Dater XY: Fun Is More Important Than Sex

When I was younger, when it came to my relationships I was mostly concerned with sex. (I assume this is shocking to no one.) I definitely had meaningful relationships, but at the time sex that was the crux of what I wanted.

But as I grew older, sex became relatively less important while other qualities increased in importance. I wanted something more out of relationships than a strictly physical one can provide. Now that I’m in my late-20s, one of the most important qualities I look for is someone who is just fun.

“Fun” for me is a certain je ne sais quoi. It’s hard to describe, but like Justice Holmes describing pornography, I know it when I see it. I guess you could call being fun a crockpot of other qualities: a certain spontaneity, the ability to laugh at herself as well as me, the ability to be happy both dominating sex trivia night with me and my friends or staying in to watch “Frontline.” Basically, someone who is fun, in my opinion,  is someone who can enjoy herself in any situation because she cares more about who she is with than what she is doing.

I’ve always sought out fun women to date but it wasn’t until year ago when I had a brief stint dating The Doctor that I realized the ability to have fun is one of my non-negotiables. We met through a mutual friend and she seemed like someone I would really like: well-traveled, beautiful, and used terms like “haberdashery” and “tomfoolery” in her every day lexicon just like myself. Most importantly, The Doctor is insanely smart and it seemed we could geek-out together.

See, I am a massive nerd. Few things are more interesting to me than theoretical physics, constitutional law, or economics. I read peer-reviewed journals and court opinions for fun. Given my penchant for all things nerdy, I always felt that I needed to pair up with someone that was equally strange … errr … nerdy.

My first couple of dates with The Doctor were great; we had a good time  talking about the nerdy things we each enjoyed. But after the fifth date, when things normally begin to feel like they’re getting more serious, I realized I may be approaching the event horizon of nerd-dom with the Doctor.

For those that don’t worship Neil deGrasse Tyson, the event horizon is the edge of a black hole where once you’ve passed it, nothing, not even light, can escape. And that was happening here — the balance between having fun and being a nerd was thrown widely off balance. I tried to correct the balance by suggesting to The Doctor that we go out with friends more, but it was to no avail. Did I enjoy talking with her? Sure. But there wasn’t anything else there. While we had fun being nerds together, there was a lack of spontaneity. We rarely went out. Sex trivia would never happen. Random road trips for fresh seafood would never happen. Eventually, I had to end things.

What I learned from this brief relationship was that I value “fun” way above intelligence and even sex. This isn’t because I’m intimated by intelligent women; on the contrary, I find intelligent women to be incredibly sexy. But I seek to balance out my natural tendency of staying in and reading The Economist with a trivia night or my adult hockey league. Life gets too heavy, and I get bored otherwise. I want to be with someone that is up for a random road trip on any given weekend or salsa dancing on a Tuesday night, someone that is able to have fun doing virtually anything because of who she is with. Someone that understands that the journey is, in many ways, just as exciting as the destination.

I want someone fun.

[Image of a couple on a road trip via Shutterstock]