being single

Exit 151. Who am I? What do I want?

Who am I?

What do I want?

I’ve had a few conversations lately along these lines.  Most notably, a few weeks ago, my therapist asked me if I were to wake up tomorrow and everything would be happy, exactly the life I want, what would that look like?  It seems like a simple question… but I wasn’t satisfied with my answer.  My answer seemed clichéd and unrealistic.

The best answer I could come up with was that I would want to be married to a nice Christian woman, and we would be raising a family together, and we would be involved in a church.  And all of the frustrations I have with the way the world is wouldn’t matter, because she would share many of my frustrations, and church would be our safe place away from that.  That all sounds nice from the somewhat naïve world view I had in my early 20s as a new Christian, when things seemed more black and white, and I was surrounded socially by other Christians.  That isn’t life anymore.  Life at 40 in the suburbs is different.

And is that really what I want?  Or is that what I’ve always been told to want?  Do I want this life for the right reasons, or for shallow reasons of the flesh?  Are there any options I haven’t explored yet?  Which ones are worth my time, and which ones have I avoided just because I want to stay in my comfort zone?

If I’m going to make any progress in figuring out life, I’m going to have to figure this out first.

Exit 122. Everything is more interesting when you focus on the positive.

Last night, a friend from high school did one of those viral Facebook posts where you answer questions about yourself.  In this one, you were given a year in the past, and you answered questions comparing what you and your life were like in that year and what the same things are like now.  She gave me 2003.  It wasn’t a very long survey, and most of my answers to the questions weren’t very exciting.  “Relationship status?”  “Number of kids?”  My answer was “none,” both in 2003 and now.  I usually only share these kinds of posts when I have answers that are specifically interesting or funny, but I had no such answers, and I noted on my post that my answers for this one were kind of boring, wondering out loud why I was wasting my time with this post.

After I posted that, I went for a 25-mile bike ride… yay me.  I checked my phone during a water break, and I saw that I had two replies, one from another unmarried and childless friend my age agreeing with me, and one from my friend who originally posted it, apologizing and offering to think of some more interesting questions to ask me.

No apology was necessary.  I was not truly upset.  If anything, I was just being overly negative about being unmarried and childless, something I tend to do too often that really only makes the situation worse.  I felt bad at this point for my response… it really wasn’t that big of a deal.

But I had a thought as I continued my bike ride.  Instead of dwelling on something that makes me far more upset than it should, I’m going to turn this around and make it positive.  So when I got home, I thought of some positive changes that I have made and/or that have happened to me since 2003, and I added those to my post.  At the start of 2003, I had only been to 14 states; now I’ve been to 48, plus the District of Columbia.  (If you don’t include airport stops or driving into a state and then right back out just to say I’d been there, it would be 7 then and 38 now).  In 2003, I lived in an apartment in which my mailbox got broken into once a month, presumably by people looking for welfare checks, with neighbors who I could never tell if they were fighting or having sex or both.  Today I own a house (by which I mean I pay a mortgage) on a quiet street.  In 2003, I had never ridden my bike more than 20 miles in one day; today, I have broken 50 miles three times.  I had been to two NBA basketball games in my life up until 2003; now that number is around 80.  I discovered the music of Carbon Leaf in 2002 but had not yet seen them live as of 2003; now, I have seen them 19 times.

Everything is more interesting when you focus on the positive.  It’s not always easy, though.

Exit 91. Oh, @#$%, I do know her.

Last night, I was at a friend’s birthday party.  When I got there, I scanned the room to see who was there.  I saw some people I knew, some people I recognized from previous birthday parties (I’ve been to all of her birthday parties since 2013), and some I didn’t seem to recognize at all.

The party was in an older house in an older neighborhood in Sacramento, and there is only one bathroom in the house.  About an hour and a half into the party, I was waiting in line to use the bathroom.  The bathroom door opened, and out walked one of the people I had spotted in my initial scan of the party and identified as one I didn’t know.  I smiled and said hi, as I usually do when I come face-to-face with party guests I don’t know.

“Hi,” she said, with a strange look on her face as she walked off.  By strange, I mean it wasn’t the friendly hello that usually comes when I’m about to introduce myself to a guest at a party whom I don’t know.  There was something significant in her response.

It hit me about two seconds later, as I walked into the bathroom and closed the door.  Oh, @#$%, I do know her, I thought.

