I’ve kept a positive, upbeat outlook over the course of this blog, but I was in the doldrums a while ago.  Just a little bit.  It’s passed now.  Part of it was standard winter blues, but another part was my perpetual singleness.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy with myself and my life.  I don’t need “my other half” or someone to complete me. But I want more.  I want someone to share the good things in life with.  Food.  Drink.  Laughter.  Music.  Travel.  Sex.  Just to name a few.

For a short while – nearly two glorious months – I got a taste of what that was like.  I had sex.  I lost my virginity.  I finally felt like I was in the know, part of the club, part of the world, “normal.”  I stopped feeling those pangs when I saw couples.  I did things that come so easily to most people:  hugging, kissing, cuddling, massaging, holding hands, or just sitting on beach watching the sunset – things other people take for granted.  Until I slept with Rebecca a few times, I had no idea just how warm another human body was.

Now it’s been ten months.  I’m doing my best to leave her in the past where she belongs.  I blocked her on Facebook to resist the urge to snoop or message.  I’m doing my best to not to dwell on negative thoughts and remain forward-looking.  Therefore I’ve been filling up my time with hobbies and activities to keep my mind on other things.

I’ve been hitting the gym hardcore for the past three months.  It’s a great outlet for my pent up sexual energy and frustrations.  I continue to set personal records in deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.  I’ve stacked three, four, or even five 45lb plates on the weight sled and pushed it back and forth across the floor until my legs gave out and my arms shook.  My buddy and I tried a class last weekend that nearly wiped us out.  But my body is responding and I’m tipping the scales at 187 pounds – a number I dreamed about for years.

The gym is not my only arena of success these days.  I’ve been out there marketing myself and I gained ten new clients, so this should be my best year financially.  I had a great parade season and a triumphant return to solo performing.  I’m practicing several instruments a week and I sound better than ever. (I find playing music as cathartic as going to the gym.) My passport arrived and I’m planning some more travel.  And I’m giving my life a complete overhaul – new car, clothes, furniture, appliances – everything.

Throughout all of this I’ve had Bumble running in the background.  The last app standing.  There was that one awkward date a couple months ago, and since then I canceled on two more because I’d decided I’d rather go to the gym instead.  I just used the always popular, vague line of “something came up.”  I felt a bit shitty doing it, but deep down I felt those dates would have ended up like all the others, so why bother?

But there was one final Bumble date.  I tried to keep the online chatter light and flirty and save all the getting-to-know-you questions for in-person.  As Matthew Hussey says, “if you’re using texting to ask, ‘How many brothers and sisters do you have?’… you’re doing it wrong.”  So I gave that a shot, but it didn’t matter.  Once again I met a girl who checked out of the conversation after five minutes and I was the only one left making an effort.

I’d talk, I’d ask questions, she’d respond… and I’d wait.  Nothing.  Nothing asked about myself in return.  Scratch that – she asked literally two questions, almost as afterthoughts:  what was my job, and did I live alone?  When I realized she kept glancing at her phone on top of her purse on the chair next to her, I bade her farewell.  I know a lost cause when I see one.  And thus concludes my online dating efforts.  Permanently.

After so many years, I’ve come to conclusion that it’s a supreme waste of time.  There’s always the anecdotal success story, but I could never get it to work for me.  It never felt right – always forced and awkward and unnatural.  Personal experience and informal polling of friends and fellow bloggers tells me that meeting people in real life is the way to go.  Not to mention that I had more success with Rebecca than all the girls I met online put together.

Now that spring is finally here I’m compiling a bucket list, which includes several upcoming Meetups.  I’m trying to get to that same sweet spot I was in last year, where I found the perfect balance of doing my own thing and not worrying about finding someone.  Then BAM, it literally happened when I least expected it.  In the meantime I feel I’ve grown content with the status quo again.

I also continue to work on myself.  It’s almost comical… I’ve had thirty years to work on myself – how much more time do I need?  There’s always room for improvement, I guess, like with my conversation skills.  That’s partly why I’ve been filling up my calendar with things to do – gives me shit to talk about.  I’m doing my best to be more social and to fight reverting back to my natural introverted state.

So I guess that’s all I have to say for the time being.  I’ve had this blog post drafted for weeks and weeks and I kept revisiting and revising as my thoughts and feelings ebbed and flowed.  Now I’m finally ready to publish, and we’ll see what happens next in life.

Stay tuned.

12 thoughts on “Feelings

  1. a friend of mine insists that i try plenty of fish. i always blow this off because i feel as if i have other outlets. and i’ve tried online dating with no success. you’re right meeting women in real life in the way to go. it’s something i’m trying to figure out now. you’re doing the right thing hitting the gym, meeting clients ;), and then the hobbies where you’ll connect with people. i won’t reject online dating permanently, but i just know there are other alternatives failing that.

  2. Well I can say is “YOU” try to hard! What generation are you from? Now-a-days people are into texting. When you look at a person do you look in their eyes and do they look into yours? Sorry to say in the last couple of generations people have lost the art of communication. People don’t want to even try. Me I’m from the “baby boomer” generation, which means I have a few generations on you, plus a little bonkers. (maybe more than a little).
    Don’t give up, you are too young, one day poof you will meet the one for you, and you will be the one for her.
    At this point in time take a look at yourself.
    What are your body movements when you meet someone new? Don’t forget to watch their body movements.
    Keep me posted on how you are doing?

  3. I hear ya, man. I guess saying “I’m not into you/ feeling it/etc is difficult all they come up with other stories as back doors.

    I never had much luck online dating either.. good luck I the real world. Sounds like you’re in a good frame of mind. Be near women, be you, try to come across with a small side of mystery, see who notices

  4. It’s great that you’re working on yourself and taking up new hobbies, having new experiences and all that. I also prefer meeting people organically so could be a good option for dating too. I wouldn’t give up on online altogether though- if you find the same thing is happening on each date it might be worth looking at how you’re acting on dates etc. to see if there’s some way things can improve?

    • But the whole dynamic is just wrong. No matter how much you’ve messaged beforehand, online dating is still barely a couple of steps above blind dating. You invest all this time and effort, only to have her go “nope, I don’t like this guy” within five minutes of meeting you, or vice versa. When you meet someone in real life and then go on a date, it’s completely different. You already know if there’s physical attraction, you already have a sense of the other person’s personality and conversation style…

      I wish had started going on Meetups a lot sooner. What also helped is that I wasn’t looking to date. I was just looking to meet people and have fun. Consequently I was relaxed and totally myself, as opposed to the pretense or worry or expectations that came with meeting someone from the computer. Typing and swiping and uploading pictures – for me – is not the correct way to socialize (or learn how to) with the opposite sex. I need to do it the old fashioned way, because that’s what’s worked for me. Not saying I can’t improve on things, but I don’t think more online dates will help with that. After eight years online with little to show for it, I may as well be banging my head against the wall.

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