Dating today has made it easier than ever to find and list data points that quantify, and place value on, our romantic prospects. A little LinkedIn sleuthing clears up questions about wealth and education; Facebook and Instagram fill in the looks and social status gaps. And somewhere in the cauldron with all that is a “league.” Dating based on a league system is making a judgment call as to how it stacks up against your own, and using the result to inform the way you treat others who might be interested in you. Put that way, it’s clear: It’s rude. The whole thing is classless, narcissistic and shallow.

Despite what model agencies, magazines, dating apps and the rest of the world would tell you, there is no Top-Tier League of people. You are the keeper of your own value and your own worth.

Have you ever crushed on someone that you never even considered asking out or flirting with because you thought there was no chance they’d say yes? Go ahead, raise your hand, you know that I am talking about you!

When we say “out of someone’s league,” often we’re talking simply about looks, but sometimes it’s a combination of attractiveness, wealth, social status, and other assets. The idea is that one person is distinctly and recognizably “above” another person in these ways, so of course they wouldn’t date them.

I’ve come to believe that the “out of someone’s league” concept traps us in thought patterns that are both harmful and false. When we do this, we’re saying that certain people, with the sum of all their qualities that we really don’t know yet, by assumption, are objectively worse or better than others – and more or less worthy of romantic love.

When we rank people like this, we’re ignoring a basic truth: People want different things in their romantic partners. It’s ridiculous to think that we can reduce all those different qualities into a single universal ranking of “leagues.” Which again, it just utterly rude and obnoxious.

Men often say, “She’s out of my league,” but what these guys are actually doing is creating an imaginary system of worthiness in dating, and then deciding that’s the only basis on which a woman should be allowed to choose a dating partner.

Never mind chemistry or personal tastes. If she’s within his league, based solely on her adherence to socially constructed beauty ideals, then she should be willing to date him. If she’s not, then she’s a stuck-up bitch who thinks she’s too good for him. You know, her “standards” are too high.

Ranking women in “leagues” is a way for men to avoid thinking of women as individuals with unique needs, interests, and desires.

The concept of “out of my league” was created by a guy who didn’t want his confident friend to go out with a girl HE had HIS eyes on, or felt was attractive, so he INSISTED that she was “out of his league” so this way, he didn’t pursue her.

It’s classic jealousy.

It’s also RIDICULOUS to think that guys will LISTEN to other guys when they ask the dumb question, “Do you think I have a shot with her?” Basing happiness on what OTHERS think is not only harmful but wrong. You are the one who lives with all the decisions you make, your friends and family don’t.

So in the craziest year possible, 2020, it’s time to retire this nonsense dating myth called Out Of My League. No one is out of anyone’s league. Dating is all about self-confidence, self-worth, and finding a partner who not only builds you up, but someone who holds you down when times are tough.

There’s no “sports” league for that.

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