In My Point System For Dating, Nice Guys Finish First


Published: April 17, 2008

I’m the kind of person that can take hours picking the right toothpaste, shampoo or condom. I meticulously weigh the pros and cons of any product against its competition. I focus to see past a product’s multimillion-dollar marketing campaign and make certain it’s not only superior to others, but also perfectly suited to my specific needs.

Brooke Burdge/The Observer

This is also exactly how I choose a date. I methodically evaluate the potential candidate according to a specific point system that ensures I make the best decision.

The point system is easy enough to understand. Whether they realize it or not, most people practice this form of date filtering regularly. Everyone has minimum requirements for potential romantic interests. Imagine the process as a carnival ride with people holding signs like, “You must be this rich to ride” or “No admittance under this age.” To board my ride, you must meet my prerequisites.

Perhaps all of this emphasis on standards paints a shallow, phony and over-demanding picture of myself. The truth is that after dating a slew of wealthy eligible bachelors, I have discovered that in my point system, nice guys finish first. Humor, genuineness, intellect, reliability and ambition are what I value most when considering a candidate. Physical attraction is, of course, an initial motivating factor, but without substance, a relationship based on passion is likely to begin and end in the bedroom.

My friends continuously tell me how I always have an attraction for guys that are below my standards in the looks department. I find this amusing because sexual appeal is very important to me, and I obviously find the person I’m dating very attractive. When I assess a particular guy’s look, I only compare him against other guys I have interest in at the time. If he is the only potential suitor, I’ll compare him to guys in his own grouping (i.e. well-read intellectual, downtown artsy hipster, Ivy League jocks, etc). It’s important to note that when judging a guy’s looks, you should only measure him up against your realistic ideal.

A few months ago, I met a guy who made my friends question my judgment in men more than ever before. At the time, I found him attractive because he was a rebellious bad-boy with a heart of gold. He sounded great on paper. He was six-foot-four with blonde hair, blue eyes and a butt you could bounce a quarter off of. In reality, he was what one would call “fugly” (by definition, a funny looking type of ugly). There was something weird happening on his face, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was. Despite his peculiar looks, he was a really sweet guy. He was very affectionate and always offered to pay for dinner. This is the point where even straight guys should take note—paying for dinner always gets you points. Each person expresses affection differently, but as someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, I’m constantly wondering, “Does he really like me, or does he just want sex?” If I don’t have to ask that question, the person I’m dating gets major points.

Eventually, I was hooked on this guy. Things were going well until he thought himself special by doing the typical guy thing and forgetting to call for a few days. What he didn’t realize was that he was a charity case. I also have a case of dating ADD. By that I mean, if you don’t call me, I forget we’re dating. The point system can get a sweet aesthetically challenged guy ahead, but he shouldn’t be fooled into thinking he can get away with the same dating drama someone like Maroon 5’s gorgeous front man Adam Levine could. The moral of the story? You don’t need to be a rock star to get with me, but points you earn through personality and thoughtful actions will disappear quickly if you get too comfortable too soon.