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Op-Ed: Are Some People Unattainable?

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Welcome to the 'No Potential League.'

"Get it," my friend calmly said, as a gorgeous hunk-of-a-man, his hair tousled by the brisk Saturday afternoon wind, strolled alongside us in downtown New York City on his way to stealing more hearts. My buddy, clearly smitten, instantly explained that he uses the phrase to jokingly show that he'd be comfortable having sexual relations with the intended receiver of his muted cat-call, in this case Bobby Dapperson III from Yourfine, Connecticut.

Within the course of our two-hour-long outing, he and I found several Yourfine natives who have since moved to the city to make our lives difficult. But I was far more selective with my choices, telling my friend that I refused to identify men who were probably uninterested in a lanky brown boy like me who hasn't seen the inside of his Planet Fitness since 2013. Ok, fine, 2011. But I stay active, I SWEAR.

The truth is, I usually operate with that type of mentality, whether it's through casual encounters, dating app swipes or well-intended online messages. In other words, I only reach out to gay men that I know I have a shot with. Yes, your biceps look ginormous in that selfie, BrooklynBodMan952, but you're probably not going to hold me at night whilst telling me about your annoying coworker Tina who's going through some stuff. Yeah, homegirl needs help. I'm glad you like to read, Display Name, but you also want to keep things discreet, and this out and proud Latino ain't about that life. Nice piercing eyes, random John on the subway, but your model-esque looks are making me incredibly self-conscious, so I'mma need you to move to another train car STAT.

Every day we encounter people who are out of our league, which I'll refer to as the NPL: the 'No Potential League.' No one knows when NPL first formed or even who leads it now, but the fact remains that it still exists in every state and major city to sideline those of us who feel unworthy of approaching other flawed human beings. The players never change nor do the arenas. There are winners and losers and critical spectators who feel as though they'd do a better job if given the opportunity. Oh, and there are definitely concessions--usually when we're back home eating Breyers' Black Raspberry Chocolate right out of the tub with Adele's 'Hello' playing on repeat. Wait, is that just me?

But perhaps the problem is that we label people (in my case other gay men) unattainable too quickly without giving either party a chance to challenge that assertion. For all I know, BrooklynBodMan952 might appreciate the fact that I'm a big family man who will likely rap the beginning of Jay Z's 'Can I Get A' at some point in our courtship. Display Name may change his ways after a couple of dates and realize that being openly gay isn't as difficult as before. And John...well, John got off two stops ago so who knows where he is.

The fact is we damage our own self-esteem and self-worth by repeatedly telling ourselves that "people like that don't go for people like me" because we already assume that we are undeserving of the same treatment allegedly reserved for a select few. Fuck that. No one should be out of reach for anyone. Except Matt Bomer.

But "unattainables" have to share some of the blame, right? They often maintain a level of superiority among us common folk because of their arsenal of desirables: good looks, good job, and good manners. And if that's all it takes to win at life, then the NPL is set to have a great season this year.

I understand trying to be realistic, though. The odds of me running away with an incredibly tall, beefy man are highly unlikely, and I should be aware of that before I even attempt at wallowing. But particularly for these guys I come across online--even if I don't get a response from them, I'm in the exact same position I'd be in if I never even tried. So why not just go for it?

At the end of the day, I do get a message back--the message being that I am most certainly worthy of receiving a "get it" in the middle of the street from a Bobby Dapperson III. Now if you'll excuse us, we've got a train to Yourfine to catch, and it's unexpectedly crowded this time around.

Follow Xorje Olivares on Twitter.

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Xorje Olivares