This entry was posted by on Monday, 13 February, 2012 at

Last summer, I had the opportunity to meet the fiancée of one of my ex-girlfriends. I expect that such situations are weird for everybody. It actually was not that awkward; at least, no more awkward than when I meet anyone else for the first time. My relationship with that ex was a long time ago, and our lives have gone in *very* different directions since then, so it is not as though I was harboring a secret desire that we might get back together some day. (Which I realize is probably something that people say whether it is true or not, so you will just have to take my word for it.)

However, what was disappointing is that, perhaps uniquely among my close friends, not only am I single, but none of my ex-girlfriends are married either. So until now, I could always fall back on the comforting, “It’s not me, it’s THEM.” So, just to be clear, it is your position that the fact that you are only attracted to independent women who do not want to be tied down is in no way your fault? Oh. Well, when you put it that way…

Besides, whatever happened in the past, it “is me” now, because I do not date. At one point, I realized that the amount of time that had passed since my last relationship exceeded the total length of all of my relationships combined. And it has been another two years since that realization. My father was widowed and remarried in less time.

I also can not help but notice that several of my friends are not having much more success than I am on the serious relationship front, and I take comfort that I at least have spent very little thought, and no effort whatsoever for the same result. Although, it occasionally comes out that someone actually has been dating, but just never felt the need to tell me.

I have a stack of reasons for why I do not date that I might give depending on my mood and to whom I may be speaking. I once tried to change my relationship status on FB to ” ‘It’s complicated’ with ‘Vow of Celibacy’.” However, since “Vow of Celibacy” was not on my friend list, it only showed up on my profile as “It’s complicated”, which I think has completely the opposite connotation from what I intended.

I never actually made a formal vow of celibacy, of course. However, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would list my reasons for not dating. In no particular order:

  • As I have stated previously, it became clear to me that my desire for a romantic relationship was hindering my search for God. Yet my desire for a romantic relationship was the very reason for my search for God. Unable to resolve this paradox, I essentially gave up the pursuit of either.
  • I am particularly against casual dating, because I still believe in courtship. That is, dating specifically with the intention of marriage. The concept was my introduction to Christianity. I sometimes think it foolish that I should continue to hold on to that when I have largely abandoned all other religious convictions, but it is LIFO I guess.
  • If I were a convinced Christian, I would obviously want to be with a Christian woman. Whereas if I were an atheist, I would prefer someone with similar views. However, being stuck in limbo for as long as I have makes such a choice impossible. To be honest, I rather prefer someone with Christian values, which seems especially unfair if I do not actually have them myself.
  • I tend to be attracted to someone unattainable. She might be way out of my league, or simply not interested. Or, though it may come as a surprise that I actually have a moral code, there are circumstances where the context in which I know someone means that pursuing a romantic relationship is simply out of the question.
  • It has been many years since I have even met anyone that I was seriously interested in pursuing. Now, I am obviously not some kind of Zen master. I certainly encounter intriguing females now and then. But after this many years, I have become rather adept at telling myself, “Is there any chance that you going to ask her out, talk to her, or really even think about her ever again? No? Move along then.”
  • I can not help but think that if a woman gets to be my age and still is not married, there is probably a good reason for that. Of course, someone could say the same about me. They would be absolutely correct.
  • I honestly do not feel that I have a lot to offer an eligible lady. I do not currently have any female friends who talk to me about relationship matters, but if I hypothetically did, and she told me about some new guy she was interested in and described someone with my lifestyle and habits? I would advice her to run for the hills. Or if I tried to do an online dating profile what would I say? “College degree that I don’t use. No real job. Live alone in a house owned by my father. Enjoys not leaving the house and never doing anything productive.” I can’t imagine that I would want to be with someone who had such low standards. I have a lot of issues that I need to work out before I could be in anything resembling a healthy relationship. The catch is, without anyone special in my life, I do not have any pressing need to work through those issues.

I have probably forgotten something. In any case, I would probably throw out every one of those reasons for a girl with the right smile, but that smile is just so very hard to come by.

2 Responses to “Heart”

  1. goodbyetonto

    Timoth, when I met my lady, I had a basket full of oddities, dysfunctions, abnormal behaviors, religious confusions and other personality shortcomings. Obviously, this did not stop her. It might have been a shock initially, but I know for a fact, one thing that kept us together was the forward motion I maintained. I actually received the motivation that I needed from her. I wanted to change for myself as well, but really had no catalyst at the time. She created the spark that I needed. I would also like to say that part of being in a committed and long term relationship, that is aimed towards marriage comes with a level of grace that dating does not offer. My lady offers me grace more than I am deserving of it. I am an optimist now in this area and believe that even for you, if you meet the right person, at the right time, she will strengthen you and look past these circumstances she finds you in. As long as you are making an attempt to better your situation, the right one will give you the space and time you need to get things ironed out.

  2. timoth

    One thing I forgot to mention, was that it once occurred to me that it is a good thing that I am not married, because I am sure that I would have gotten divorced over the way I have handled this bathroom issue. I had that thought sometime after I went over a month without hot water. That was nine or ten months ago and the bathroom still is not fixed.

    So I completely agree with everything that you say, however, I am clearly not making the attempt to better my situation. I am having a bit of a cart before the horse problem motivating myself in that regard. I also hope that you appreciate that your good fortune is not necessarily typical.

    Incidentally, when writing this post, I thought I had talked about some of this before, but I could not find it at the time. Here is something: http://blog.timoth.net/2007/09/marriage.html

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