Sunday, 2 November 1997:

Two Years of Singledom

Today marks two years since my last girlfriend, C------, and I broke up, so I hope you won't mind if I wax pathetic about it for an entry. ("Wax pathetic"; hah-hah. That's pretty good.)

I've had three serious romantic relationships in my life, lasting about 3 years, 2 years, and 6 months. Each relationship was a bit better than the previous one, which is a good thing, I'd say, but none has lasted, and of course each relationship ended for a different reason. The last one was a very good relationship, but I think we had some serious differences over where we wanted it to go, how we wanted to handle it, and difficulties with being at different points in our life.

Strangely, after we broke up I felt that ending it was the right decision. This was remarkable to me because my previous two relationships I was not at all sure that ending it was the right thing. I wasn't even sure why they ended (I'm not so sure even now, to tell the truth).

So that last relationship is pretty firmly water under the bridge at this point. And I was pretty comfortable and happy with being single for about a year afterwards. But that more-or-less ended in a brief dating experience I had last year. It's pretty amazing what fuses can blow when you develop a huge crush on someone. But, it didn't work out, and that's life. But I'm now less happy with being single than I once was.

A big problem with resolving this, however, is that I find the whole process of "dating" rather uncomfortable, if not outright painful. In the case of my first two girlfriends, we didn't really date as such, but rather fell into a relationship after being friends for a while first.

Calling someone to ask them out on a first date is probably the worst part of the whole process. I'm not very comfortable with the telephone in the first place. For my, this involves sitting and staring at the phone for a long time before finally dialing the first few digits... than hanging up. Lather, rinse, repeat. It takes a couple of hours to actually finally dial the number and let someone answer. (Actually, if it started ringing I would not hang up; that would be rude.) I know many of the "tricks" you can play on yourself to try to work your way up to it, but they don't really work. After all, what's the worst that could happen? They could say "no". (Well, okay, the worst that could happen might be that they could say "yes"!) This is really a very, very hard thing.

At this point, I'm reluctant to ask a woman out unless I'm fairly certain that they're also interested in me. Which doesn't seem to be something that I can generally detect - it might be something that doesn't generally even happen, since no woman has ever asked me out on a first date. (Yes, this does gall me somewhat.)

For that matter, it's actually fairly rare that I meet a woman in whom I'm interested these days. Certainly I meet some women whom I find physically attractive and pleasant, but that doesn't mean I'm interested in dating her. Another obstacle is that I have a rather strange set of interests - and I'm a rather interest-oriented person - which tend not to be shared by many men or women.

These are not things that I've just thought of right now, nor am I really trying to "work through" anything. I don't really see that this is a "problem" that can be "solved"; mainly I just thought I'd get some of this down on paper (or whatever). I'm not even sure this qualifies as "venting" at this point.

I've certainly been a lot lower about this than I am these days. In the year following my break-up with my first girlfriend I think I was genuinely depressed for quite a few months. Some times I do better than other times. But hey, at least I'm long-since over the illusion that I might meet someone through the net. (Not unless she's willing to move to Madison, I'm not likely to meet anyone that way!)

The worst part is that I still have that aforementioned crush, and I see that woman with some regularity. That's what really sucks. As a friend of mine put it, crushes mainly seem to exist to make you feel really, really stupid. That's about right.

Ah, well.

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