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Arm candy politics

Why would a sensible guy with his heart and mind (and other vital parts) in the right place not want to date an attractive, articulate, intelligent and spirited girl? Lalita Iyer wonders.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2009 19:45 IST
Lalita Iyer

Considering that I am five months pregnant, and very obviously showing, the dating game should perhaps be the last thing on my mind. But since I am experiencing what one could call an exaggerated sense of awareness about the world around me, and I can never cease to be interested in the man-woman dynamic, well, I can’t help but share it.

A recent occurrence got me back to thinking why things are the way they are in the dating game and how one can turn things around.

A friend of mine who recently turned consummate blogger (and don’t ask me why I don’t blog) wrote a new post about her dating dilemmas, and how men wanted to be friends with her but not really date her. She went into much detail about the definition of dating in various cultural contexts (whether real or adopted) and what people meant when they said what they said. Needless to say, the blog got several hits and several men wanted her phone number.

But it got me wondering. Why would a sensible guy with his heart and mind (and other vital parts) in the right place not want to date an attractive, articulate, intelligent and spirited girl? Was there something I was missing here?

I found the answer at a recent party when I bumped into her. She was accompanied by what one can only describe as a bad prop. Okay, I may be snobbish, but here is my theory: when men see you with someone they see as competition, they want you even more. When they see you with a loser, they think you are one too. Period. The same works for women.

So if you are looking to date, be seen with someone interesting. It could be your best friend, your buddy, cute office colleague (do they still make those?), random guy you met, even a girl friend or the DJ. But be sure the one you are seen with is someone at least two other people wouldn’t mind being seen with. A bad arm candy is worse than going solo, because at least when you are solo, you have the power to be whatever you want to be.

This bloke, I am sorry to say, was the epitome of average, not eligible by any measure and to top it all, he was a leech and never really left her alone, so there was no way she could have scoped the scene or eyed worthier blokes. A classic case of being at the right place with the wrong guy, I thought, and instantly wanted to add a comment to her blog after my aforementioned postmortem.

Remember cute guy who walked in with stunning arm candy and how all of us wanted to be the candy? Now imagine cute guy with insipid arm candy and how the same guy got labeled weird? Get the picture?

Of course, if Salman Rushdie is your arm candy, there is a whole different math to that. But more about that in another column.