I didn’t recognize her until I saw her face, because she has significantly shorter hair now, and I hadn’t seen her up close in my initial scan of the room.  I met her at this same birthday party two years ago.  Over the next few weeks, we started exchanging long Facebook messages, which then led to two dates.  On the way home from the second date, I asked her something like “what are we,” and she said that we were casually dating and seeing if things could work out.  Four days later (and this was right around Valentine’s Day, I should point out), she dumped me by text.  (I told this story in more detail here, in Highway Pi #42.)

I think it hurt so much because I felt like I deserved at least a phone call or a face-to-face conversation, not just a text.  In particular, I didn’t understand what had changed in those four days.  I suppose I was fortunate to at least get a text, though, because apparently the trend these days is to dump people by not saying anything at all, just refusing to answer communications and disappearing out of the other person’s life.  That’s just immature and cowardly to me.

I didn’t say anything to her the rest of the night last night, and she didn’t say anything to me.  I hate being in that awkward position where I don’t want to talk to someone, or someone doesn’t want to talk to me.  But I think that’s just part of life.  There have been times when I was able to reconcile with someone who had hurt me (I wrote about one in Highway Pi #19, for example).  But I can’t expect that to happen every time.  Everyone is different, and every ending friendship and relationship is different, and I can’t change people.  That’s okay.  The best I can do is move on.  Sometimes I’ve been in awkward situations with people, and I can’t always figure out if I want to stay friends with them or not.  That’s okay too.  Healing takes time, and usually it depends on the other person as well.  I just hope all of these situations sort themselves out in time.

The rest of the birthday party went really well.  To this day, I still don’t know if my friend who was having the birthday ever knew that her friend and I went out a couple times, or that she dumped me by text.  I didn’t bring it up.  There was no point.  I was having too much fun with other people who are actually fun to be around.

Exit 60. A wedding hashtag combines two things that I already hate: weddings and hashtags.

A friend who recently got engaged was taking suggestions on her Facebook page for wedding hashtags.  That got me thinking, why do I hate the idea of wedding hashtags so much?  On the surface, the answer seems simple.  A wedding hashtag combines two things that I already hate: weddings and hashtags.

But no, it’s not quite that simple.  And any of you who are currently planning a wedding, and planning to invite me, please don’t take me off your invitation list because I said I hate weddings.  I didn’t mean it that way, and I totally want to come to your wedding.  Keep reading; I’ll explain.

In 2007, I was at a wedding for some friends from church.  I was in kind of a grumpy mood that day as it was.  I have mixed feelings about weddings in general.  Weddings are supposed to be a happy occasion.  Everyone seems to have that phase in their mid-20s when all their friends get married, and they get invited to weddings every few months.  After I went through that phase, I moved at age 24, made new friends who weren’t married, and went through that phase all over again.  Then I moved again at age 29, and went through several of these cycles: make new friends, watch these friends get married, watch them move on with their lives and not spend time with me anymore, and repeat.  GOTO 10.  And through all of that, I never got my chance.  I’ve been to approximately 40 weddings in my lifetime, and each one represented close friends who I was about to lose because they discovered this strange alien phenomenon called love that was going to take them into a new phase of their lives that required leaving all their old single friends like me behind.  I’m happy for my friends who get married, but I can’t shake the feeling in the back of my head that I’ve just lost two friends, and that I’m missing out on this next phase of my life.

The reception for this wedding in 2007 was at a different location from the ceremony.  I got there a little later than most of the people I knew; seating was not preassigned, and everyone I knew had already found a table, and there was no room left at that table for me.  Given the way I had been feeling that morning, that was enough to set me off; I quietly walked back outside and sat on a bench.  An older friend from church (not older as in old, but older as in around my parents’ age rather than close to the age of the bride and groom) sat next to me and asked what was wrong.  I told him.  “Go home,” he said.  “If you really don’t want to be here, just go home.”  I thought about it.  I almost did go home.  But then I said, “No.  I’m not going to go home.  This day isn’t about me and all of my issues.  It’s the bride and groom’s special day, and if they think I’m an important enough part of their lives that they wanted to share their special day with me, then it would just be selfish for me to turn my back on them because of my own issues.”  So I went back inside, and I was determined to have fun at that wedding reception.  And I did.  And ever since then, I’ve taken that attitude whenever I’ve been to a wedding.

