Monday, July 14, 2014

On Rejection

I've found that one of the hardest things to understand is the idea that you shouldn't take rejection personally.  Whether it's someone rejecting you when you ask them out, or when someone does go out with you but doesn't want to see you again, or even if someone ignores your messages on a dating site, or your chat messages on Facebook.  "It's not personal" it's often said, but how can it not be?  

They are rejecting you.  They might not know all about you, but they're rejecting as much as they do know.  Maybe the way you drank your coffee or the way you talk or the way you walk.  Whatever it is they're rejecting it.

I sympathize with the idea that the best response is to brush it off.  On to the next, it makes no sense to get invested in someone you barely know.  But I think it's harder to do it when you have no history of success and all you've really known is rejection.  

For this reason, I really think it's best for people to get some dating experience in their high school or college years.  Those are the years where you really can get to know people without awkward dates with people you met at the grocery store or a dating site.  

This is kind of a rambling post, brought on by some recent events in my life.  So it's not my usual post.  I'll try to write something useful next time.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Relating to People

This blog focuses a lot on the ways in which I'm inexperienced when it comes to dating, sex and relationships.  Those are important no doubt and I definitely think it defines who I am to a great extent.  Or at least, who I am now.  But it's also important to note that I'm also inexperienced when it comes to what I'd call "independent adult life".

It hits home for me when I visit friends of mine who have their own apartments or their own houses (hell sometimes they even have children already).  It's weird when they're already firmly on the path of adult life and I'm still here practically at the starting line.

I know I"m not the only Millennial to be living with his parents.  Lots of us are.  But I think what makes me somewhat unique is that I've never actually lived on my own.  Not even in college.  In fact, I haven't even had my own room since I was 4 years old.

I think it's fair to say this makes it hard for me to relate to people my age.  If you've been out in the real world, paying rent, cooking your own dinner every night, figuring where you're going to put pieces of furniture, you really have nothing in common with somebody who's been mooching off of mom and dad his whole life.

It's why I find myself running the other way when I see someone I went to high school with (not friends, just regular people) or their parents.  I don't want anyone knowing that while they (or their kids) have been out and about in the world, I've been doing nothing except working a dead end job, lifting weights, and blogging about how I don't go on many dates.  It's a glamorous life I know, but it pales in comparison to trips to Europe or a new house with a deck (and obviously someone to share it with).

So I don't know.  It's been an interesting weekend which kind of opened my eyes to some of this.  As much as I think of myself as an old soul, I really have some growing up to do.

 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blah

I got a lot of flak last time I tried to write a post with some perspective in it.  People who thought I was needlessly negative or in a hurry to grow up or something.  But it needed to be written, just to get it out there.  
I am at a point in my life where most of my friends are getting married, having children, or getting into relationships.  I can go down my Facebook friends list and tell you as much.  It isn't so much that everyone else is doing it so I should too, it's more like, I'm at that age where you begin to lose single friends to do stuff with.  And it's weird because a lot of these people are the people you'd least expect.  But here we are.

So today I'm off of work, and really have nothing to do except some minor errands I need to run.  I'm browsing the online dating sites, namely Okcupid and Match.com.  But why bother?  Sure I paid for Match so I might as well use it, but except for the break I took from April to mid-June, I've been on the site since last September and I've got (in the words of Jim Mora) "diddly poo" to show for it.  Same with Okcupid, except I've been on there longer with only marginally better results.  My messages always go without a reply, and lately on Okcupid not even a profile view.  These are people with whom I have things in common!  Getting together for a date or a meetup should be easy, but I can't even get them to chat with me over internet messages.  

I don't meet women offline anymore.  Something that happens when you combine friends settling down with graduating college.  The stream of single people coming into your life dwindles.  Not that I was very good at talking to or attracting women when I was meeting them regularly.  As far as I'm aware, attraction has always been a one way street for me.  

It's why I haven't cut "Becky" out of my life, even though continuing to interact with her is most likely bad for my mental health.  She's the only woman who bothers to talk to me anymore.  

I read a post on a blog I read about the Friendzone.  And you know, I've pretty much never been in the Friendzone.  I never get to that point.  Women usually ditch me well before we ever get to that stage.  It's like it's that bad that I don't even have that problem.  99 problems but the friendzone isn't one.  

Now this is why I'm fairly pessimistic about my chances with women.  I've been in the world, there is no cavalry charging up the hill.  I'm not going to message some girl on a dating site and meet up with her and end up dating her.  "Becky" and I aren't going to live happily ever after.  It's just not going to happen.  If it was, it would have happened already.  

Look, if you feel differently, please let me know why.  Don't give me some bullshit though.  Don't comment on here saying "there's a girl out there for you, just be patient", or some variation thereof.  I've heard it before.  I've heard the line about women being just as self-conscious around men as men are.  And maybe that's true, but they're not self-conscious around me.  

