Being a thirty year old single male nowadays makes dating – at least in my view – unnecessarily difficult. I want to be clear that I do not by any means think that I am an easy person to deal with. We all have our quirks, but I take this to an extreme level. My readers have heard me describe in great detail my struggles with social anxiety, depression, and Asperger’s syndrome. Lately, I’ve been feeling more and more agoraphobic, which tends to happen when I don’t have a passion project to distract me. It struck me that I almost always do have a passion project that I’m working on, which is great because it allows me to bury myself in my work, but I finished my screenplay in under two weeks, finished editing our footage for our documentary and now find myself in no man’s land. I thought about all the areas of my life that I could improve and identified a couple areas where I’d like to improve. One area in particular stood out to me and when I started meditating on this topic it actually made me very anxious. Social interactions have been my Achilles’ heal since I was in first grade. I’ve struggled to keep and maintain friends, I’ve always struggled with dating mainly because I never understood how it worked, and now I feel like a rudderless boat crashing up against the shore.
One of the areas that I turned to for relief is a place that a lot of people my age are turning to: online dating. If I had to choose between approaching someone online and cold approaching someone during the middle of the day I’d probably pick the cold approach. Here’s why: in online dating it’s not hard for someone like me with an actual personality to attract people’s interest. I’d say I have at least 5-7 strong conversations with women online each week. We usually exchange around one hundred messages, which for them is a lot, but for me is pretty much where my normal is. After one hundred messages or so you’ve got to ask that other person out, right? I mean there’s only so many things that I can do through an online conversation. I mean, let’s at least move it to a phone call or something so I can gauge inflection or something, being restrained to the site itself is tortuous. There is a very real fear though among women and it’s a fear that’s totally legitimate and justified in my view, but it’s one of many things that stops the encounter from moving forward and that is that most women don’t want to give out their personal information. This is concealed mainly for safety purposes and it makes sense when you think about it. The actual advice given to my college class at orientation was: “don’t get raped.” There was no message for men that hey, maybe we shouldn’t be doing the raping, but instead they focused on the women in my class and simply advised that they don’t get raped. Safety, needless to say, is a very real concern to the modern day woman.
What confuses me a great deal however is why women will be into you to the point that they can’t stop messaging you one day and then pretty much refuse to talk to you the next. I had this happen three or four times last week. This is commonly referred to as “flaking.” The whole thing is strange to me because believe it or not I’ve never really encountered this problem before. Someone suggested that it might have to do with the quality of woman that I’m going after. There may be some truth to that. Lately, I’ve become much more stringent in my standards of what is or isn’t acceptable. I can’t deal with someone who doesn’t have a college education, if you’re not in grad school or in a job you’re passionate about that’s a dealbreaker. Obviously I don’t want to date women who’ve been married or have kids nor am I all that interested in people who love small talk. Dating, to me, is about getting to know someone on a deeper level to see if this is a person who I’d want to build a life with. Talking about small things is just a distraction. I mean, sure I have an opinion about Donald Trump, but is that really going to give you a better insight into who I am as a person? It’s just fodder. Another parameter that I’ve introduced into my filtering system is passion. If you don’t mention something, heck anything you’re passionate about I’m not interested. Everyone has a passion even if it’s knitting, cooking, sports, going out to new restaurants, the list is endless really. The point is that I have a lot of things that I’m passionate about and you should too. I don’t think I’m setting the bar all that high here.
I did a search on two different dating sites to see how tough it would be to find people who fell within my parameters and what I found was absolutely terrifying. Of the women within twenty-five miles of me only twenty people have something they’re passionate about. Of those twenty people most were passionate about things that they weren’t actively pursuing in their life like travel outside the United States. Why have passions if you’re just going to ignore them? I understand the money element. I understand you can’t just pack up and leave, but you can make plans. Making plans is surprisingly easy to do. One of my readers suggested that I fly out to LA and take part in some live coaching to help me get over my long-standing social issues. It took about two months of looking into it before I decided that yeah, that’s something that probably would really help me. It would cost about ten thousand dollars and require a full seven days of my time. Would it be worth it? Probably, but I’m trying to raise money for my upcoming film right now, it’s not exactly the best time to try and find a way to come up with that kind of cash. My point is that I’m picking between my passions here. Ultimately, I’m going to do both of these things. I’ll finance my film and I’ll go and get the live coaching I need to overcome all of my serious social issues. I don’t know how I’ll do it, but the how is unimportant, my will to do these things is what matters. I know that pursuing both of these things is part of my life’s mission therefore I will pursue them with everything I have. What concerns me is that there are only a very select few people who have passions on par with mine and of those select few even fewer are actively pursuing them. That is truly worrisome indeed.