As for hashtags, let’s review first, especially for the benefit of my readers who aren’t up on the latest social media trends.  A hashtag is a number sign (called a hash in British English) followed by some string of letters and numbers (no spaces or punctuation) intended to group or categorize a caption, status update, etc.  Hashtags in their current form started as a function of Twitter and later spread to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.  They can be used in mid-sentence, such as “Is anyone watching this #SFGiants game right now?”, or as postscripts, such as “Home run!!! #SFGiants”  The original intended function of a hashtag is to group or categorize posts.  In my examples, clicking on “#SFGiants” wil bring up other posts that contain the hashtag #SFGiants, which would presumably be posts about the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

The problem with hashtags, in my opinion, is their gratuitous overuse.  Let’s say you go to a Giants game and take a self portrait (that’s what the word “selfie” actually means, by the way, so if someone else is taking a picture of you, it’s not a selfie) with the scoreboard and the view of the San Francisco Bay in the background.  Your properly tagged caption might say something like “At the game today!  #SFGiants  #SanFrancisco #baseball”  An improperly tagged caption might say something like “At the game today!  #icanseethebaybehindme  #lookatthathugeshipunderthebridge  #ihavegreathairtoday  #busterposeyhasaniceass  #iwantgarlicfries  #cutehair  #omgitotallylookcutetoday  #selfie  #hashtag”  For one thing, that is hard to read.  The English language has spaces and capital letters and punctuation for precisely that reason; please use them.  Spaces and punctuation aren’t allowed in hashtags, I know, but capital letters are, and that would significantly improve the readability of this caption.  More importantly, though, most of those things shouldn’t even be hashtags.  Remember, the point of a hashtag is to make your post searchable.  I guarantee you, very few people, quite possibly no one, is out there searching for “lookatthathugeshipunderthebridge.”  It’s way too specific.  If you wanted to categorize your pictures of ships under bridges, use something more succinct and easier to find like “#ship” or “#bridge.”  If you wanted to categorize your selfies with great hair, use “#greathair.”  That’s how it’s supposed to work.

So, back to the original topic, wedding hashtags.  When the kids these days get married, they make up a hashtag specifically for their wedding, and tell all their friends to use it when posting statuses and pictures related to the wedding.  To me, this seems kind of narcissistic.  Do they really expect people worldwide to be searching for their wedding?  And do they always need to come up with something cute and sappy?  Can’t it just be their names and the word “wedding” or something like that?  Some keep their hashtags simple like that, I know.  But I’ve seen others that just want to make me barf.  I’m not going to give examples here, because I don’t want to alienate my friends who have done that.

I realized something about wedding hashtags, though:  I can’t really complain, because this is a perfectly legitimate use of a hashtag.  A hashtag specifically for posts and pictures from a wedding creates an easy way to see posts and pictures on that same topic, and this is what hashtags are supposed to be for.  Maybe the whole world won’t be searching for that topic, but the bride and groom and their family and friends might.  And as for being narcissistic, it’s a wedding we’re talking about here, and the bride and groom have a right to be the centers of attention for that one day.  Like I said, if I don’t like it, I’m just being selfish.  I have my own issues to deal with, and I shouldn’t take them out on two other people who deserve to have a special day.

So if you’re planning a wedding, and you want me to be there, invite me.  I’ll be there.  Go ahead and make up a hashtag too.  I won’t use it, but that’s only because I generally don’t use hashtags at all, not because I’m going to stop you from celebrating your wedding your way.

Exit 46. Baby, don’t treat me bad.

Fans of the so-called hair bands that were popular in my childhood will recognize the title of this article as a quote from a two-hit wonder called Firehouse (one hit, two hits).  I don’t really know a whole lot about this band other than those two songs and what I’ve read in their Wikipedia article, but I discovered something interesting in there: Firehouse won “Favorite Hard Rock New Artist” at the 19th American Music Awards, held in early 1992.  Firehouse didn’t really leave much of a legacy in the quarter-century since they first approached stardom.  Firehouse isn’t really very well remembered these days, other than people in their 30s commenting “Hey, I remember that song! I haven’t heard it in years!” whenever one of their friends shares it on Facebook.  You never see kids who weren’t born yet when Firehouse was popular wearing Firehouse T-shirts, for example.

