What's My Problem Filter: I'm 32 years old, exteremely high sex drive, interesting, pessimistic, very bright, very funny, dead average in attractiveness, creative, not an alcoholic, poor, neither succesful nor unsuccesful financially (no debts, no assets). And I'm consistently and permanently single, despite my, say, 18 year desire for a permanent relationship with a woman. (long explananation to follow)
What's my $%^&$%^& problem.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (57 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
This is basically the fundamental question of my life. Metaphors: broken record, groundhog day, etc.
This is complicated and long but might be interesting enough. There'll be a lot of juice here for your reading.
My parents are happily married as is my brother. My mom is somewhat eccentric, intelligent, pretty smart, somewhat frustrating to deal with, pretty funny. My father is very witty, very responsible. He's a chubby short Irish guy, looks something like a hobbit. I think he's cute.
Me: I'm 32, 5'9", bearing a few extra pounds but nothing extreme. If I lost 20 or so I'd be in pretty good shape, 40 I'd be borderline emaciated. I've a sort of strange body type, short short legs and a long torso. It annoys me. I've only become vain about it in the last 5 years or so, before that I never really thought about it.
Facially I get compared to Jim Gaffigan and Phillip Seymour Hoffman on a regular basis, by strangers. I view this as not a particularly good thing, but it is what it is. I think I have a lot of character. I think if I lost the aformentioned weight, I'd look a lot less like those guys. I don't think people mean it in a mean way but I really don't like hearing it.
I've had, in my life 2 relationships lasting longer than 3 weeks. One in college to a fallen mormon girl who I realized afterwards I didn't really like (sometimes when sex is made available to me I tend to lose all judgement). One was a few years ago to a woman that I liked quite a bit as a person, but who was a really big nag (something I really hate). Our sex drives were totally at odds, me a 7x+ a week kind of person, her a 1x maybe a week. But she was very kind to me (also a person who had trouble with relationships and really wanted one) and I wanted to give it a shot. We made it for about 6 months off and on but it was very difficult and trying. When I think back on it it's pretty clear to me that we would only have made each other more miserable in the process.
There is also a woman that I was sort of involved with for 3 years. She was, in many ways, the defining woman of my life thus far and mostly in bad ways. Wonderfully cute and brilliantly funny, we had wonderful fun together in the city. When we met she told me she was not interested in a relationship and I was sort of turned off by her smoking and generally super skanky way of dressing but we had this wonderful connection for joking around. We were both intensely self-deprecating people and it was really nice to be around someone like that and be comfortable laughing about ourselves. At some point I expressed my interest in her. Long story short our friendship ended for a while, started up again, ended again. Then started again once, with a sort of date and us kissing in her car. Then ended again. And then, when I was leaving town to move to another city, we slept together. It was really nice. If that hadn't happened I'd be more bitter about how things had gone with her but in some way it took the sting off things to know that she could consider me sexually. I moved away and then came back. We started up again as friends and then all our same issues came back. Her: totally unreliable as a friend, dissapears for long periods. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, sleeping with her roomate in a disfunctional relationship thingy for much of all this. Me: needing someone who is available, returns calls, reliable. I can say that despite all our fuckuptions I really loved her and part of me still does. And I'm also really angry at her, and sad for her (she's kind of self destructive).
And while I'm at it, there is the woman that I was involved with last year. A worker at the same organization, I met her and initially was very unnatracted to her. I didn't see her for a while and then met her again and had my initial feelings totally turned around. I became quite interested in her and started pursuing her. But then I left town. When I got back (yes this overlaps the above story), she gave me the cold shoulder for a few months. At a party I went to, she acted very non-challant to me. I got annoyed. Her roomate came on harder to me than I've ever been hit on in my life. I made out with said roomate. Thus causing a major drama fest. I was not interested in the roomate. I slowly rebuilt our friendship. I told her that I was interested in her. She admitted that we had a very strong chemistry, but she was dating smoeone else. I held in there, became better friends with her. Apologized to the roomate (I did feel bad for the way things went). She broke up with the boyfriend. Finally, we were able to date. And for about a week it was pretty fucking awesome. I was extremely excited about being with her, to the point that I couldn't think straight. She was super fun to be around. I felt like we'd gotten through a lot of stuff in the intervening times and I was ready to make things happen. Writing this now (and thinking about it since then) I realize that I was pushing things kind of fast with her. It's a problem. When I'm into someone, it's a little hard for me to take things slow. I want everything with them.
