Second, the quote:
Adolescent girls test their own sexual appeal by embracing the challenge of attracting guys who are unlikely to commit. Unsurprisingly, disagreeable loners and narcissists are the most difficult to lock down.
I never thought of my high school experience in these terms. Looking back across the gulf of aging, I never had much insight into why girls liked me when I was a teenager. The basic notion that women like distant guys, I got. I just never understood why. And when I say that, I mean in very empty sense. I mean in the sense that if an asteroid wiped out humanity tomorrow, I wouldn't understand why it happened beyond a series of gravity fields tangling up enough to eradicate all life. Amoral. Meaningless. Empty. No real "why" to be had.
When I was in high school -- and for those playing the home game, I am old enough that high school for me means rock was still alive and music was not yet autotuned -- I was a particularly off brand of loner. I was dirt poor. I was widely considered a smart fuck-up who managed to get by with little effort. I was considered a major disciplinary problem by many teachers. Despite having the size and athleticism of an NFL defensive end, I hated team sports and all my friends were nerds, geeks, drug addicts and fuckups. I am, to this day, much more drawn to outsider culture. And the cool table was never where I wanted to be at lunch.
In other words, I was an expert outsider. A level 60 outsider.
When I was young, I didn't comprehend that girls would find that attractive. Now I fully understand it. I had the right balance of defiance and indifference. I was attractive and athletic. I wasn't beholden to a clique. I didn't have the right parents or the right family or the right friends and it didn't matter.
I was, for all purposes, outside the system. I was adjacent enough to high school life that I had to survive it. But, I was far enough beyond it that girls got the gist that something special would come of my adult life.
And, again, I need to reiterate, I did not understand a lick of any of this when I was a kid.
One thing that sucks about the teenage years for guys is that the girls have a much better bearing on life's score. Girls know who is worth breeding with before those guys themselves know it. Guys are just sort of stupid to it all and unsure what it means. Most of the time, they're just happy a girl is even talking to them.
When I was 16, I thought of myself as a dirt poor, hopeless smartass who hung out with the other outsiders. If you had told me I was the brooding loner that girls dream of, I'd have told you that you got the loner part right. The idea that girls saw past the bad stuff and could ferret out the framework of a functional, successful, unorthodox man lurking under the smartass kid would have just confused the shit out of me. I didn't get it. At all. Empty. Missing. Error.
The idea that all of that was attractive? Oh, that would have just left me stunned.
Yes, it seems absurd that several of the hottest girls in my high school took a run at me and I somehow didn't comprehend how that reflected on me. I never once thought of myself as an attractive guy. Ever. I dismissed it as time spent together. Bonding. Whatever.
Really, I just dismissed it in general. I didn't get it. I got that they liked me. And then I got scared as hell. I thought I was just a scummy poor boy who could never live up to anything.
Simply put, I thought they were getting it wrong. So, I became aloof. I shut them down because that seemed like the thing to do. It protected my ego from the inevitable failure that was bound to come from a poor smart ass dating a hot chick. It protected them from the failed life they'd lead if they stuck with me.
To some extent, even now, I feel I did the right thing. In my mind, I just wouldn't have wanted them suffering the bumpy ride required to get from me being a hopeless poor boy with some type of potential that only other saw to being a grown man who has the entire game of life thoroughly beaten. I wouldn't have wanted them to suffer through my twenties. I wouldn't have wanted them standing there telling me what I could be if I just got my shit together. And I certainly did not want to have to hear them bitch at me, either.
I'm not emotionally capable of dealing with that sort of thing. That is why I am an aloof man.