What’s interesting about all this, though, is one of the bands that lost to Firehouse in that year’s Favorite Hard Rock New Artist category, a trio that perhaps you’ve heard of called Nirvana (one hit, two hits, three hits, four hits, five hits, six hits, seven hits, and probably more if not for the lead singer joining the 27 Club in 1994).  So did Firehouse deserve the award over Nirvana?  That’s a bit of a subjective matter.  While researching this post, I discovered that Firehouse actually did have a third song to crack the top 20, one I don’t personally remember, and the seven big hits from Nirvana that I remember most didn’t all perform as well on the charts as I’d have thought considering how often I heard them back then.  (Both Nevermind and In Utero were #1 albums, though.)  But I don’t think anyone would doubt that Nirvana had a much greater influence on the history of rock music than Firehouse did.  To me, it seems like whoever was in charge of selecting the Favorite Hard Rock New Artist at the American Music Awards was more comfortable with a band that sounded like all the other biggest hard rock bands of the last decade rather than a band that signaled a fundamental shift in popular music.  They wanted to stick to the old ways, even though the world was changing.

That last sentence, that is my problem right now.

This is not the same world that rejected me and bullied me in 1985, this is not the same world in which I finally learned to have friends in 1993, and this is not the same world that taught me about Jesus and how to form romantic relationships God’s way in 1997.  While some core principles and beliefs should never change, I can’t apply those the same way that I did, or that I wanted to, in the past.

This causes a lot of tension because I don’t like the way the world has changed.  In order to socialize, I have to go to bars and blow a ton of money on bad-tasting judgment-impairing drinks only to have a hard time hearing anyone because it’s so loud in there.  In order to pursue a relationship with a woman, I have to ask her out right as soon as I meet her, follow all these rules about how long to wait before I call her back, and go to bed with her after a couple weeks, which will usher in a period of awkward tension in which we aren’t sure if we’re a couple or not.  Those things don’t make sense to me.  I’d rather find somewhere to talk to people where you can actually listen to each other, but if I talk to strangers anywhere else it’s creepy.  I’d rather get to know a woman on a platonic level, slowly, and spend time together with our clothes on before establishing clearly if we are in a serious relationship.  But getting to know a woman on a platonic level sends the message that I’m not interested.  I feel like I don’t fit in at church.  I can keep looking for a church that has a group like the one I was in when I was in college, where the room is full of people in the same place in life as me, and after the singing and the Bible lesson, we socialize and hang out together.  But the honest truth is that I’m not going to find a group like that.  Adults don’t do that.  They go home and go to bed early, because they have jobs and children to worry about.

I can’t change the ways of the world, unfortunately.  I can change myself, and I can change my attitude, and I’m going to have to do a bit of both.  Maybe I’ll have to stop clinging to some of the old ways.  Maybe I’ll have to get a smartphone.  Maybe I’ll have to let go of the wistful hope that I’ll ever experience the kind of unrestrained puppy love that teenage couples experience, with the all night last minute road trips and bonfires and stargazing.  But I’ll also have to figure out which core values not to change.  A woman who expects to sleep with a guy before even establishing if we’re a couple or not obviously isn’t the one.  If I stay true to myself, but keep a positive attitude and stay open to new things, then hopefully I’ll be able to find my place in this world without having to sell out.  I’m not going to fit in everywhere, and not everyone is going to like me, and life isn’t going to look like what I wanted my ideal life at age 22 to look like.  But it’s okay to be a little different.  It’s okay to be me and have a lot of different interests and connections that don’t usually go together.

After all, all three artists I linked to in this post are in my music collection, and they represent very different styles of music.

(And by the way, I didn’t post anything for Pi Day because I was attending the birthday party of my cousin’s little guys.  Family is important.  All the kids at school asking me if Pi Day was going to be the most amazing day of my life… well, it’s fun to point that out, but it’s really not that big of a deal in the long run.)

Exit 38. :)&[4].

The combination of numbers and punctuation marks appearing in the title of this post is something I’ve used a few times over the years as a Facebook status.  I haven’t recently, though, because I haven’t really felt that way, although I know I really need to change my attitude.  And that’s what I need to work on right now.  But first I should explain what “that way” is, considering that :)&[4] is an abbreviation I made up (for a quote I didn’t make up, though).

:)&[4] is short for “I’ve got a smile on my face, and I’ve got four walls around me.”  To me, that means that I’m content with life at the moment.  I may not have everything I want, things may not be perfect, but I have what I need and I’m okay with that.  (Feel free to start using that in your own statuses and tweets.)  The quote is the both the opening and closing lines of this song:

