Over ice cream in a popular dessert place in Makati, James told me an anecdote that touch on a peculiar aspect of dating which all of us who've been playing the dating game for a while can probably relate to. The story revolved around a friend of his named Patrick, a successful and wealthy executive, who was single and looking for the love of his life. At some point, he dated a guy named Franco. It seemed they got along splendidly; their personalities meshed well together, and they enjoyed each other's company. With the relationship itself, at least with how they interacted with each other, it appeared that they had no problems.
The only obstacle they had, really, was that everyone thought that Franco was not within Patrick's league. He was not a looker, or successful, or blessed with a charming personality that could have made up for all these lack. In short, he was woefully average; there was nothing about him that was extraordinary, except for the fact that he seemed perfectly average in every sense. Patrick's friends had no idea why he was dating the guy, and outside of the fact that he really liked Franco, it seemed that Patrick had no idea either. Because he gave his friends' input on the people he should date a great deal of importance, and also because he believed that what they were saying were true, he decided to dump Franco. It wasn't a bitter break-up, but of course Franco had ended up with a broken heart.
Fast forward a few months later, Patrick learned that Franco was dating a guy named Benjamin. Benjamin was a popular banker who was even better looking, wealthier, and more successful than Patrick. Patrick couldn't understand what happened. The reason why he dumped Franco in the first place was because he felt he needed to trade up, so to speak, and irony of ironies, Patrick ends up alone, while Franco traded up from him. He thought the whole thing bewildering.
Now this anecdote is interesting for me because, when I was still dating, I always fell into this trap, where I was never contented with the one I'm with, and always kept a roving eye on a possible trade up with someone "better" than whom I was already dating at the time. Here's what I learned from those experiences: that is the worst possible way to date someone. It's not a matter of being with someone within your league, at least in the superficial sense; it's about being with a person you love. You either like someone or you don't; you either love someone or you don't. If you put too much stock on the unimportant things, thinking that there is only a particular pool of people you could draw from whom you could date or fall in love with, you limit yourself unneccessarily. I've since learned that falling in love (or "like" if you prefer) is always a tricky thing, and better to accept the experience as a gift, than look for problems that weren't even there in the first place.
Photo taken here.