I've finally gotten around to reading Mindy Kaling's book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? One of the things that struck me the most is her chapter about the difference between men and boys. She reveals that until she was in her 30s, she only dated boys because men scared the shit out of her:
"Boys are wonderful in a lot of ways. They make amazing, memorable homemade gifts. They're impulsive. Boys can talk for hours with you in a diner at three in the morning because they don't have regular work hours. But they suck to date when you turn 30 …Men know what they want and they and they don't let you in on their inner monologue, and that is scary."
I related to Mindy a bit too much. I think she really nailed what is scary about dating a grownup: he knows what he wants. A woman. Am I one? I wonder sometimes. Boys certainly don't care about dating a woman. They barely notice you. In a way, dating boys can be easier because you know they have no clue what they want, so it's hard to take it personally when they don't want you. Actually, you kind of expect them to confuse the crap out of themselves and screw everything up, so it doesn't hurt so much when it happens. But dating a man? I wouldn't even know what to expect from him ... or what he would expect from me. And that's the scary part.
I've cobbled together a handy guide for telling boys and men apart (for those of us who are still figuring it out).