I’ve realized that there were a number of different categories of men. Going into adulthood, I didn’t understand how many types there were until I kept dating and noticed certain men that I attracted or to whom I was consistently drawn. Why did guys of a certain personality keep approaching me? Apart from the fact that I always seemed to fall for a guy with a similar background as me, why did I like a certain type of guy over and over again? Through enough trial and error, I’ve realized what does and does not work for me. This type, though I’ve tried it again and again, definitely does not fit in my Type-A world: The Competitor.
These men fall into a category like us women do. We even have female associates who fit into a similar system. We have our “Yes Girl” – who always tells us what we want to hear, “Truthful, Blunt Girl” – who we need when we REALLY actually want to know the truth about a troubling situation. She has the chance of actually becoming a real friend IF she isn’t the jealous type. Then, there’s the “Party Girl” – a great girl simply for partying, “The One for When in Doubt” – when we have absolutely nothing else to do and even watching reruns of Friends may get old, “The Convenient Girl” who just happens to be there at the right moment and right time to do something or tell a story, etc. The list goes on, and the same applies for men. There are nothing wrong with these Men Types. Well, depending on your personality.
The issue about The Competitor is that he is insecure with himself. Otherwise, he’d have no reason to compete. He’d be happy with himself and just keep moving along his own merry way. However, that’s the case of The Competitor. He always has to be better and prove other people wrong. This is not the type of man for me. One, no one is going to make me ever doubt myself ever again. It’s a super huge manipulation game they like to play. Two, I also have a dominant personality and the two together would create chaos.
I was first introduced to The Competitor in high school. I’ve established that I was a monstrous nerd time and time again: Class President, Yearbook Editor, drama productions, poetry readings. If I went to a normal high school, I would’ve constantly been stoned with dirty tampons from the Mean Girls. Nonetheless, I went to a performing arts high school, and thank God, everyone was weird. According to my step father, he called it “Doug’s School”. You know, Doug Funny from Nickelodeon who went to school with everyone from a different color? Still, that did not prevent the typical high school social hierarchy.
Being Senior Class President, I thought that I could save the world, at least between the brick walls of my century old school building. I wanted for us to be typical high school students and have the privileges that I saw my brother’s school have. Yeah, that didn’t happen, but I sincerely tried.
Throughout the year, I was contacted for some minor decisions at school – prom being a major focus. At this time, my boyfriend was selected to be on Prom Court. I thought it was absolutely awesome; he was popular, funny, talented, and smart if he really wanted to be. I remember he came up to me, excited about finding out about his nomination and said, “This is way better than being Class President any day.” Umm…what? I asked him to explain, and he went into detail about why Prom Court held more weight than being Class President. It hurt me because I didn’t understand why he would even mention it if that’s how he truly felt. Especially, why would he say it to me?
Moving forward into college, I dealt with the same thing. Being involved in more than enough organizations, I was always busy, dabbling in both the social and arts communities. I was so used to being involved while in high school that I felt that I should leave my mark while in college as well. My boyfriend at the time used to bash me for being so involved and how my organizations didn’t do anything really to help the community. This, naturally, led to a number of arguments.
“Do something for the community if you feel like we’re not doing anything!” I’d yell.
He’d rebut, “I do help the community…” with some BS excuses that really didn’t leave a super huge “community” mark.
The competition even moved forward into my 20s. Whether some guy was attracted to me or thought I was cute, my boyfriend would have to find a reason to tell me what girls wanted him, how much they flirted with him, what all the girl would do to get his attention, how they persistently approached him. WHO CARES.
Competitions continued and became much harder. I had a man in my life compare himself with the pursuit of my dreams and asked which one I wanted more. No person should ever have to deal with that. If you do, the person doesn’t really love you and isn’t really there for your best interests. Nonetheless, I had scales bought as “gifts” so that I could weigh myself in cases where “I started slipping” for a man who was so concerned about my weight more than his own. My career choices were questioned, my livelihood was questioned, all for the sake of some man to feel better about himself…for some twisted, stupid reason.
It took me years to realize how much I attracted Competitors until I dated a guy in my mid-20s who used my career-determination to self-motivate. It was refreshing to know that there were men in the world who would not feel intimidated by my on-the-go mentality, that we could actually encourage one another to do better. This is when I truly realized how much we, as women, allow for competitive men to hold us back.
Still, I do not believe that these men should live alone their entire lives. If you happen to be a woman in love with a Competitor, embrace his personality. It’s better to know who he is now rather than later when you won’t have any control. Learn the type of person he is, but find a way to maintain your sense of self. Or, if you’re a more fiery woman, have fun competing. Maybe it’ll help keep you both on your toes and add some spice in the relationship. If so, have fun, but definitely count me out.