"Miss Smith is a very good sort of girl; and I should be happy to see her respectably settled. I wish her extremely well: and, no doubt, there are men who might not object to—Every body has their level." -Mr. Elton (Jane Austen, Emma).
It seems to be true that in dating everybody does have their "level." And everyone determines their level by different yardsticks. Some people's level is dependant on looks, others on intelligence, others on wealth and social status, and maybe others on morals, but usually it is some combination of above. The concept has always seemed a bit brutal and narrow minded to me. Of course not everyone is going to be a match with us, but how many people do people we refuse to even consider because we think they are beneath us, usually before we even know them at all. I have been on both ends of this phenomenon-the refuser and the refusee, but mostly the refusee which doesn't feel one bit fair I can tell you.
I see some of my friends go on a lot of dates, but really in their mind they have decided that most of these guys don't have a chance and the first date is just a courtesy date. Sometimes I can only look on and think, 'Hey I wouldn't totally love to go out with that guy and I'd give him a chance!' But those guys didn't ask me out because maybe they assume I'm not at their level.
As an example, recently a guy in my ward that had just moved from Provo said to my roommate, "Do you feel you like you had to lower your standards when you came up to Salt Lake? There's just not many beautiful or amazing girls like there were at BYU." When she told me about his comments I wanted to scream! First of all if I were going to assign him a "level" it wouldn't be in the top tier, so why is he acting like any amazing, beautiful girl would trip over herself to date him and second there are many amazing AND beautiful girls in Salt Lake, but with some of them you might have to get to know just a little bit better to realize it. Really he is not doing himself any favors by judging the girls around here so harshly.
I really enjoyed ii eee's comments from my last post. She said,
"The guy I'm dating right now--it's only been two months, so who knows where it will end up (although I admit to being quite hopeful)--is someone that I NEVER would have dated like, 2 years ago even. I mean, I would have gone out with him once, but he and I are exact opposites."
I think this is so awesome and I hope the best for them. Now if I may turn to Austen yet again, her characters Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennett didn't think much of each other when they first met. Mr. Darcy said of Miss Elizabeth Bennett-"She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men." Elizabeth didn't think much of him either, but by the end of course they were madly in love and married. I think that is why Pride and Prejudice is the perfect title for their story and also the perfect description for the whole dating process. We are all proud and all prejudice in our own ways and it is only when we set aside these attributes that we have a chance of being happy and finding true love. Would anyone else agree?