Just once in my life I'd like someone to feel the same about me as I do about them.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life messaging girls on dating sites hoping that maybe, just maybe one of them will tolerate me long enough to date me.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life quietly resenting the happy couples I see out and about.  I want to actually be in one of those happy couples.  But if you're asking my honest opinion, I don't think it's going to happen.

 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What's the Point?

This is a post that I really want reader feedback on.  I see the blog views, somebody is reading.  Don't be a stranger, comment.  Send me an email if you want it to be kept private (theinexpguy@gmail.com).

I was talking with a friend the other day about how I feel naive sometimes when it comes to women and dating.  That maybe sometimes women do make a pass at me and I don't realize it (though I doubt it).  But he also said this: women can be cruel sometimes, especially if you give them attention, sometimes they just use you for that with no intention of anything more.

Now, my friend is not an inexperienced loser.  He's in a committed relationship and has been for something like six years now.  Probably going to marry his girlfriend once they get on solid financial footing.  So while I hesitate to call anyone an "expert" on women or dating or relationships, I don't think we can call him an armchair warrior either.  He's been around and knows at least something of the world.

But my question is this: assuming his assertion is true, then what's the point?  If you can't be your genuine self and who interest when you're interested and instead have to play a game of sorts to ensure that the other person really does like you and isn't just looking for an ego boost, why bother with this whole thing?  Why bother looking for companionship from someone who needed you to prove your worth to them?  I might as well look for that in a robot or my dog if that's the case.

Why is it so hard to just get to know someone and then say "hey I like you" and have them either feel the same or not?  Instead it's a game.  They might not like you, but they like knowing that you like them.  So they string you along, giving you a little bit of what you desire, but not the whole thing.

And none of this is referring to sex by the way.  We're talking about a wholesome commitment to intimacy.

So that's my question?  Why should I make myself vulnerable to people who are mostly assholes of some variation?  Why shouldn't I put up walls higher than Constantinople?  Why shouldn't I hide in a cocoon and avoid people hurting me?  If you've grappled with this issue, what's your answer for it?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Feelings, Truth, and Happy Endings

I've been having somewhat regular conversations with "Becky" recently, which you may know from this post from last month.  Yesterday the conversation turned to a time we had together back in college and how even then I had a big crush on her (read: I was in love with her).  The good part about all of it was she didn't delete me or awkward sign out of Facebook as many women would have in the past.  But she also didn't say she felt the same way, then or now.  I came away from it feeling kind of crummy to be honest.  Not mad, just sad.

It's not at all surprising.  I confessed my feelings to her in an email months ago and in no uncertain terms she replied that she did not feel the same way.  And I respect that.  I respect when people are honest and straight with me instead of stringing me along or giving me responses in hopes of sparing my feelings.  I guess I had hoped that in these past few months of corresponding via instant message she might have changed her mind, or maybe I grew on her or something.  I don't know, sometimes you hope against hope, even when your mind tells you you're insane.

When we first started corresponding again, I suppose I thought if I told her how I felt, maybe she had secretly felt the same way for a long time but never wanted to tell me.  Maybe after talking for some months we'd realize that we're really right for each other and we'd spend the rest of our lives together.  Or something.  That's the kind of happy ending I was hoping for.  Never mind how unrealistic it was.

In order to understand why she has this hold over me, you might need some background information.

I last saw her in the late summer of 2010, when we hung out over the course of a few days before she left the US to return to her native country.  At the time, she was (and still is) the only girl (excluding family) who had ever been in my car, the only girl I had ever been to a sit-down restaurant with, the only girl I had ever sat on a couch with, and the only girl I had ever consistently hung out with.  She is, for all intents and purposes my first everything with the exception of kissing and sex.  When she left I was sad, but it paled in comparison to the sadness I felt when I first stopped talking to her and hanging out with her a year earlier.

In May 2009, as my third year in college drew to a close I began to realize that "Becky" and I were not to be.  It wasn't culture, her family, nor shyness that was holding her back, it was her disinterest.  Even after her family moved away and she was living on her own, nothing was going to change.  So I decided to move on.

The problem is that the damage had already been done.  It wasn't so much that she rejected me (unofficially of course since I never really made a big "move") but that I was so sure that she liked me and yet she didn't.  At 20 years old I had thought I had things figured out: if a girl laughs at all your jokes, touches you when she's talking to you, crosses her legs in your direction, finds excuses to hang out with you, suggests things you should do together, etc., it's safe to say she likes you.  I got all of that from "Becky" and yet she only saw me as a friend.  It became painfully obvious to me that I had no idea how to tell if a girl likes me or not.  Platonic interest vs romantic interest is something I couldn't differentiate.

On top of this, I'm forced to reconcile the fact that while I think she's special and unique, how do I know I don't feel that way simply because she's the first and only girl to seemingly take an interest in me?  I have absolutely nothing to compare her to aside from superficial interactions with women.  Not, by the way, for lack of trying.

