Although things often seem to repeat themselves, and it feels like I’ve made no progress since the last time I tried such-and-such, it’s helpful to reflect and see just how far I’ve come since starting this blog, and indeed before that… it helped that my supervisor at work today said I’d improved a great deal over the past year, which made my low feelings on Tuesday (following a blood donor session, and due in part to some very frustrating working conditions) stand out more, rather than seem to be normal!
What am I doing now that I wasn’t doing before? Well, I know I go on about climbing a lot in this blog… well, tough, I enjoy it, and although I haven’t been able to go this week due to other things (and “best mate” not wanting to go during the summer heat), it’s something I want to continue. Overall my health is improving, and although my personal torturer is still on his honeymoon, I’m doing my best… well, okay, not my best best, but I’m still doing some exercises to maintain capability, and I’m going to reduce my food intake (especially chocolate) yet further.
Another reason I haven’t been exercising as much lately is simply that I’m busy socialising, especially singles events, and also studying IT. Now, I’ve been speed-dating in the past, and I’ve been to IT classes, and neither led to anything in and of themselves, so are these futile pursuits that will result in the same dead ends? Well, hopefully not: I’m with an agency that will cajole me into completing my studies and taking exams this time around, and I’ve certainly gained enough confidence that I can talk to people, even attractive women.
Oh yes — even though I’m still single, I find myself increasingly optimistic that I might actually meet someone, and overcome my shyness and self-recrimination. Maybe not on Internet dating sites, where I feel women tend to write me off because I’m over 30 (trust me, it happens to guys too!), but in real life, if I can pluck up the courage to initiate a conversation, or at least have a reason to start a conversation, I can actually make a new friend. This happened recently: I spoke to an American girl just after a yoga meetup, solely because I heard her American accent, and we had a lovely long talk and are now good friends! She’s got a boyfriend already, but didn’t mind me asking her out, and still wants us to be friends. She also thinks I’m “super-sweet”… okay, maybe that’s not the best compliment to a guy who wants to be sexy to women, but it’s certainly better than being ignored!
There’s something I need to keep in mind: just because I fail with one woman, and she doesn’t even give me the time of day, doesn’t mean every woman feels the same way. It’s been too easy over the years to just give up and assume there’s some massive conspiracy, or that Jung’s collective unconscious works for women and I somehow strike out with all of them within a given area when one rejects me, and I’ve got to accept that, unbelieveable as it sounds, there might actually be women out there who not only find me attractive (and are themselves attractive), and not only like me as a person, but also are actually single when I meet them!
Perhaps this diagram wot I made in Word 2010 sums it up:
Me? Shallow? Well, remember that I’m trying to make myself attractive to women, because I think there has to be some level of physical attraction, some passionate spark, otherwise you may as well be two elderly people sharing your sunset years, rather than young and vibrant people who want to enjoy life (and sex). However, pictures on a dating site usually don’t do justice to a person, which is why I need to meet women in the flesh… and I seem to be doing that at long last, in a way I just couldn’t when my only social interactions outside work were Japanese or IT classes (both, alas, “sausage fests” in my experience), or the occasional Japanese language event where I was often intimidated by the wall of noise (getting there early is always important).
Also note that the boundaries in the above diagram can be blurred a little:
- A woman may not be “classically beautiful”, but still make it into my dating zone. The girl I dated in Michigan had a low opinion of her looks, but I certainly thought she was hot! I’m not interested in how “society” considers her appearance, only in how attractive I find her.
- In the same vein, a woman may have personality traits which make her seem less “nice” than society would expect, but I like people who aren’t just bland and shallow, and have “character”. I’m communicating online with a girl who suffers from bipolar disorder, because (as you probably realise) I have some sympathy with her condition, and as I said before, perhaps a “wild” woman is what I need…
- As for being single… well, no, that’s less negotiable than the other aspects. I wouldn’t want to break up a happy couple, or come between them (ooh, Matron!), and I probably wouldn’t be interested in an “open relationship”, or being an unhappily-married woman’s illicit lover… but you never know, do you?
Anyway, enough about girls — though that whole issue does represent a reason, nay, an inspiration for me to improve my self-confidence and get myself in shape, I need to do these things for my own sake more than anything. But don’t worry, I’m still making friends: indeed, before “American girl” (yes, that’s going to be my name for her in this blog, deal with it), I made two new friends through Meetup.com groups, both male, and both black Londoners (no, I’m not fulfilling some “minorities quota”, they’re both cool guys), and there was also that crazy group I met when a meetup group disappeared on me…
Perhaps the best improvement I’ve made is simply not spending so much time alone, and getting out there to socialise — and, more importantly, sustaining this effort and not just giving up after a few failures (as I’ve done in the past with online dating). That’s also why my health has improved: Wii Fit Plus recording my weight has shown a marked decrease since the start of 2013, and although I’ve still got “love handles”, I’m getting closer to my ideal body type. One needs to record one’s progress, so that one can see how things are improving and not be discouraged that things are “taking too long”.
Oh, and some other changes I’ve made: not staying up every night to watch the same episodes of Family Guy and American Dad!, not chewing gum constantly, and broadening my musical tastes… if I can keep the changes moving, and not let myself get downhearted whenever I get hit by a “reverser” (like someone on the Internet upsetting me), then I’ll become… what, exactly? And is there an ultimate end (other than death, which is hopefully somewhat remote), or will I continue to change, evolve, adapt, grow as a person?
Just wish I could get some early nights, and not have to stay up writing this drivel for a bunch of half-wits with no lives to… oh, am I still typing?