Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

No One’s Looking

Have you ever been having a perfectly pleasant conversation, and then all of a sudden someone says something that makes you realize OMG you really are an ?

I have this vague memory. I was hanging out with a boyfriend. I was already starting to realize that he might in fact be a bad person. But I was fighting that realization, because then all of the good thoughts I’d ever had about him would be wrong. And all of the hopes I had for our future were lies.

But I knew. The clues were everywhere.

So we were in a car. Going somewhere. Talking and listening to the radio. And a Vespa randomly passes us by. I didn’t think anything of it. FWIW, I like Vespas. If I lived in a different place, I might have one.

Anyway, he says, “Fat girls and vespas, they’re all fun and games until your friends catch you on one.”

I don’t recall my exact reply, but it might have been, “What the fuck?”

Jump forward to the other week. I was on a and that phrase randomly popped into my head. Maybe, not so randomly. I was having an interesting conversation and a fun enough time. BUT I couldn’t help having a little meta conversation in my head.

Could you be attracted to this guy?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Stranger things have happened.

He’s a really . He at least deserves a chance.

But what would people think.

It was that last phrase that stopped me in my meta tracks. What would people think? How fucking old am I? Why should I care what people think?

But the truth is, most of us do. Care what people think. At least a little bit. It may not shape our major life decisions (well, for some people it does). But other people’s opinions do affect us. And, let’s face it, it can be really hard to LIVE as if it no one’s watching.

Even though… no one’s watching.

PS About this guy. He’s just a little odd. Well, more than a little. But then, so am I.

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22 to “No One’s Looking”

  1. NikkiB says:

    Hmmm… I’d say the key is, figure out how *much* you care about other people’s opinions, and why you care. You know, accept the fact that other people matter, and take some time figuring out why. After that, have another metaconvo with yourself about if those why reasons are ok with you or not.

    I mean, yeah other people’s opinion’s matter – but maybe spend more time to think on it?

    All that said, anyone paying attention to the fact that, most of the time these days, we’re actually less concerned about what other people are doing and more concerned about how other people might perceive what it is we’re doing? I mean, we’re not really watching – we’re more hoping to be watched (facebook, anyone?)
    NikkiB recently posted..Tree Hugger Tuesday: Be A Better Consumer!My Profile

  2. For the record- 30 years ago I drove a Puch (a Vespa like vehicle) when I was at Stanford.The people who drove Harley’s would laugh at me- but when they needed surgery I was the one they came to.

    Sometimes we need to know what other people think because we need that perspective. We need someone outside of ourselves to give us a fresh look. When I write a manuscript I want two editors- one to fix the sentence – but one to check the flow, the ideas. Sometimes we need to know “which jeans look better” and sometimes we need to know “hey, this person seems really great- but I really need to know if this is a good decision.” Doesn’t mean we won’t pick the other jeans, or not be with a person – but we need to know what sets us off or why.

    When you spend your life going against conventional thought (that would be me) – it is liberating, but a lot of work. Also wouldn’t have it any other way.

    BTW – does this lab coat make me look fat?

  3. Spinsterlicious says:

    I once dated a guy who was smart and funny…but also overweight and sloppy. It took me awhile to get over caring what people thought when they saw us together. I did get over it, though I still would have loved to have been a fly on the wall just to hear what friends said.
    Spinsterlicious recently posted..My First Published Magazine Article (Yay!)My Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Hmm, interesting way of putting it. I guess it is something a person has to ‘get over’. Much like getting over the silly comments about ‘still being single.’

  4. It can sometimes be very, very tough to separate how we feel about someone from how others see him. Even if we try to be immune, those little looks and whispers influence how we see others.
    Girl’s Got Shine recently posted..What a weekMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’d agree with that. As much as I like to try to NOT listen, I’m always hearing the little voices in my head telling me what I “should do” and “should think” about any given situation. Even when I’m alone.

      Truth is, I’ll be hearing my mother (and other random family members) for the rest of my damn life.

  5. Single Much says:

    First off what a terrible saying. Second, I hope you give odd guy a chance. :)

    • Simone Grant says:

      Yes and yes. I’d never heard it before. Or thought about it for years. But then I googled it and found out it’s one of those things that douchy guys say and think is funny.

      A sure sign that someone is NOT my kind of guy.

