Staying Single: It’s Easy!

I wouldn’t mind having someone around who didn’t end up driving me nuts after a few days. My own personal theory is marry someone whom possesses character traits you enjoy. Can you go on a 2 week vacation with this person and not be bored/stressed/infuriated? That is the question.

If you are not a commitment-phobe by nature, you may not know how to avoid getting into a relationship. If you’re not feeling the need to settle down and reproduce, it’s ok. If joining an internet dating site scares the living crap out of you, I understand. Relationships can be like drugs: just because everyone is else is doing it doesn’t guarantee you’re going to love it, especially the day after.

The last 5 years have been pretty much relationship-free for me. Not to say I didn’t have my fair share of man drama, but nothing ever moved past 2nd base, emotionally I mean, at least not on a realistic, mutual level. Now I’ve learned to establish boundaries rather than build walls. Doing any of the following ensured I screwed up any chance of making myself available for grown-up relationships. Here’s how to stay single:

– Instead of going out in public to join friends, decide to spend Saturday nights watching Cops and America’s Most Wanted. Who needs to “go somewhere” when the most explosive 2 hours on tv is going on right in my living room? Why go out and meet “bad guys” when I can see John Walsh bring a few to justice?

-When talked into “going out,” show up either a nervous wreck or stoned. Focus on Yuengling and avoid conversation with acquaintances. The edgy guy sitting at the end of the bar annoying everyone but me. He is amusing.
-Obsess about the past. After spending hours thinking about the first guy I ever slept with, check his myspace to make sure he is still a douchebag.
-Believe that a jerky guy is not really a jerkoff, he’s just pretending, somehow.
– Worry incessantly before going on a date. Work oneself into low-grade panic and become confused about who I am that day. My mood becomes a jumble of nothing. What to wear? Everything looks wierd. I am not sure if I even like this guy. Show up overly anxious, withdrawn, or under the influence. If under the influence, become more anxious after realizing I am now on a completely different level than the guy. I am not myself and wonder -what would my sober/calm self be saying right now? Snowballing awkwardness ensues. I ramble about abstract topics to fill the personality void.
– When things start getting slightly “serious,” realize an impending committment and become less “available” and more “busy.” This only happens with men I’m not infatuated with.

-Pick emotionally unavailable men or unrealistic circumstances. Guys on tour are so exciting! Military guys on temporary assignment? Intriguing. The safety of persuing a relationship with a British guitar tech kept my interest for years. I was myself, a healthy version of myself. We talked over email and saw each other every few years. It’s funny the emotional intimacy I felt with him was so pure. Of course the accent didn’t hurt. “Check, 1, 2!” never sounded so good.
Get drunk and sign up for internet dating sites at 1 or 2 in the morning; spend an hour creating a decidedly amusing, slightly sarcastic profile. Several months will go by before I remember and/or feel like logging in again. I will be unable to recall my password or log-in name, and decide it is a sign that I’m not serious about dating anyway.

And just maybe, I wasn’t.
I turned 30 this year and had the motherload of realizations of my own sub-concious methods of sabotage and self-destruction. The whole year of 29 was incredibly enlightening, even when it just seemed I was finally going mad. My underlying beliefs and consequent behavior became apparent and it was easy to let the bad things and bad people go. Out of all the ridiculous experiences, came self-growth like kryptonite and the things which had power over me were dismantled and dismissed like Chris Brown.

Now the past is nothing more than a story to tell.

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