What does this all mean?  I'm not sure.  Here is this girl that is perfect for me in every way aside from the fact that she doesn't like me romantically, a girl I would in a heartbeat marry if she agreed to it but it's destined not to be.

People who know about the situation in real life have told me not to put all my eggs in one basket.  This is only one girl in a see of girls, shouldn't I be trying elsewhere?  And my answer is that I am looking elsewhere.  I have active profiles on three dating websites and I message women fairly regularly.  Yet in all this time not a single woman has been interested.  Which goes back to my hypothetical above: am I feeling this way about "Becky" because there's no one else in my life?

Things like this make me feel cursed.  I feel cursed that the only woman who has ever wanted to spend any significant amount of time with, whom I don't feel nervous around and with whom I can talk about anything, doesn't return my feelings.  I feel cursed that I can't move on from her because no one else even lets me close enough to develop feelings.  Cursed that I happen to so often be attracted to the only demographic of women that rarely dates outside its culture or religion.

For now I guess I'll continue to talk to her.  I'll continue to hope for a happy ending of some kind.  But for some reason I doubt it will even come to pass.

How Much Should Your Past Define Your Professional Life?

What's your first thought about Shae from HBO's Game of Thrones?  If it's something like "isn't that the girl who was in those pornos?", apparently you're not alone.  I actually only recognized the name, not the face (she looks different now than she did 10-15 years ago, believe it or not) but I really didn't think it was that big of a deal.  And she's not the first pornographic actress to be in Game of Thrones, and hell, at times the show is itself some kind of soft core pornography anyway.

Is her history something that should be ignored?  I don't know.  I'm not sure if people make a big deal of it because they think porn is sleazy, or because pornographic actors and actresses don't make it out of that industry all that often, or because her parents reacted negatively when they found out she had sex with men on camera for a living and it made the headlines.

Personally I think it's interesting.  Mostly because she ended up being one of those porn stars who had legitimate acting talent, something porn stars are routinely mocked for lacking.  Though I think they lack acting skills because the job doesn't require them.  People don't usually watch porn for the riveting drama, tight story telling, and cutting dialogue.  They usually watch to get off.  Just being honest.

But outside of just acknowledging this I don't think it makes any sense to continue focusing on it.  It's no different than pointing to Ryan Reynolds' supporting role in the X-Files to analyze his career as it stands today.  It's interesting and makes for a good trivia question, but not particularly useful.

Speaking of Ryan Reynolds, being a former porn star is a bit like having played a superhero: it doesn't help you see the depth of their acting talent (or lack thereof).  And interestingly enough you often get defined by that role.  The one key difference though is that acting in porn is so different than acting outside of porn as to probably make them two different professions.

It's ok to point out that Sibel Kekilli used to do porn.  But just leave it that, don't make such a big deal of it.  Sheryl Crow used to be a teacher, Eddie Money was a police officer, The Rock was a college football player.  Are any of those things important in looking at their current work portfolio?  I don't think so.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This is why I don't associate with these clowns

I just read this article by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. If you read it, feel free to throw up or get enraged.

I have certain sympathies for conservatives in certain circumstances.  When they correctly advocate for the free market, limited government and individual liberty, I like them.  When they act completely obtuse or boorish, I cringe.

American conservatives like to point out that unlike their liberal adversaries, they treat people as individuals, not groups.  Whether you're poor, black, young, old, whatever, you should be treated as an autonomous person making his or her own decisions independent of the herd.  Yet when it comes to people from the "wrong" background, that attitude goes right out the window.  Muslims are looked at as potential threats to Western Civilization, and Hispanic and other immigrants as drains on welfare seeking to turn the US into a third world country.  It's incredibly sad.

I am not Muslim, but I know a lot about the faith, and I've met my share of Muslims in my life (in fact a huge portion of my friends are Muslim).  Like anyone who bothered to meet people of different backgrounds, I've learned that people are all unique no matter where they came from.  It's best to make an honest attempt at checking the stereotypes at the door.  Perhaps that's "politically correct", but I see it as being a decent human being.

There are something like 1.5 billion Muslims on this planet, speaking all kinds of languages and coming from all kinds of places.  Rural places, urban places, the suburbs, the west, the east, the south. They live half a world away, they live right next door.  They play sports, go to the gym, go watch baseball games, listen to the same music you do, hell some of them will even have a beer with you.  They are not some mysterious other.  Just as you or I aren't some mysterious other.

I hate to get political on this blog.  It takes away from the actual mission here but I had to say this.  And I wonder how much of this is genuine hatred or how much is some kind of rent seeking.  As long as there is a "War on Terror", people who like to foment hate while marketing themselves as "experts" benefit.  People like Brigitte Gabriel get to pile up donations while spreading fear about the dangers of Muslims and Islam.  My hope is that there's a special place in hell for people like that.  Let's hope so.