As I mentioned in a recent post, the vocalist and primary songwriter for that song, Alan Doyle, recently wrote a memoir.  I just finished reading it today.  (And if I’ve mentioned it two weeks in a row, that means it must be really good, so all of you should go read it as soon as you’re done reading this.)  One of the first things that struck me about Alan’s story was when he writes about the first time he brought his future wife to the small rural fishing village in Newfoundland where he grew up.  He tells about how they had no car and his dad had to hitchhike to work, about throwing big parties to warm up the house when they ran out of heating oil, about having no bathroom at all when he was young, the non-flushing toilet in the bathroom his father built later, and taking his first shower as a preteen while visiting some relatives on his mother’s side in a different part of Newfoundland.  You hear stories all the time like this from people of my grandparents’ generation, who grew up during the Depression, but Alan isn’t that much older than me.  All of the stories in this book happened in the 1970s and 80s.  When Alan was a university student in St. John’s, he brought his future wife to his childhood home, and she said that she had no idea that Alan grew up poor.  Alan didn’t understand what she was saying at first, because he had never thought of himself as poor.  It was the only life he knew, and his family always had each other and they had all they needed in life, and they knew how to make do when they didn’t have something.  And that attitude shows up in the lyrics of Ordinary Day.

One foggy morning last week, I was driving to work, and while still in my own neighborhood I saw a blind pedestrian walking down the street with a red and white cane.  I don’t know who this person was, and now that I think about it, I don’t even remember if I noticed if it was a man or a woman.  But it just got me thinking about how when you don’t have one of your major senses, you have to learn to make do and do the best you can without it.  And suddenly, something hit me, like that feeling you get when you figure out something that has you stumped for so long.

I don’t consider myself poor financially.  I have a job and a house and a car.  I used to be a bit less well off financially.  I spent seven years working at a small private school that did not pay well.  In mid-2014, when I left that job, I was taking home the same dollar amount, not adjusted for inflation, as what I made in public school in 2003.  And I found ways to make do.  I didn’t jump on the smartphone bandwagon.  I had roommates for a while, and when the last one moved out, I decided to live by myself, which required more making do.  I got rid of cable TV, and I stopped getting the print edition of the newspaper.  And now that I’m taking home more money at my new job, I still don’t have a smartphone, cable TV, or print newspaper subscription, because those things aren’t really necessary for me when compared to how much they cost.

One of the areas in life where I do feel poor is in my chronic inability to form romantic relationships, and along with that, my fading hope of ever having a family of my own someday.  I came of age in an environment where I was told that dating was bad, because people who rush into relationships make bad decisions, so I should stop looking to find that special someone, and eventually God would bring her along, and we’d be married and happy and fit neatly into all those evangelical Christian stereotypes, where I’d be a strong manly Promise Keeper leading my family spiritually, and she would be a strong womanly Proverbs 31 Woman going on women’s retreats that looked like commercials for feminine hygeine products.  What no one told me was that all of that came with a deadline.  It doesn’t work the same way in real life once you’re too old for youth groups and college groups.  God isn’t just going to bring someone along with no effort on my part once I’m out there in the real world and not surrounded by singles my own age in my place in life.  Many of the people around me who heard that message with me in their early 20s got married in their mid-20s and now have happy families, and I’ve spent most of my 20s and 30s frustrated over the fact that none of that works for me.  I know there are other issues at play here.  My self-confidence issues have gotten in the way quite a bit, and those happy families aren’t always so happy all the time.  But there’s something else going on here.

And this brings me back to what I was saying earlier: I have to learn to make do, and do the best I can with what I have.  The world I knew in 1997 when I was being told all that stuff about dating is gone.  If I keep denying that, if I keep expecting life to stay the way it was in 1997, then nothing is ever going to change.  I have to make do with what I have, and what I have is a pretty awesome life in 2015.  I don’t have a family of my own like a lot of my age peers do, but I have a lot of friends and experiences and adventures to be thankful for.  And there do exist single women in 2015, but I’m not going to meet them by sitting back and waiting for them to come to me.  That doesn’t mean I’m denying the power of God in my life, it means I’m being reasonable and realistic.  I’m not meeting women my age with my values in my normal social circles, which gives me three options: other social circles, bars, or online dating sites.  Other social circles are an option, although I still think it’s hard to find people with that much in common with me.  But I’m going to be spending the next two Saturdays attending birthday parties of people who aren’t among the people I spend time with often, and that can’t hurt.  I never know how things will play out in the end.  (I should add, though, that I was at one of those same birthday parties a year ago, and I met someone.  We went out a couple times, and it didn’t end well.  In the interest of not using this blog to bash exes, I won’t say anything more about that, but I will say that I’m glad that I had the experience, as a live-and-learn growing experience type thing.)  As for bars, most women there also don’t share my values, and bars aren’t really my scene, so maybe if I want a relationship, I should try going back to online dating.  I had seven months of bad experiences with online dating, but that was on one site that was free, so there are other options to explore.  Yeah, it sucks that we live in a world that is so impersonal that we can’t meet each other face to face, that everyone is too busy to have any real interaction, but that’s the world of 2015 that I live in, so if I want to get by in this world, I have to make do.  I’m not going to meet a woman who shares my interests and values 100%, but very few men do, so I’ll have to make do.

