In case you hadn’t noticed, it was Valentine’s Day yesterday. As a child, I just thought it was nauseating romantic drivel that only stupid people cared about (couldn’t they see that girls were yucky?), but as a teenager, I came to think of it as a gigantic middle finger directed at lonely people like me, as I had no girlfriend, and was therefore a loser, of no value.
As an adult, I find it a combination of both: yet another Hallmark holiday designed to sell garbage to stupid people (surely you should do it every day of the year, not just once?), while at the same time making lonely people like me feel like there’s something wrong with us and we “deserve” to be alone.
Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t just sit at home grumbling after work: I went to a Japanese meetup event (for the first time in months), with “best mate” and one of his work colleagues as wingmen, and managed to talk to a Japanese girl for a while — but two things scuppered my efforts to get a date: she’s only in this country for a short time longer, and the incessant noise and overcrowding in the venue meant I couldn’t stay for more than an hour and try with anyone else.
(Sorry, but no amount of “man up!” or “but normal people do it!” could ever convince me to somehow enjoy being in loud, cramped pubs or nightclubs — I simply don’t like it, same as I don’t like broccoli!)
However, that wasn’t what cheesed me off yesterday, and left me overthinking this morning at work to the point that I had the idea for this blog post; nor was it another one-off date that went nowhere on Saturday (at least that gave me the excuse to go Pokémon-hunting in Camden Town). No, it was a female work colleague (on whom I have a secret crush), in a lift with two other people, making a comment yesterday that I imagine she thought was humorous, but which actually upset me more than I wanted to admit to myself at the time.
I guess it shows I can still fret about trivial things, but it really got to me when, out of nowhere, she said I should enjoy Valentine’s Day alone, in a “relationship” with myself (no pun intended, I hope!). I hadn’t even had a conversation with her about my dating experiences, and if she knows anything whatsoever about my love life, it’s from overhearing me talking to my boss in the past — so what prompted her to say this to me?
In a way, it almost felt like womankind had finally found the courage to nominate someone to tell me personally to “stop trying” and get out of the dating scene — not because I’ll meet “the one” when I least expect it, and thus need to take it easy and get on with living my life, but rather because my search is somehow annoying and offensive to all females everywhere, and women would be a lot happier if I were celibate and not bothering them. In other words, I should put their collective comfort above my own desires.
You’re right, I’m ludicrously paranoid — but it’s a feeling I’ve had before (as long-term readers may remember), and continue striving to overcome: that “only every other bloke in the entire world” should be allowed to find a girlfriend, and I’m somehow supposed to be different, and not even try. Well, that still ain’t gonna happen — if I’m somehow annoying womankind as a whole simply by searching for someone special, I say GOOD!
Yeah, you heard me, women of the planet Earth: you will never, ever convince me to stop trying, to lay down all my hopes and dreams, and resign myself to a pathetic life of male spinsterhood. Maybe I’m naive to assume that my ideal woman exists, somewhere in this world of billions, but I’m nonetheless determined to find someone who makes me happy, and there are only two ways my search will ever end: in success or with my death. Giving up is not an option, because why should I accept my lot in life is to be alone when no-one else does, and neither is “settling” for someone with no real spark between us (which wouldn’t be fair to either person).
I still need to change, but solely in terms of confidence and self-esteem. The women I met who liked me at first but instantly went off me after I admitted to being a Doctor Who fan, or that I went climbing with my mother — or simply upon seeing me in jeans and a T-shirt on a first date (which I prefer to keep casual) — are the real losers, undeserving of any regret on my part. I see no reason to give up the things I enjoy (any more than I did back in 2013) or act like a cash machine in a suit, and what I really need to do remains finding that one, special woman who would love me because of who I am, not in spite of it.
So, womankind, you have two choices: you can either help me find the right person (as was done for Howard in The Big Bang Theory), or you can assassinate me — and if you choose option no.2, do your own dirty work instead of trying to drive me to suicide by making me feel hopeless and worthless, as it feels like society as a whole has tried (for the crime of being a guy with emotions about anything except football). I gazed into the abyss back in 2011, and the abyss blinked first — and so, barring terminal illness, there is absolutely no way I will ever contemplate that course of action again (readers already have my word on that).
All right, that’s far enough — I know I’m making a fuss about nothing, stop complaining. In the real world, there’s no female equivalent of the Borg Collective; all women aren’t automatically conspiring against me or making a concerted effort to convince me to stop bothering them entirely (though I hope I’m not personally on any of those “avoid dating these awful men” websites). It’s all nonsense, but you know by now that I need to write posts like this in order to get these stupid feelings out of my system and vow to keep striving — as hinted by this blog’s subtitle, it’s catharsis that keeps me alive…
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If there’s one thing I know, it’s that the girl of my dreams would be a fellow unrepentant geek, rather than a boring “normal” person. She’d like video games and sci-fi (or at least not begrudge me liking them), and she’d be intelligent and worldly-wise… in short, she’d laugh if I gave her this meme-inspired Valentine, instead of sneering at me or going “whaaat, I don’t get it?” (though I admit it’s over 10 years old now!):
(No, I didn’t create it myself, but props to whoever did — for great justice!)