If you speak to any established single female and ask her what she’s looking for in a partner, after a list of physical priorities, you’ll generally find some variation of the same checkboxes; someone who treats her with respect, someone who adores her, and someone who is ready to settle down…
So why is it then, when we meet a Jarrod, that he always finishes second?
The rare and beautiful Rainbow Fish
I found myself in a similar situation to our darling bachelorette only last month. I met a Rainbow Fish. Tall, handsome, fiercely intelligent, the perfect gentleman… but most of all… he was absolutely, unwaveringly into me. After our third date I knew that a future for me didn’t include him in it, so I gently kissed him and put him back; and even then he reacted with the grace of a truly decent human being.
I found myself asking the question – why is it that we are rarely interested into the ones who are so openly interested in us?
I spent a lot of time pondering this question, and interestingly enough, the more people I spoke to about it, the more people who nodded sadly with understanding, assuring me it is generally the ones who are prepared to dive in head first that we can’t picture ourselves committing to.
Is it something in the human psyche that flicks some kind of switch the moment a guy texts back without making you wait 7 painstaking hours? Does your brain become repulsed by the fact that a man can talk about his feelings, compliment you genuinely, and sincerely mean it when he says he can’t wait to see you again? Have we become so programmed to expect poor word choices and bad manners that we feel too far out of our comfort zone when we can see that this person before us is genuinely courting for our affection?
Has the thought of finding something real become so scary to us older single women that we shut it down before it has a chance to blossom in the hope of saving face and shielding our scarred hearts?
Or is it more simple?
Do we just have to kiss our frogs until we meet our Prince. The Prince that creates such chemistry and electricity whenever our hands brush or our eyes meet. Our Prince that makes us forget any poor rainbow fish that ever came before him?
Jarrod Vs Stu
Take our poor Jarrod from this season’s Bachelorette, for example. Sophie Monk recognises that he is a good option, he makes her feel safe, puts her first and makes his intentions and feelings crystal clear. He talks about walking closer to the curb and picking Sophie up if she doesn’t want to walk, and let’s be frank – he was a little too keen to be her servant for the day… If we’re honest, this all sounds like something many girls would die for.
In Sophie’s own words, “he has every element of what I am looking for in a relationship… every quality I’ve looked for in a man – ever”. So why wasn’t in an easy decision? Jarrod for the win?
Her other option, and final victor, Stu, came with complications. He had a history (as so many of us do), and although it was nothing that you couldn’t work through with some love, opposed to Jarrod, Stu’s bombshells were slightly higher maintenance.
Stu was also skirting around his feeling for Sophie until it came to crunch time; whereas Jarrod laid it all on the line…
Why do nice guys finish last?
Does this somehow prove that theory number two could be the reality; not only do all the boxes need to be checked, but we need to feel the chem-chem sparks to top it all off and seal the deal? Does Sophie sum it up perfectly when she dumps poor Jarrod by saying that when it comes to love, you have to think with your heart… not your head?
This scenario on this season’s Bachelorette was such an accurate reflection of reality – we single girls do come across these Rainbow Fish every now and then, and those of us sure enough in ourselves and confident enough to have the strength to kiss them and throw them back continue on our way through the dating jungle… those that settle when their heart isn’t in it begin the journey through a mediocre relationship where they are 90 per cent fulfilled but just don’t know why something is lacking… Hold off! We will find someone who ticks ALL the boxes AND gives us the butterflies as well. And don’t let anyone make you second guess yourself; you’re the only one who can feel those butterflies… and the emptiness in the pit of your stomach when there are none.
Be kind – for the love of womankind
My fear is this, ladies; that these Rainbow Fish treat us with such genuine kindness and share such authentic emotion, that we may eventually turn them into the shit talking Mr Romas, or even dishonest and manipulative Vest Boys… All I ask of you is this; treat your Rainbow Fish with kindness. Even though he is not your ever after, kiss him and place him back in the water with appreciation… because the last thing we want to do is take their genuineness for granted, and make them give away all their shimmering sparkly scales, so they turn into the ugly brown bottom dwellers that eat other fish and lurk in the shadows.
Kiss him and put him back, my little Love Bugs… and thank your lucky stars that he crossed your path at all.