – me and bad boys. It was a running theme in my mid – late twenties. Not just bad but unattainable in so many ways. But that’s what i needed, what was calling to me for whatever reason. I have kind of figured out some of the parallels between the men I sought and the way I was raised – always seeking love, always seeking approval and knowing that it would never come in the form I needed. I think that the patterns I fell into with men, and especially the worst ones – had a lot to do with my own sense of self worth at that point in my life. When it was good, it was very very good and when it was bad, the men were horrid.

    Cheers to you on breaking your own patterns and reasons for doing it.

  7. Da peach permalink
    March 6, 2012 8:50 pm

    Ti’s a good read fireside. Hard on the heartstrings, but young people have strong hearts. It gets tougher the older you get.

  8. March 25, 2012 10:36 pm

    Never date yourself…look for someone to complement your life.

  9. April 17, 2012 7:17 am

    for more dating and love tips ..visit the blog
    they have cool videos on love n dating tips..


  1. Guest Blog Post on Simply Solo « Cyril and Vivian

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