Despite my proclamation that I am ready to date, I haven’t made any progress. I had rather hoped someone would write my profile to get me going (see Self Portrait), but, amazingly, there were no takers, even when I offered a whopping $25.
Given my lack of activity, I have to wonder if I really want to find someone. It’s a question that makes me look a little deeper at myself than I would like to. When I do, I find the honest answer is no.
That’s not a full-fledged no. I have never been someone who would ignore an opportunity. But do I seriously plan to expend an iota of effort to find the yang to my yin? There’s your full-fledged no.
I have to then ask myself why, another question that takes some self-reflection. Regular readers of The BetsyG-Spot might imagine that I am at this moment doing that self-reflection, since surely I would have revealed the answer earlier, had I known.
But let me tell you a little bit about writing. Even very honest writing is selective. Revelatory writers pick and choose what they want to reveal to create the picture they want to project, even if they don’t think they do. And now I confess that I have been holding out on you. I know what the problem is; I just haven’t wanted to admit it.
It’s not just one thing. I’ll start with the easiest, which is that I don’t have the enthusiasm for breaking in a new person. If there were such a thing as a Vulcan mind-meld, I might not be so reticent; we could just hold a couple of fingers to each other’s forehead and be all caught up with everything. I wouldn’t mind it either if I could hand over a script of the more significant scenes from my life. Skip the interview.
Also, while I’d like a romantic partner who I could do stuff with, I am so particular about the “stuff” that the chances of finding some who shares my interests are about nil. So I’d have to make concessions and accommodations and—here’s the kind of ugly, introspective part—I don’t want to do that anymore. Plus, I have a friend who does share my taste exactly, and we never have to compromise to please the other. Am I going to find a random guy on the Internet who even begins to approach that ideal? No, and what I haven’t wanted to admit is that anything less is not going to be good enough.
To some degree, I’ve experienced these objections before; it’s how I was feeling when I met Mike. That’s because I’m willing to push through these objections, to carry on despite the resistance. But there’s an additional factor that is contributing friction to this resistance. And it’s this factor I’ve not wanted to articulate.
I dated Bob last year, who broke up with me suddenly for the vaguest of reasons. But I was able to discern from the fact that he’d broken up with me at all that the relationship was built on falseness. When he told me he didn’t want to see me anymore, I was more angry than hurt and managed to hit him with the perfect phrase to describe his behavior: he had been emotionally dishonest, which he didn’t dispute.
Perhaps because the relationship had been based on—what?—nothing, I was able to put the person behind me instantly. I haven’t mooned over Bob for even one minute; my image of him dissolved the moment I realized he was breaking up with me. But something novel has been eating away at me since then, and it’s at the root of the problem at hand.
I had gotten involved in that relationship reluctantly; when we met, I didn’t think he was my type at all. But the fact that he seemed to find me so appealing made him increasingly appealing to me. Thus I went forward confident that I was adored. That confidence affected my behavior: I felt free to express whatever random thoughts passed through my brain, and free to express my affection for him.
So when he broke up with me—which should be clear to anyone meant he did not adore me—I felt something I had never felt before at the end of a relationship.
I felt embarrassed.
That’s such a bad feeling, it’s become the prime stumbling block between me and any forward motion, and something I’ve kept under cover. But there, I’ve come clean, and perhaps the confession will free my romantic soul.