“Damn, dude, she’s basically you as a girl, but way less ugly,” my friend said, commenting on the girl I’d just started seeing. “I’ve never seen anyone handle your crap this well.”
It’s true, dating (or befriending) me means dealing with a lot of my self-centered nonsense and snarky quips. It takes a certain type of person to put up with all of it, and it’s generally not someone who’s much like me.
I’ve never dated anyone exactly like me (let’s be honest, those couples who look and act like brother and sister are creepy), but I got awful close once, and it taught me a lot about myself.
At the beginning, it was awesome how much we had in common. Gone were the arguments over whether to watch HGTV or UFC fights. There were no disputes over eating a kale salad or a slab of carne asada for dinner, and my friends quickly became her friends — and vice versa.
Sure, the dangerous combination of independence and irresponsibility led to an angry phone call or two. For the most part, we understood each other better than it seemed possible in a short amount of time. Then, that became the problem.
As much as I hate to admit it, it turns out I’m not perfect, and dating someone with a lot of the same character flaws as myself just brought that further into the spotlight. For some reason, constantly having to be the center of attention isn’t as much fun when someone else also thinks people should be paying attention to them at all times. Endless snark and sarcasm? It gets kind of old when you’re dealing with it from the time you wake up (which might be the afternoon on weekends) until you pass out around sunrise.
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Looking back on it, learning what I hated about myself wasn’t the important part of dating someone scarily similar to me, it was seeing how people reacted to one or both of us. When you’re the one being the center of attention, you don’t always realize whether people are entertained or fed up with you. The times when everyone is watching your significant other, you learn very quickly which parts of your charmingly obnoxious personality get laughs and which you’ve actually been ignoring sneers the whole time.
People often ask why I haven’t dated someone similar to me since, because the one before clearly understood me better than the various Frappuccino-sipping types I’ve been known to date otherwise. Truthfully, it was awesome dating someone who comes from a similar background and shares a lot of the same preferences, but it was also a lot of added pressure and work.
Everyone thinks they want to be understood, but sometimes it’s better to leave some things a mystery. Even if it means eating a kale salad once in a while.