Sunday, February 01, 2009


I haven’t yet completely understood why married people feel it is their obligation to set up their unmarried friends. Perhaps it is because marriage is so blissful that they just want to share the love. I don’t know. I don’t mind being set up. It gives me a chance to have a meal in a restaurant paid for by someone else once in a while. And I guess it’s supposed to be good practice—meeting new people and carrying on a conversation and all that. Interacting with people isn’t a problem for me. I’m fine at it. The trouble I have is being genuinely interested in what people have to say. Some people are really interesting, their conversation is funny and engaging, they entertain me. These are people I like to talk to. The others take a little more effort.

It wasn’t that he was uninteresting. It’s that I didn’t feel a connection. The more I think about it, I can’t remember a time when I’ve connected with a guy. Maybe I never have. I’ve been infatuated with certain ones, but not because I knew them at all. I just liked what I saw. I liked looks and qualities and whatever else, but I’ve never really liked a guy because I had made a connection with him and was interested in getting to know him better. This is quite a realization to me.

Girls are different. I connect with them easily and sometimes very quickly, and I rarely have any trouble finding one to connect with. But I guess guys are another matter.

I feel like a failure. I feel small and inexperienced and insignificant. Especially after having lunch with Mr M yesterday, after having nurtured a small morsel of hope after talking to my friend who wanted us to meet each other, that maybe I might get a chance to have a guy friendship—maybe even a first boyfriend.

I met him at the restaurant about noon. I had been at the temple all morning and had just been to visit my mother, and I was feeling fine. I was feeling like myself. I was really ready to just be myself. When he arrived, I had that same feeling I had when I first saw his picture on Facebook—that surge of disappointment, the fleeting feeling of sorrow that he just was not attractive to me. I really wanted him to be. But he just seemed old, with a round face and stick legs, and…not what I like to look at. I know I’m not a vision of perfect womanhood, and there’s a lot I don’t physically like about myself, so I don’t expect some gorgeous guy to fall madly in love with me. There’s just something—some kind of attraction I want to feel. And it wasn’t there.

But I put on a smile, and we went to order our food, and I hoped for a nice, relaxing, conversational meal. He seemed to be studying me. He didn’t ask a lot of questions. He did ask some, and I asked some, and he was not afraid to talk about himself, and point out his best qualities for me, and mention an accomplishment or two. And maybe that had some affect on my desire to talk, but I just lost interest. I did not want to share anything about myself with him. So I answered his questions pretty vaguely and I let my eyes wander around the room, and he probably picked up on it. He seemed curious and bewildered. He’s an intelligent person. He’s a people person. He’s probably learned to read people pretty well. When I had finished my food and most likely made it clear that I was done, with the food and with the get-together, he asked if I wanted to go and I mumbled something about needing to wash my car and feeling sleepy.

As we parted ways in the parking lot, he left me with, “Well, call me sometime.” In other words, I can tell you’re not very interested, so I’m leaving the ball in your court. If you’d like to get together again, I’ll let you call me.

There are other reasons I don’t think I’d make a good match for him. He talked about his ex-wife, and what happened with them, how she befriended some woman who was into alternative ways of thinking that seemed comical and unbelievable to him, and how she developed a kind of codependent (yes, he used that word) relationship with the woman and it was all very strange. Their children thought so too. And she couldn’t explain why she did that, after almost 20 years of being married. And when she realized what she was doing, it was too late because he was tired of it and wanted to move on. And I could almost see myself doing the same thing she had done.

He also talked about a girl he dated for a while, and how she had been physically and mentally abused by her father as a child, and raped as a teen, and how she had all of these problems and this baggage, and how he couldn’t understand her and how he wanted to help but felt helpless, and how you just don’t know what you’re getting into when you start finding yourself interested in someone. And I thought about all of my issues. And how I would only confuse and frustrate him if I allowed him to get to know me, and maybe get to like me. It just didn’t seem fair to expose him to all that.

So I left wanting to cry, like I had failed. Like I hadn’t passed the test. Like one after another these guys come along and they stand in front of me to be measured and judged, and I dismiss them without a thought. One by one I shoot them down. And people call me “picky.” Don’t I have a right to be picky about who I’m going to spend the rest of my life and eternity with?

But I can’t tell. I can’t tell if I’m being unfair, or if I am just afraid, or if I am justified.


  1. It doesn't sound like that guy was for you, but what many people don't realize is that attraction (like most things in life) is LEARNED. Think how one of our supermodels would look in one of your favorite eras, say the 1940s. She would be incredibly tall, gangly, skinny and brown like a field hand. She would be laughed off the stage. What has made the difference between what the men (and women) found attractive then versus now? Environment, primarily.
    So if a combination of factors developed our tastes and what we're attracted to, as we developed, the theory is that they can be unlearned or at least modified, as well.
    Fact supports the theory- because people do this all of the time.
    It isn't necessary easy... but the good news is that it is not as if we're victims to some supernal power defining what we must connect with.
    It's an incredibly powerful idea, when you think about it.

  2. I think, as a general rule, being picky is very good before marriage. Generally speaking. Of course, I can't really relate a whole lot to what you seem to be describing. But yes, you should be picky.
    It's funny how people who grow up in really healthy, safe homes turn out (often) quite healthy in many ways. My husband is one of those. I adore my in-laws (all of 'em. And there *are* a lot of them). My own family is not the worst I've heard of (you can always find worse, right?). But it's funny how mentally stable and very calm and even-keel (sp?) he always is (that is different from my very typical female ups and downs and 'freaking out' over things that don't seem to bother him). Very weird. But works out well.
    Kimi's comment is pretty interesting. I would be there is some truth in what she said (though I haven't studied it out, myself. but it rings true to me). That's just my opinion. ;-)


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