22 December 2014 ~ Comments Off

loneliness: a cyclical shitstorm

The worst part about being a lonely person is that in the process of trying to draw people to you, you inevitably push them away. I have zero good friends within a 700-mile radius (and only one good friend outside that range). I’ve always said I wasn’t one for acquaintances, but now that I’m older and nobody has any free time due to spouses and kids and jobs, all the friendships I try to forge turn into acquaintanceships instead. So I have a lot of those, and most are my coworkers. And occasionally we do fun things like eat lunch or go bowling as a group after work, but it’s not a steady stream of activity for me. I’m sitting at home with my husband or all alone 98% of my life. And it gets really old.

So I try. I try really hard to make plans and forge “real” friendships, often with the same people who are firmly lodged in the acquaintance category already. And I try too hard. I seem desperate and sad. I say things like, “No, really, I’m free ANY time, so just let me know when your schedule opens up.”

Who wants a loser friend like that?

But at the same time, how do I become a hot commodity without convincing people to hang with me? I’m not ready to have babies. I’m not really a hobby girl. So I’m stuck. And the longer I spin my wheels, the more acquaintance bridges I burn with awkwardness and excessive tenacity.

I also have the issue that most of the people I’d like to associate with are male. And while I’ve always railed against the “Men and women can’t be friends” claim, I have come to believe it may be true. Not because supercharged libido gets in the way of shared platonic joy, but because the stereotypical man and the stereotypical woman expect different things from one another. And when that stereotypical woman is also a lonely cast-off? That’s a recipe for disaster.

I haven’t come up with a solution for this problem yet. I think back on therapy sessions of old, all the suggestions to join a Meetup group or just start inviting random female coworkers out for coffee, and I just don’t see that working. I’m not invested in those interactions. And maybe I don’t need to be, but it seems strange to go ahead with them if I’m not.

Or perhaps I should heed some of my own advice… A while back, a couple I know decided to open their marriage for a short time. The reasons for their decision aren’t pertinent, but in the end, their success was unbalanced – one partner found a lot more potential lovers than the other did, and it caused general unrest and dissatisfaction. One thing that was clear was that the less successful partner had extremely high standards when it came to finding a date. She wanted to find a 9 or a 10 before committing to coffee or dinner or a movie, let alone anything more. And while I wholeheartedly agreed that a 9 or a 10 was essential for going beyond those first-date activities, it might make sense to grease the wheels and have coffee with a 6. Get back into the swing of going on dates, flirting with near-strangers, etc. It had been so long since she’d engaged in activities like those, it was sure to be a little awkward and foreign at first. And who knows, that 6 could’ve turned out to be a 9 – she just may not have realized it from the start.

So maybe I do need to pursue some 6s in the world of friends and social activities if I ever want to meet a 9. And maybe by the time I meet the latter I’ll be a 9 myself.

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