10. Because you are married. You brought your A-game while you were courting your partner, you always used to put your best foot forward, you were charming, witty, empathic and cool, and you always found super fun things to do. You used to be fun. Really really fun. But now that you are married you figure that the hard part is over and you have little incentive to extend that effort to seduce another person into loving you. Now you can just lay back and enjoy. And this is why most marriages fail. Because there truly is more excitement in the chase than the catch. Do you want to stay married? Have mandatory date nights.
9. Because you have a “friend with benefits” situation. And thus making the effort to date people seems challenging, contrived, time-consuming and expensive. And you are not ready to deal with your fear of intimacy.
8. Because you are a narcissist. You believe that other people were put on earth to entertain you.
7. Because you are boring. All you talk about is how much and how hard you work. Work work work. You have no life besides your job. You haven’t been to a museum, theater or concert in months and you barely skim three headlines after you check your social media on your phone while taking your morning dump. Thus, you have nothing to talk about besides your job and how it is so demanding that it leaves you no time to go to museums, theaters or concerts and the only time you have to read about what is going on in the world is while you are on the toilet in the morning after you check your social media to see if your life still matters to other people.
6. Because you no longer know how to connect with other human beings. Technology has left you alienated, depressed and anxious. At first you thought that you were connecting with other humans through texting, IMing, DMing, FaceTiming, WhatsApping, Skyping, emailing, LIKE-ing other people’s posts, sending emojis, etc. but now you feel continually ghosted, that everyone is crazybusy, that nobody really cares about you, that you could die and most of your “friends” wouldn’t notice for months, and that other people must have real lives and you are a loser.
5. Because all propriety and decorum have been chucked out of the window. In the 1950s a young man would shower, dress appropriately, go to the young lady’s house to pick her up, possibly bring flowers, casually chat with her father who would then smile and shake the young man’s hand and say, “Have my little girl home by eleven, son.” And in that smile and handshake was transmitted, “If anything happens to my little girl I will hunt you down, cut your dick off, and ram it down your throat. Then I will torture you.” Today every time a woman agrees to meet a man she fears that her head will end up in his refrigerator and her dog will die of starvation (or end up with its head in the guy’s refrigerator too). Without any rules and regulations, without any structure for “dating,” everyone is besieged with fear. Men fear being financially exploited; women fear being assaulted, raped and/or murdered. Until we re-establish some norms then potential couples will continue to meet at Starbucks (not your regular Starbucks but the Starbucks down the street in case the person turns out to be a stalker) and dates end up feeling like job interviews or casting auditions for you to star in a film directed by your potential mate entitled “This Is What I Think The Rest Of My Life Should Resemble.”
4. Because the last time you were authentic was when your pet or someone close to you died. You no longer believe you have the right to feel the entire breadth of human emotions because you know that being emotional scares people away. Thus, you numb yourself out with marijuana, prescription medications, alcohol, binge-watching Netflix and HBO series, video games, pornography and shopping when you are alone so that you can put on your happy, hip, cool and fun facade when other people are around. You are a huge phony, you suffer from the imposter syndrome, and you fear that if other people knew the authentic you (the one now plagued with sundry addictions and afflictions) that they would abandon you, block your number, and possibly even — egads — unfriend you on social media. The horror, the horror.
3. Because you are always looking to trade up. All humans have flaws yet you have raised the bar so high for a potential partner that nobody will ever meet it. You claim to be a perfectionist but really you are an intolerant narcissist with a boring life and a fear of intimacy.
2. Because you skipped “The Art of Conversation” class in college (actually it was never offered). You barrage people with meaningless tidbits about your recent shopping victories, your last vacation to an exclusive locale, a funny thing your pet does, your AMAZING yoga teacher, a problem with your gym, how your neighborhood is going to shit because of “those people,” how you thought you were an INFP but you’re discovering you’re really an ENFP, the price of gas or airline tickets, how expensive Whole Foods is, your Uber ride with a (fill in the blank), that your father voted for Trump, that you would like to leave it all behind and move to an ashram (but one with really fast Internet — ha ha!). If somebody filmed your last five conversations and played them back to you, you would be astonished by your own dearth of curiosity, that 90% of the words floating through the air came from one mouth (yours), and that you failed to notice your potential partner’s eye-rolling and eventual tap-out.
1. Because you are jaded. You have been on so many bad dates. You and your refined sensibilities and your wallet and your body have been assaulted so many times that you just cannot risk going through it again. You have committed yourself to earning enough money so that you can occasionally afford a prostitute (someone you pay to leave you alone) and eventually a nurse to change your diapers during your last few days on earth.
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Originally published on Medium