Featured Life Relationships

Why I’m not dating

Even if I know I’m not the only one who’s in his late 20s and single, there are moments when it feels as if I am. It’s the sort of feeling you get when you constantly listen to:
  1. The Smiths
  2. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
  3. Joy Division

Maybe my problem is that I retreat too much into the things I love to the detriment of my status in the dating world. Maybe my problem is that I pour myself too much into what I love to cope with the fact that I haven’t yet found the girl being sung about in “Girl From the North Country.” Or maybe that girl is just around the corner and I’m wasting my time with all this hypothesizing.

Or maybe I’m just too afraid to admit the real reason why I’m still single.

The first time I heard Woody Allen quote Groucho Marx/Sigmund Freud in the film Annie Hall, I didn’t realize that my entire dating record was being encapsulated in one profound paradox.

I’d never want to belong to a club that would have somebody like me as member.

Though years have passed since hearing that quote, I’ve kept returning to it, thinking about what it’s really saying. And I’m beginning to understand that it’s a comic expression of the sad reality that people like me often reject potential relationships because being truly known by another person is terrifying.

In many cases I’d rather end a relationship before letting another person really get to know me. I think I do this because I’m afraid I’ll be out of the club once someone finds out what I’m actually like.

So I choose to quit the club before the club can quit me because I’m afraid someone will discover that I’m only human. And then reject me.

I’ve learned that every dating relationship will reach a point when both parties involved can’t pretend they are perfect anymore. At that point a choice has to be made: you either shed all pretense, open all the closets, and let the skeletons dance, or you keep the all the closets locked and run.

I usually opt for the latter. And now, I generally avoid dates altogether.

Sure, it results in short-term pain and long-term loneliness, but at least the long-term loneliness is expected. With the former decision you actually have to brave the impossible to predict consequences of being known.

So maybe next time I’ll try the former option just to see what happens.

Whatever option I choose in the future I’m learning that many people want to be in deep relationships without having to risk being known.

A lot of us hide behind the guise of explanations like, “I’m waiting for the right person” or, “I’m too busy living my life.” But the reality is most of us are just too scared to allow ourselves to be known enough by somebody else to be in a real relationship.

And I know this to be true, because I tend to be one of those people.

So maybe my problem is that I don’t want to be in a relationship with anyone who would want to be in a relationship with me because I’m afraid of being rejected.

If that’s the case, I guess I should be willing to join a club that would have me as a member and start fighting my fears of rejection.

And maybe you should too.