  6. JM says:

    My best friend is smart, funny, kind, has her stuff together, and has none of the “hang-ups” that sometimes keep people from finding a relationship (kids, divorces, smoker, drugs, etc.). She’s beautiful, fashionable and a lot of fun. However, she is overweight. Men meet her and will spend time with her behind closed doors (not necessarily sex, but often) but no one will actually date her. I think much of that is they are worried about what other people will think.

    I admit, I have gone on blind dates where I worry that a co-worker or friend will think I’m “with” the guy. And I’ve been in relationships where my boyfriend gained weight and I felt a little embarrassed. I’m older, and I’m over it. When my friends have significant others who are short, fat, unattractive, weird, etc. but have a good thing going, I think it’s cute and quirky and must be true love. Weird, I know.

    Funny how things change when we grow up. : )

    • Simone Grant says:

      Back when I was in my 20s and early 30s I pretty much dated guys who’d be considered conventionally attractive. And then at some point it shifted, and now most of the guys I date aren’t. For the most part. And if they are, it’s not really a big deal or why I’m dating them.

      I’ve just gotten to the point where THAT’s so beside the point. And frankly, almost always a sign that the guy’s a jerk. Not a fair assumption, I know. But that’s just the way my dating life has played out for the past couple of decades.

  7. Jane says:

    I depends how much of a sense of humor you have. If you don’t have one, you won’t think that’s funny, if you do, you will think it’s funny and brush it off. If he was completely serious about the comment in the first place, there should’ve been many more warning signs before he made that comment. If he’s just joking then you’re being too uptight.

  8. Mark says:

    Sure, I probably have made comments that may have put off someone. But as you have said, we all have. We all have personalities, likes and dislikes. I just don’t go over the top about most things. It’s called perspective. It’s the matching of those personality traits that matters. So if the occasional thing thing like this is close to a deal breaker, well…then I guess it might be. Although you might have a better argument if this were more of a pattern. From another perspective, have you met anyone who never said something that didn’t make you wonder? Even a little bit? If so, how would you describe this person. If you said dull or boring then you have to ask: Someone who may have some opinions or someone boring?

    • Simone Grant says:

      I don’t have an argument. I have a story I was telling about a man I was dating, a long time ago. Who was a jerk. And one day he said something that I thought was kinda gross. Maybe someone else would have thought it was funny. Not my kinda funny.

  9. Shannon says:

    Once upon a time, I dated a guy who was good to me but a jerk towards others, especially people who were “serving” him. He acted as though he was above them. I wish I could say that…

    One night, midway through our meal, I announced I was going to the ladies room but instead, walked to the hostess stand – asked for paper and a pen. Wrote “Can’t do this anymore. You’re a jerk” and handed it to the waiter (along with a $20.00 bill) and asked him to deliver that to the table.

    In truth, I dated him off an on until someone better came along.

    • Simone Grant says:

      That’s an awesome way to leave a room. I’m sorry about the jerky guy. I’ve so been there and damn I wish I would’ve done something like that.

      I hope you’re not beating yourself up about the ‘off and on until someone better came along’ thing. Been there, too. Sometimes, it’s just what feels right. Until it doesn’t.

  10. I think people should be able to say whatever they feel like saying without worrying about how they will be judged. I like to joke around alot!
    themodernfemme recently posted..Love, Sex & Deception: The Chronicles of Online Dating Book ReviewMy Profile

  11. Lexie says:

    What about the idea that it doesn’t really matter what we say/do in our relationships? Is there something pre-determined in our interactions?

    Check out this post I wrote on this idea:

  12. I like what Terry has to say above about seeing ourselves from another person’s perspective. It’s the only way we can see our blind spots. But it’s the way we react to fixing those blind spots that counts.

    I used to have this attractive girl at school who would come up to me at times and tell me what she thought of me. Took me many years to realise that it was possibly her way of ‘testing’ me. Looking at it now from her perspective, I’m a total stud lol!

  13. Anna says:

    LOL, yea my first impression of my husband back in the days was that he was a total douche since he said things a jerk would say. But I confronted him about it because I was appalled at his statements. He then confessed he just blurted out things to make it seem like “he was cool” and because he was nervous. It’s hard to picture him now as I first pictured him that day because he ended up being the sweetest guy I’ve ever met, hehe.