I'm pretty sure I stink of desperation when I'm out on dates. Please help me stop doing that.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (39 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I just turned 27. Living in Big Coastal City, where most of my college friends call home; I grew up in one godawful small town and went to college in another, so all my roots (professional, personal) are here. And when I say all, I mean all - once a year at Thanksgiving I call my parents to ask if they're willing to see my older brother again, dad says something about lifestyles and God's wrath and sin, I hang up and go over to my brother's boyfriend's parents' place for dinner. 90% of the time, I love it here - my friends are great, my career is off like a rocket, I'm having a blast.
All of my friends are in relationships. Every single one as of six months ago. About half are married or engaged; the others are in various stages of seriousness, but not a one of them is single. It wasn't like this when we moved here, but basically, since then, they've all gained relationships and almost none of them have lost any. I even made a list to be sure. I head up a team of six at work - all of them are a year to four years younger than me, and one of them is unattached; he's the most introverted person I've ever met. Me, though - I've been single for three years, as of this fall. I had a month-long fling in 2007, and that was going great, until she decided to go back to her ex. That's the closest I've come.
I paid attention to people who told me to just do things I loved, and get out and be social, and it'd happen. I tried that - joined a couple of groups devoted to my hobbies; started volunteering. That didn't work. Well, it worked inasmuch as it made my life better, and I did get a few new friends/acquaintances out of it, and a couple of unsuccessful dates, but... no meaningful progress toward any kind of girlfriend.
I go on dates, when I can; I sometimes meet someone at a party, or a random conversation on the street turns into meeting for coffee. I just started online dating at a friend's urging, but it's been an incredibly depressing experience as I start to understand how horrific the gender imbalance is. It seems like a tremendous amount of work and rejection to even get to a single date.
Now here's the thing: I still believe that I'm doing things "right," as much as there is such a thing. I'm keeping active, and social; I've checked with trusted friends that my clothing, apartment, behavior, aren't horribly wrong. I will meet someone - logic says so. I may have had really bad luck so far, but there's nothing stopping me from meeting anyone at any of a dozen social events, hitting it off, yadda yadda. My problem is staying positive. I'm the first one to say that desperation is the worst thing to have when you're single. But I'm getting really, really desperate. I'm really envious of the lovebirds around me, and frankly, being basically celibate is kind of horrible. I'm pretty sure at this point that when I am chatting with a girl, the desperation is obvious, and it looks awful.
So how the hell do I manage this? How do I stay sane when I'm surrounded with happy couples, without ditching my entire social network? I've heard people say that I need to "stop trying," but I can't understand how to actually do that. I stay busy; between work and hobbies and friends I don't even have a lot of free time, so it's not like I'm just sitting at home moping. But like I said... it's been a long time since I've had any hope at all about relationships, and I honestly don't know, and would like to know, how to obscure/manage what is, frankly, an increasingly desperate mental state? What's worked for the green? How can I chill the fuck out?