Thinking, meditating on the future, it
scares me makes me feel dejected. My moods seem to ebb and flow in a continuous upward and downward flow. Sometimes, I feel like I’m perfectly satiated by my own presence. I go all day without talking to anyone and I’m so engrossed and distracted, I barely even notice. Then, on other days, like today, my being alone feels like loneliness.
I do need attention. I need a lot of attention. It scares me to admit just how much of an attention whore I am.
I was chatting with one of my best friends the other day, and out of the blue, I said that I’ve decided to put myself out there, to ‘meet someone’. So, I took my friend’s advice and created an OKCupid profile. Twas a very misguided move.
I didn’t go in with my eyes closed. In the face of fear, my instinctive response is research. That’s probably my law degree flaring alive and affecting my actions, but it is my primary mode of attack: Understand the enemy so that I’m prepared to tackle it by the horns. I read scores of articles on building an online dating profile. I even read the abysmal statistics for response rates and what men will inevitably have to go through, especially if the man in question is (a) not ripped and (b) not white. Ding ding ding – on both accounts.
I then poured hours into my profile – thinking about it, crafting it, doing my best to blend honesty with everything I’d read and absorbed. Most of all – I refused to get my hopes my up. I told myself over and over again that after all my efforts, chances are that nobody’s going to respond to me anyway.
Then when nobody responded – I was crushed anyway.
My self-doubt issues came to the front with this online dating profile. I read girls’ profiles, I spent time writing good introductory messages, even saw them visiting my profile – and then heard nothing.
I don’t blame the women though. I get where they’re coming from. Online dating is a meat market. They get bombarded endlessly with male attention on these websites. They do have the luxury to be picky. And I totally get that my charm, whatever it may be, is certainly not something that can be gleaned through an online profile, or worse, terrible pictures of me. Online dating is a very physical process and your looks, as much as I criticise superficiality, are extremely important. I’m guilty of going for the better looking women. I did try to set my sights low though. I made it a point to avoid the beautiful girls with divine, model-esque physiques and angelic faces because I know where I stand on the totem pole and I want to be pragmatic.
I only messaged girls that seemed ordinary looking, maybe even not that. I read the profiles of every single girl I approached. Thoroughly. I never sent a single ‘hi’ or ‘hey’ and made sure to fill up my messages with details of our potential commonalities and shared interests within 50-80 words.
I got one response. I know – that alone is cause for a major celebration! I even chatted with this girl. She was lovely and very fetching. But my heart wasn’t in it. And I know why: Because I lied.
I told her how I’ve been doing something so exciting and fulfilling during my gap year. I hinted at how intelligent and well-travelled I am. I spoke of it with such enthusiasm, I nearly believed it myself. Why wouldn’t, I? It’s the same falsities I’ve been feeding my friends from uni.
I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve done nothing during my gap year. I went on a diet and lost weight. Developed a stronger interest in cinema and pop culture because I’ve had so much free time. I know waaaay too much about Youtube and Youtube celebrities. But that’s not the kind of stuff that I can tell people!
I’ve spent years cultivating an image of myself being holier-than-thou, intelligent, ambitious, focused, what have you. I’m petrified that if people find out just how burnt out I am, they’ll…well, I guess think lesser of me.
You know? Just writing that out in those words, it makes it sound so trivial and idiotic. I – who has claimed his entire life that he was least bothered by people’s opinions of him – is petrified of having that very same image spoiled. It’s…humanising and humbling to remind myself that I am just as flawed and miserable and capable of mistakes and vices as every other person out there. I’m not better. I’m likely worse.
So that’s my first confession. I love attention and I’ll spin any yarn necessary to get it.
I’m going to work on appreciating who I am and being proud of my accomplishments for what they are. Nothing more.
I deleted my online dating profile.