Monday, January 11, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

Personally I think living your life with no regrets also means making no excuses. But sometimes excuses make you feel better. Maybe the point is to not do anything that needs excusing.

My three month Match.com membership comes to an end tomorrow. The service has failed horribly in stimulating my love life. Though started only "as an experiment," my time on Match.com has made me think about all the past failures in my love life. Out of all my 34 years, 15 of which have been spent actively dating, I still have never had a real boyfriend. At least, no relationships that lasted longer than a couple of months, and no short-term yet monogamous and committed ones. (Not by both of us, anyway.) The older I get, the more I start to think something was really wrong with me.

My first boyfriend lasted a couple of months before I left for a semester in London. Even then, at 19, it was freakish that he was my first, but I think he was glad. Not glad enough to stop dating his last girlfriend, or to at least tell me he was still dating her...

Ever since Seth, there has been excuse after excuse as to why I don't have a boyfriend. There are the excuses I've used - I'm too busy with work, I'm too picky, I'm too fat, I'm too smart - but  there are also the excuses that the guys themselves have given me. Here are some of them, more or less in chronological order:
  • You were bitchy to our mutual friend, I got mad at you, and now I'm dating someone else. (now married to the friend)
  • I'm attracted to you but I don't think of you that way. (married)
  • I found out that this other girl I like likes me back.
  • I don't remember you.
  • My girlfriend is in the bathroom. (married)
  • I'm in love with someone else. (married w/kids)
  • I was interested in you, but now that you're interested in me, I'm not anymore. (married)
  • You made out with my friend. (married. The friend isn't.)
  • I don't want to be a boyfriend. (married w/two kids)
  • I don't think you know what you want.
  • You're not Jewish.
  • My girlfriend has cancer. (engaged, to a different girl)
  • I usually date tall, thin, blonde girls.
  • I live in Argentina with my beautiful wife and children.
  • I'm your eye doctor. (though truth be told, he never really gave me a real excuse, he just faded away)
  • I'm gay.
  • I'm drunk.
  • I'm busy.
  • I'm famous.
  • I'm a coward.
  • I'm garbage.
  • We were just hanging out. (lives with girlfriend)
  • Oh man, I was so drunk. (lives with girlfriend)
  • I'm in love and very happy. (with someone else)
None of them really answer the question as to why I'm single, only why that particular relationship (or, encounter) didn't work out. And there are a million other possible reasons. The worst excuses are those never uttered, instead swallowed by a voice that never calls again, left untyped by fingers that never write again. They just...fade away...and you never know why.

I get that there are guys who just aren't that into me, and that's OK. I ask guys out. I'm not shy. But now as I'm seriously considering relocating outside of New York City - where it's still OK to be single in your mid-30s - I wonder how I will ever find anyone in another city or town? Go trolling for divorcees and single dads? Become a cougar? Or just accept that I will be single for the rest of my life, as I have been for my entire life thus far?

Sure, I could extend my Match.com membership for another few months and give it more of a try. But it gets too frustrating to send thoughtful emails and unconditional winks to guys who never respond, and to go out for coffee with mediocre dates who never write again afterwards.

At least now when people ask me why I'm single, I can't say, "Well, I still haven't tried online dating..."

Further reading: Open Letter to My Potential Matches


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