I’m not saying I’m going to start looking for a relationship right now, I’m too busy with other things to know if this a good time for sure, but I don’t want to be closed to the idea of online dating because of that one stretch of life.  Sometimes I wonder, though, if maybe God never allowed me to have a family of my own because he knows that I wouldn’t be able to handle it with all my other commitments.  I often wonder how busy people manage to raise kids.  But if I ever do get the opportunity to have children of my own, I already know the secret: I just have to make do with what I have, and do the best I can.


Exit 13. Be the right one.

I had a topic ready for this week’s post, but then I decided that it might not be the right time to share that particular thought on a public blog.  I’m busy enough right now that I’m going to have to recycle an old post.  I wrote this in August of 2009, except that I have replaced the name of the individual mentioned here with an astrocode.  I’ve never given her an astrocode before… let’s call her Kapteyn.  I’ll add something at the end too.

I had an interesting thought today, an interesting new take on something I’ve heard and thought about many times before.

The other night, I was talking to Kapteyn on Facebook, and it’s a long story how this came up, I swear I wasn’t just sitting around moping about it because I had nothing better to do… but I said something about how it was so hard to find that special someone, and she reminded me, among other things, that the most important thing in finding the right one is to be the right one yourself; work on that and everything else will work itself out. I’d heard this before, but it helped to hear it again.

But I was thinking about this a while later, and I thought, no, it doesn’t really help to hear this again, and being the right man isn’t what I need right now. Don’t get me wrong; I completely agree that working on myself is a very important part of finding and maintaining a relationship. I believe that a successful relationship is between two already healthy people rather than two incomplete people looking for a partner to fill their holes. But I’m questioning whether being the right man is enough for me. I can do all I want to be the right man, be respectful, listen when she needs to talk, be honest, work on my relationship with God, but none of that means anything when I have such a hard time knowing how to pursue a woman in the first place, how to communicate that I’m interested without scaring her away. Working on all that above stuff won’t make it any easier to clear up the confusion I still deal with over all the mixed messages I’ve received over the years, and all the lack of logic and rationality that is inherent in human interpersonal relationships. It feels, to put this in terms that my geeky friends would appreciate, like I’m a stranger to love. You know the rules, but I don’t. Again, not to imply that I disagree with what Kapteyn said, but she’s never been in my situation. She’s 20 and almost engaged, and while I don’t know everything she’s been through every moment of her life, it’s hard to believe she knows what it’s like to be single at my age and how hard it is to meet people with similar values.

But then I got to thinking some more. Maybe the problem isn’t in what she said, but in that I was interpreting it way too narrowly. Maybe there’s more to being the right man than my relationship with the Lord and how I treat women. Maybe being the right man includes learning to be confident and having a positive self-image and letting go of things in the past. Maybe being the right man means I’m not afraid to take risks and do new things, to take a bite of the apple God gives me instead of letting it pass by and waiting for an orange that’s probably never going to come. Maybe being the right man means recognizing that things aren’t always going to be perfect and not giving up when they aren’t, but instead picking up and moving on and learning from the experience. Maybe that’s where I need to work on being the right man. And in that sense, Kapteyn was exactly right.


Back to 2014.  I told Kapteyn back in 2009 that I was going to write about this conversation, but I haven’t talked to her recently, so she doesn’t know that I’m posting it again.  She’s 25, married to the guy that she was “almost engaged” to in 2009, and they’re expecting their first child soon.  I’ve reread this post several times over the years, because it’s something I still need to remind myself of.  And I’m still failing at finding that special someone.  I’ve come to realize over the last couple months that my own unrealistic expectations may be playing a much larger role than I thought in my lack of dating and relationships.  And being the right one means not holding on to unrealistic expectations, like what I said in 2009 about the apple and the orange.  I haven’t exactly resolved this internal conflict yet, but that’s a post for another time.  But the taking risks and doing new things, the positive self image and letting go (♪ ♪ “LET IT GO, LET IT GOOOOOO, CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMOOOOORE…..” … oops, sorry) of the past , those are things I can and should continue to work on.