In honor of St Valentine’s day (another recently made-up overtly-capitalist holiday that Pakistan has some problem with ) I’ve been debating posting about my relationship status (chronically single) and my problems with meeting people and forging long term relationships but everything I write just comes out sad and inherently negative. No one wants to read that and I don’t want to write it.
So instead let’s talk about something, for which, I am very positive.
While I was trying to think of something I read this.
It’s a very well written and entertaining article. I think her points about choices are very good, but as I read it and tried to imagine the scenarios this woman was writing about I realized this wasn’t written for me. Imagining these scenarios is all I can do; I don’t live in any of them. Recently the topic of relationships and marriage has come up in lots of podcasts and articles to which I am typically exposed (I am assuming this is not result of my selective bias but because of the holiday). The conversations always sound like this lady’s article.
She writes, “The explosion of choices now available has impacted our desires and expectations, and led us to reconsider traditional decisions.”
I do not feel like I have an explosion of choices. Which makes me think, maybe I do and I’m just not exploiting them. Then why do I feel like I have no choices? Let’s do some quick math.
Here’s the numbers. I live in county A and work in county B, these two counties have a combined population of ~80,000 people. 10% of those people are within 5 years +/- of my age. Half of those are women. That’s 400. 60% of those are married. That leaves 180. Now things get tricky. Let’ say half of them are currently in a relationship (which is a very low estimate as most people around here tend to ALWAYS be in a relationship, needy f&^ckers) and half of the remainder actively practice a religious philosophy in which I can’t take participate (I already tried that it ends with me paying two lawyers). Now that leaves 45 potential women but here come the two things that are going to hurt some feelings. Only a quarter of them have any school beyond high school and a third of them are obese. Rounding down that means there could potentially be 7 single women within a 30 mile radius of here that MIGHT be compatible.
This brings up the topic that makes me angry at the optimistic pod-casters and blog writers. The idea of “date lots of people” is a real issue for me. I am admitting it’s my issue and it’s not impossible and I shouldn’t let it stop me if I really wanted to meet someone but it HAS stopped me for years. I have some real problems when it comes to relating to people and meeting new people is something I simply cannot do without an introduction. But introductions are no longer made, we live in the age of ask out anyone you like at any time (in the past you could get shot for that). So, besides the fact that there’s a low population from which to chose, and a low variation of types of people to date I’ve got some sort of pseudo-developmental-Asperger’s thing that has always hampered me. To that, the optimistic pod-caster would say “just go do it, it’ll get easier, you learn how to deal with blah, blah, blah.” I don’t believe that’s true, but if I follow that advice anyway and get optimistic and go out to meet someone, where do I go?
Why don’t I go to town and meet someone? There are a couple mid sized cities within 30-45 minutes drive of my house. Well, this one is not my fault. The social activities where I live are geared towards married couples, kids in school, old people, and church groups. That just leaves going to friends' parties and bars. I only have a few friends and they don’t have any friends so they don’t throw any parties and I’ve been to the bars, I grew up in bars; I’m not going back. If you are starting to get frustrated with my attitude please remember that walking up to a woman and saying “hello my name is…” stops being cute sometime in your early thirties unless you're Ryan Reynolds. I’m 42 and it’s just creepy if I’m in a public place and I walk up to some women I don't know. I'm trying to guess if she's single and she's trying to guess if I'm a rapist. Oh! That leads to the point: She wouldn’t think I was a creeper if she was attracted to me, right?
I know what you’re thinking, Norris, why don’t you just give match.com your money and let them help you meet someone. Let MATH DECIDE! You already admitted that you probably won’t find anyone nearby, you don’t like the idea of approaching strangers who probably aren’t single anyway and no one you know is in any hurry to make an introduction, so let the internet do its thing. That’s a good choice and an article about choice is what started this train of thought.
OK, if I play the internet game I have the potential opportunity to “date lots of people” and “find someone that you like”
So, why don’t I? Well, I basically wrote this post 3 times trying to be honest but not melodramatic and I don't think I've succeeded. There's no defense for my behavior other than me giving in to my dysfunction and refusing to improve on it so.....
In a nut shell, I don’t because I have never experienced anything in any past relationship that was worth the inevitable suffering required to experience it again. People keep saying it’s worth it. You keep telling me that we love, we lose; we try again. Eventually we meet the right person at the right time and after a lot of work and dedication we have a life that deeply involves someone else and it’s all worth it.
To that I have to say, I think you’re stupid.
And deep down I want to be stupid, too.
Happy Valentines day