And for the final November post (Yay, I made it!), it’s kind of a long one. Sorry.
In my age-old fashion, I’m going to be an open book for all the world to see. Or rather, for the 3,000 or so of you that check back here regularly. I have no idea why you read here. I can’t imagine there aren’t 5 million blogs that are more interesting or more informative. I know for a fact that I tend to be dry. But still, I learned early on never to look a gift horse in the mouth.
I am relationally inept. You female readers that used to wonder (before I met Jenna) why I was still single… you know who you are…. that’s the answer.
I’ve done a lot of thinking on the topic, thanks to some prodding by the lovely Jenna who has to put up with my ineptness on a daily basis. How does one become inept at relationships? Is it nature or nurture? HAHA. I had to throw that in. Of course, it’s a product of environment and experiences.
I’ve mentioned some of this stuff before, so try not to fall asleep. I was always a shy, quite kid. I was intimidated by girls from the earliest elementary school days, and that never changed. Of course, a shy guy is a target for pre-adolescent girls, which compounds the shyness.
Needless to say, I never had a girlfriend in junior high or high school. Not even for one day. I convinced myself I didn’t even WANT to have a girlfriend, and that made it easier to live with, because it was my choice then.
During those years, I was also involved in a couple of churches. One had such a small pool of members that there just weren’t any girls my age. The other was loaded with the type of girls that are snooty, judgmental, and holier-than-thou. There may have been exceptions to that rule, but it would have been like looking for a ham sandwich in a garbage can.
Since I was shy and quiet, I was a target for those girls as well. I must be weird or abnormal or creepy since I kept to myself. More on this later.
So, my confidence just wasn’t there to even know where to start. When I started college, I met “the most perfect girl in the world” my very first day… my very first class. We’ll call her “Blondie.” Obviously, she was not actually the most perfect girl in the world, but let’s just say… we didn’t have girls like that in my tiny high school or my tiny church.
Did I ask her out? Nope. I was too shy. But we did become good friends, and I thought to myself “hey, maybe the way to end up in a good relationship with a girl is to start out as a good friend.” It seemed logical. Only trouble was, that’s not how girls think, at least not at that age. So, she just dated other people and I was her “friend.” That had been the story of my life in high school.
My first actual girlfriend, who we lovingly refer to as “Ms. Right” on here, was… how shall we put this gently…. “non-traditional.” She was nearly 8 years older than me and was incredibly aggressive in every way. We ended up in a relationship because she decided we should, and I wasn’t smart enough or strong enough to decide for myself. And, if you’ve read here for long, you know what happened with that relationship. Not a happy ending.
So, now I’ve gone my entire life, experiencing only being a “girlfriend” to women, and now one relationship where I was basically told what to do.
During the mess with Ms. Right, I turned to Blondie for support, and she really came through. She would spend time with me at the hospital… it turned out she and Ms. Right had been friends for a while… she would help out whenever she could. And then in a tragic twist of ironic fate, Blondie ended up in an accident with a drunk driver.
I’m pretty sure that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. After Ms. Right moved away, I basically went into “workaholic – schoolaholic” mode, where I loaded up my life with insane amounts of activity so I wouldn’t have to have a relationship. I also got more involved in my church, which didn’t help either because several of the girls went to the youth pastor and told him I “made them uncomfortable” and that I was “creepy.” Their reasoning? I didn’t talk to them.
There was a brief stint where I had a friendship with a girl transition into a dating relationship, and she promptly cheated on me with one of my friends. Needless to say, that did not help my confidence nor did it help my view of women and relationships.
I dated one more person after her before I met Jenna… and let’s just say that it was a disaster. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, and she had expectations of me that I didn’t even KNOW about, let alone know how to actually do. Apparently they were things that “everybody” knows. Except I didn’t know.
Dating three people in 8 years is a pretty “light” schedule, especially when you factor in the amount of time I wasn’t dating someone, which was about 6 of those years.
Well, I should have payed more attention to what that last girlfriend was trying to say, because as it turns out, “everybody” does know how to express themselves and such. I’ve spent my entire life trying NOT to express myself, and it turns out that’s “weird.” The problem is, now THAT’S natural to me. Heck, I thought that was how men were SUPPOSED to be.
Apparently that’s not actually the case. But that leaves me with the question… how the heck do I undo 28 years of going the opposite direction?