She had a lot of issues that I didn't know about until it was too late. And a lot of them manifested as her being really freaked out by people being really excited about her. Kind of the perfect storm of a bad combination. Me: needing to be reassured that I was loved and accepted her: really freaked out by too much attention. So. It lasted about 2 weeks before blowing up. I'd say it pretty much destroyed me. I was kind of messed up to begin with, and had put a lot of hope into this going well and when it didn't it really floored me. Yes, it was a very short relationship but I'd been her friend for quite a while and was pretty much in love with her by the time we got together.
Here's the other awful detail. In between and overlapping all these situations, I've been internet dating up the wazoo. I'm pretty sure I've been on somewhere near 120 first dates over the last 6 or so years. You know, I'm trying to find "the one". I'll say that I've broken a couple of hearts over the intervening time, but I think the score is probably ladies: 45 sully :10 draw: 65.
Part of it is that I'm fundamentally a self effacing person. I have a lot of talents. I'm pretty good at whatever I try. But sometimes I don't take great pleasure in those things (I tend to think of art as being somewhat painful, hard work) and I'm never as good as them as I want to be, even when people praise me for them. I'm TERRIBLE at selling myself, in any form. I hate flirting. I'm obsessed with honesty. I can be very self conscious. I'm totally unable to approach women at bars. I get flustered, I stare, and then I eventually walk away. It's very frustrating. I'm not good at being on my own, but that's the only thing I've ever really known.
On the plus side I have this part of me that I'm ready to give to someone and build a life with, and I think if I'm ever to meet this person, they would see a new and better person develop out of me. The women above that I've mentioned, had our relationships progressed, I think I could have gotten my shit together (I'm not sure though if they would have been able to get theirs together).
Recently I had a fling with someone who told me that I'm pretty good in bed and pretty attractive. It's weird because I think she's telling me the truth (not a bullshitter at all), but I was sort of surprised because I never think of myself that way.
Basically where I'm at is that there are women that I'm really attracted to. In my experience they have not been attracted to me (in general). There are women attracted to me, but for the most part I have not been attracted to them. Then there are the women that I've been attracted to and had some bond with and those relationships have fallen apart in short order.
Oh and I should also say that historically, I've been really interested in very creative, super independent, extremely funny, very cute women, who often seem to have a lot of angst about one thing or another. I see the angst as a problem there but not sure what to do about it. A lot of them have had fucked up issues with their fathers and I realize how that's affected things. It's hard to pick who you are attracted to and meet though.
I've also been really into women who have had both feet on the ground but don't generally get my foot in their door.
Jesus, I feel like I'm not even scratching the iceberg. I'd be surprised if anyone read this far but if you have any advice I'd be all ears. Honestly this experience has been pure torture for me and I have no perspective on it anymore. I meet women, go on dates, fall in and out of like and love, start to get hopeful about things, occasionally hook up...and then I'll look back six months later and wonder what happened. Whatever I was hoping for fizzled out. I feel cursed.
I realize this is long. Honestly I feel like I'm just scratching the iceberg here, not even giving the barest of details. Whatever critical thought you have about all this, believe me, I've thought it out. The sort of amazing thing is that I'm still hopeful of meeting someone, after all this.
I met a guy I went to school with on the subway in NY a year or so ago. He asked me if I had a girlfriend. I said no, and said I rarely do and I never understand it. He said "Yeah, I feel the same way, I feel like whatever thing other guys learned in high school about girls I missed." That kind of expressed how I feel. And I look at this guy, kind of a cute dude, amazing guitar player, friendly, funny, a little eccentric, and I can see myself in him and wonder what the f is wrong with the both of us.
I'm moving to a new city very shortly. One that I've spent quite a lot of time in and I find very accepting and interesting. I'm hoping things will be different.
I'll leave it at that. So here's my question. Given what I've told you above, what do you think is the reason that I've been unable to find someone to have a relationship with that I'm inspired by and attracted to? And what would you suggest I do to change that situation?