And just like that, hippies started having sex with me. It didn't matter that I hated Phish and the Grateful Dead or that I didn't get high. I had long hair and they saw something in me that probably wasn't there. And with the influx of hippies, came more confidence, and then girls who shaved and wore make up too. Even some who thought they had feelings for me beyond sex. But I didn't get a big head about that. I knew it was smoke and mirrors. They had fallen for an illusion, and feeling special about their love or lust would have been a mistake.
I had a short-term girlfriend who used to think I was the nicest guy in the world because on nights she slept over, I'd drive her to class the next morning. To me, it was just being polite, but she told me it was because I was a sensitive, caring guy. If I'd believed her, I might have been fooled into thinking courtesy passed for compassion. That civility passed for love. I might have kept acting in the same superficial way (being a crappy boyfriend to her or other women) and I might have missed out completely on the next category.
People Who Like You For The Right Reasons
This is very subjective. It's quite possible you have no idea what the right reasons for liking you are. Maybe you think you're "passionate," but in reality you're just an abusive, loud-mouthed asshole. And while not as important as the final category on the road to self-betterment, reflecting on who likes you for the right reasons is still a beneficial exercise. For one thing, it requires you to have an ounce of self-esteem. To accept that there are real reasons for people to like you. For another, as I was hinting at above, it provides a definition of love.
College-Based Real Life Example:
Something I forgot to mention about my college days. I went to school at the height of political correctness. So when I say there were hippies there, understand that these were '90s hippies without all those positive traits you could attribute to actual '60s hippies like non-violence, idealism and a predilection for orgies. At my school, hippie meant privileged kids with long hair and Birkenstocks who were so emotionally scarred they could only interact with others by sitting in a circle and passing weed.
"Here's a song about rainbows that almost silences the memories of what Daddy did when he'd been drinking."
And so periodically throughout college, I was vilified as a fascist for disagreeing with some of the following statements:
Calling any girl over 12 a "girl" is hate speech;
If you sleep with a girl who has had a beer that night it's date rape;
AIDS is the biggest crisis facing America (which even in the '90s, by the way, was not the biggest cause of death in America);
A man has no right to say a mom is being selfish about anything ever (especially getting high while pregnant); and
Guns of any and all kinds should be outlawed in America.
Even more annoying, none of these disagreements were ever met with an actual debate. There was no capacity for debate. Only an unspoken agreement as conveyed by the passing of a bowl. But then, after college, I met a very liberal-minded, educated, assertive young woman from UC Berkeley, and you know what? She didn't hate me. She didn't even disagree with most of the above, and if she did, she didn't see those opinions as some evidence of my dark spirit. And where there was disagreement, there was the capacity to discuss and get deeper into someone's head, and for the first time, I felt known. I felt she liked me for the right reasons, the real me, and I married her.
Of course, years later, I woke her at 3 a.m., screaming, "Fooled ya!!! I totally suck!" But that's not important right now.