CHOICES, CHOICES: SELECTION WINGMAN

Maybe it’s because Selection Sunday just passed and we’re staring down the greatest three weeks of the whole year (for basketball fans at least). Or maybe it’s because the season finale of “The Bachelor” is on tonight – equally enthralling drama, but with slightly more tears than post-game upsets. But either way, the idea of selection has been on my mind lately, and now’s as good a time as any to discuss it.

From deciding which teams to favor in your bracket, to choosing between the hot-but-insane girl and the wife material girl, decisions are all around you. So what’s a guy to do? Though matters of the heart are slightly different than college hoops, the bottom line is the same: Go entirely on instinct.

But what do you do when your head and your heart are on different pages? In that case, I suggest letting your gut make the deciding vote.

I read this article a while back, written by what I could only assume was a Birkenstock-wearing, man-hating feminist, and I remember seeing red. The writer basically tells women that we should settle for Mr. Good Enough in our late 20s and 30s, or else risk ending up alone in our 40s like her and her fellow artificially inseminated friends. Thanks for using your spinsterhood to scare single women out there, Lori. Remind me to NOT join your fan club. (*Miss Wingman note: Men, if you’ve ever wondered why your girlfriend was checking her watch and tapping her foot trying to pressure you into putting a ring on it, blame this chick. I swear she’s incited more fear in females than Jason and Freddy Krueger combined).

But even though I still largely disagree with most of the points she makes – which is why I wrote this in opposition to the argument for settling – she does say one thing that I agree with, and it applies to men as well: What makes for a good romantic relationship isn’t necessarily the same qualities that make for a good marriage. Perhaps the best teammate isn’t someone that you initially envisioned, but you need to look for more than just passion when you’re thinking long term.

I’m not advocating choosing a woman who looks like a mutant just because she has good mother material written all over her. As I’ve said before, you still need to feel some chemistry – sex is important. I’m just saying that, as that  Atlantic writer pointed out, sometimes the partner who will watch the kids so that you can eat lunch for 20 minutes, or who will stand by you if you lose a job or a loved one is the one you want around for the long haul – even if you wouldn’t cross a crowded bar to hit on them at first glance.

Obviously the goal is to find a woman who is the total package – intelligent, funny (or at least fun-loving), a great spouse/mother and who also has a killer face and set (of legs, breasts, whatever you’re into). But all I’m saying is that, if you’re really keeping an eye on the long term, pay as much attention to the size of a woman’s heart as to the size of her bra. It’s easy to get distracted by surface level things. But as the years unfold, so do the layers, and it’s the stuff underneath that we should consider most.

Of course, people change, so if you make a mistake in your selection process, just make sure you learn from it. It’s not like you’ll end up like the guy in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” who doesn’t “choose wisely.” You can redeem yourself if you really try.

Likewise, don’t count out the lesser-seeded team any more than you should count out the dark horse woman. Sometimes having a lot of solid players is better than having a few flashy stars when it comes to making it to the end (sorry, Kentucky). Same goes for relationship fundamentals. If you don’t believe me, just ask the Cinderella teams; they capture our attention every year.

Just remember that what we think we want isn’t always what works best in the end. From brackets to choosing your better half, believe anything can happen. It really is anybody’s game.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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