Every choice leads you somewhere. What choices will you make now?
Maybe you think too much. Maybe you know too much. You’re in touch with your “sensitive side.” You don’t sleep around or give into the modern “macho.” Maybe you know who you are and what you want from a partner. You don’t like the dating scene, the bar scene, or the porn industry.
Not too long ago you had yourself figured out and you knew you were a catch. Now if only someone would see the same thing you see or want to see in yourself. You may have a job you like or maybe you’re looking for one. Are you still at home living with your parents or have a condo in the Caymans? With a bank account of $1 or $1,000,000, college educated or high school dropout, does it really matter? You are you.
Maybe your chivalrous, polite, honest, blush a lot, laugh too much, and can’t look a woman in the eye. You’ve probably seen the world, pieces or it or only a park. It doesn’t matter either. All the things society speak to you on the never-ending, 24-hour news channels, online and in entertainment don’t apply too much to you do they? I should know. We can smell our own, and there are a lot of us out there.
We tend to be used more than we like, be friends to many we would rather be romantic with, and many times we don’t put ourselves first. But we know what we like, what we’re looking for. We could be shy, but people can mistake our calm silences as antisocial too. We could be the man at a hotel bar who knows how to dress professionally and coordinate his outfit; then again we could be the cowboy with a beat up pickup truck, the school teacher with dirty glasses or the guy alone in the front row of a concert. We’re here. So many clichés come with us, stuck like flypaper to our hands. “Nice guys finish last,” “Friendzoned,” or he’s “nice” to everyone we meet.
I lived this life. Not making waves in the pool so I wouldn’t offend someone or worse, someone may be interested. I had my experiences, some remarkable some forgettable. I wasn’t the guy with 100 notches on his bedpost, I had 7. I have friends who hit that in 40 days or less (a lot less), let alone my 40 years. I wanted “The One.” So I waited.
I turned down women I knew I didn’t need in my life. I stopped relationships because they didn’t feel right. Hell, I even got married. And now 13 years later, she’s gone. When that last relationship ended I thought I was headed for a single life I no longer understood, in a time when so much had changed. The internet, texting, cellphones, apps, technology all claimed to bring us closer together. But what I realized is it made me feel more isolated. It could be a monkey on our backs.
After, what I call my Past Life now, even though I was alone, I didn’t want to be. It wasn’t a craving for attention, it wasn’t fear of being alone that pushed me; it was the knowing I was better than being alone if I didn’t want to be. I spent the last years of my marriage alone, I wasn’t about to continue.
Everyone has advice on what to do to meet someone, to find love. “Don’t go looking for it,” “You can meet people anywhere,” “Go to the grocery store,” “I know this girl,” “Just get laid.” But what happens when someone doesn’t crave the shallow, unattached, the game, the train wreck that we call dating? It isn’t even dating anymore. I don’t even know what you want to call it when people give advice and write articles about the “Steps In Your Relationship” or ‘The Five Girls You’ll Meet This Year Who Won’t Sleep With You” and all they are is how to either trick, coerce, manipulate, lie, bargain, or impress your way into and out of a relationship before you even know where the person you’re trying to get in your bedroom has a middle name, a dog, or showers in a public bathroom or not.
And because you don’t buy into the vomit of playground stories at watercooler or tales of conquests you wouldn’t be so proud of, you’re the silent, shy, nice, unattached one who wants someone to want you for you. Maybe everyone is looking for that. Could be. But we’ll never know if breakup texts, ghosting, trolling, etc. are now the acceptable guide and means to a so-called relationship.
We’re all looking for answers. We’re all looking for someone or something. At this point in the article, I should tell you another cliché like “Love will find you” or “Be patient,” but I can’t, because it’s a lie. One of the greatest lies of the Century is that something will happen to you. And if that was the case, we’d all just sit at home while the millions of dollars and beautiful people just rolled up to our door.
The truth is, you have to still go out and find it. It may not get any easier, more fun, or exciting; but all that work and every ounce of sorrow denial, guilt, heartbreak, resentment, fear, and whatever else you feel will be worth it when you find what you’re looking for. Every choice leads you somewhere. What choices will you make now?
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