I don't think I'm alone (and welcome back to the blog, btw) in wanting to have a certain amount of positive social energy in my life...people that I think are really attractive, sexy, who inspire me, give me new perspectives, who I relate to, make me feel good about my place in the world, and make me feel a little less alone. I think we all want and need that.
For me, I always look for people that are a little out of the box. Nothing against people with normal 9-to-5 lives, it's just not what stimulates me.
Lately though, I've started to draw a line in my head between people that really have a degree of depth and character that underlies the surface attractiveness, and people that are just very good at being attractive. For lack of a better word, I've been calling these latter folks "shiny" people.
This is kind of an abstract concept, so let me try out a pretty obvious example. You're at a party. There's a beautiful girl there. She's put together well, smiles, and is friendly. You have a nice conversation. Maybe you exchange phone numbers and go out another time. But it becomes obvious after awhile that though the person is attractive on the surface, to misparaphrase Gertrude Stein, there's really no "there" there. There wasn't really anything in between the two of you in the way of a connection, and in the end, the person winds up being a waste of time and resources (particularly if you picked up the tab for dinner, you cheap bastard).
The thing is, I find that if you think it through -- or at least if I do -- take a step back from the physical reality in front of you and draw in the whole of the person, you can often take a good guess at who is really going to be worth pursuing a relationship (I mean that in the elastic way, including friendships and things like that) with, and who isn't. Or, if you can't, that at least it's really good to withhold yourself a little bit until you get a better sense of the person.
This has been a really great thing to figure out for me. It's always so great for me to meet people that I think are intriguing that it's easy to go overboard and ascribe things to them that aren't really there. That's not fair to me, and it's also not fair to them...it doesn't allow people to be who they are and be appreciate for that. And you also wind up overlooking people that aren't as glittery on the surface, but have a lot more to offer as friends.