I wasn’t particularly popular growing up in grade school or high school – I was never one of the “cool kids,” and wasn’t associated with any of the popular clicks; however regardless of the fact that I wasn’t “Mr. Popular” growing up I recently realized that, at least in one aspect of my life, I am popular now.

Certainly you could have a great high school experience, whether you were popular or not, if you found your niche. But those of us who didn’t find ourselves socializing with the high school elite knew who they were and, most of us, to at least a small degree, silently judged status and popularity. This being said, when it was brought to my attention recently that my profile could be found at the top of the first page of the “Most Popular” tab on JDate (for 22-32 year old males living in Chicago) I wasn’t sure whether that was a good thing.

The reason why I wasn’t necessarily enthused to be included at the top of the most popular list was that the distinction could lead people to make judgments or assumptions about me that I don’t feel are true or fair – namely that I am a JDate “player.” While I will admit that I do try to start correspondences with a lot of women, I don’t go out on dates just for the sake of going out, and I only continue correspondences and try to make plans with women I genuinely feel I have a chance of connecting with.

Ultimately, to varying degrees, how others perceive us isn’t always going to be under our control; however, I do think that people hurt themselves more (than the person they are judging) when they make assumptions about people they have made no attempt to get to know. With that in mind, I recently checked out the most popular section for 22-32 year old women living in Chicago, and tried to start conversations with the ones that I was interested in because, popular or not, I’m just trying to find the right person for me.