The gym by my apartment is pretty similar to the bar by my apartment. Girls with too much makeup trying to attract the tallest and best coifed men into their attention. It’s at the gym, wasting away on a treadmill in old workout clothes and sweat-stained sneakers that I realized (with more than a touch of judgment) that somewhere along the line I’d graduated from the bullshit of my twenties.
I realized that I’d recently been treating my local bar and my local gym with the respect they deserved. Bars and gyms of course serve two completely different purposes, the former to meet with friends and maybe be introduced to a man, the other to increase your cardiovascular health (or in my case severely depress yourself). But I used to be one of the girls I was now judging from my sweat-filled treadmill.
It’s true, and it’s my saddest confession: in my twenties I was a Gym Bunny. I was looking for an attractive male because science (I think) teaches us that attraction should indicate success. When in the Flintstone’s age bagging an attractive man meant that I was eating a lot more mastodon than the chicks who got the skinnier, less attractive guys — in a gym that only means that these men had successfully mastered the art of lifting weights,. When it came to meeting attractive males the gym was my hunting grounds, and even though it ever worked out (and I never worked out) I hung to the promise that soon enough one of these men in a cutoff shirt and Adidas pants would fall madly in love with me. I mean I was wearing THE best stuff from Lululemon.
Sometime before my 30th birthday I started to get a little chubbier and knew that it was time to really get working out. The bars had started to get replaced with dinner and brunch, which as a fat kid I loved. Friends would show up with friends that had just moved to town, or coworkers that they enjoyed. That’s where I met the men I liked to date – in those closer interpersonal connections. It was probably because I was chewing with my mouth open and the guys still seemed to enjoy me, but something clicked, I realized that as I was getting older I was seeing things through a more realistic set of expectations.
My guy doesn’t need to have enormous muscles, nor should he unless he’s a Navy SEAL or an MMA fighter. I need a man who is balanced and who has strong values, a good family and maybe a nice head of hair. I don’t need to impress them with my physical attributes when I feel perfectly comfortable in my skin no matter what size jeans I’m wearing this month. The gym, the bar, it doesn’t matter. The lesson I’ve learned as a reformed Gym Bunny has remained unchanged into my early thirties: Who I am is what matters, not how I think someone perceives me.
That, and to avoid any man that wears a cutoff shirt in public for any reason other than completing yard work in mid-July. It’s just not a sexy look, men.
Lilly Star – The lead female voice at DatingWebsites.com, Lilly is a professional advice-giver with experiences in dating men of all types, including the good ones that got away. Her passions include white wine, purple peonies and relaxing on the chaise lounge with her dachshund Samantha. Lily’s work can be read on dating blogs for both men and women.