(Note: the post title is part of the lyrics to “Royals” by Lorde)
The past few days have been bad, even worse than usual, on my psyche. I’m feeling despondent. I got caught up in anger at someone else’s rude and ignorant behavior. Usually I just ignore it. However, this time it threw me through a loop. I became physically ill over it. I didn’t attend an event I probably should have, and now I feel guilty. Even though the main reason I didn’t attend was because I wasn’t ever consulted on the plans, or even clearly told what was going on. I couldn’t handle being around anyone, and really was sick, anyway. But I still feel guilty … and I still feel angry.
I need to get myself out of this headspace. I need to make changes in my life, and I don’t know how to make these changes. I feel like a broken record. I just feel broken.
I see guys on Grindr (and other sites) that are attractive. Honestly, based only on appearances, I’d sleep with most of them. But for some reason, the ones who I decidedly wouldn’t fuck are the only ones who message me.
I carried on a texting relationship (relationship? it hardly qualifies, but I don’t know what other term to use) with a guy for a couple months, back and forth. But nothing of substance was ever said, it was just “how ya doing” and “fine” and offers of sex that never materialized. I specifically told him, at least twice, that a) I couldn’t host and b) I was unable to drop everything and travel to his place, especially in the middle of the night and c) if he wanted to hang out, he’d have to make specific plans with me, in advance. It’s called a date; the concept isn’t that hard to understand.
He wasn’t horrible-looking, but he wasn’t my dream man either. He was right on the line where his attractiveness to me depended on my level of desperation that day. And he never was able to carry on a conversation, and never told me any real details about himself. When I did ask questions, I’d get one-word or vague answers. I’m not always the best conversationalist… but with him it was like pulling teeth. He was also on the young end of the spectrum, for me. 20 when we started talking, now 21. Although I think up to 10 years age difference is a good general rule, and I try never to judge on age alone (as long as they are legally adults)… I feel like anyone under 22, anyone who hasn’t had at least a year of being able to legally drink, and who is THAT MUCH younger than me, is a stretch. The further you are from me in age, the more you better bring to the table in other aspects.
I basically just stopped responding, but then he was persistent, so I started talking again (or trying to talk) but the same problems persisted. As one of my friends said (paraphrased), ‘I’m sorry you feel so desperate that you feel you need to talk to this guy you really don’t like.’ So I haven’t talked to him lately… but it never really ended, I just didn’t talk to him. I tend to avoid conflict like that.
Another strange experience, was that a guy who was 15, messaged me. Now, his profile said he was 22 (and the pics on his profile weren’t clear enough to suggest anything different, and only people over 18 are allowed to legally use the app). Pretty much the first thing he said (after hellos) was “how young will you go.” I said (thinking he was 22) that “For obvious reasons, I won’t even consider anyone under 18. But besides that, I try not to judge people on age alone.” He then said, “I’m 15 … are you okay with me being 15?” and when I replied, “No, if you’re 15, I’m not interested in anything.” I was going to end the conversation with that, but he proceeded to swear me out in an extremely rude manner. Frankly, I was unnerved because even though I’m confident I did nothing morally or ethically wrong, I don’t want to be in a position where the concept of statutory rape even comes into question. So I became a bit defensive and said, “There’s no need to be rude. You’re the one who’s lying about his age and are on this app illegally. Please don’t contact me again.” I then took screenshots of his profile and the conversation (potential evidence, just in case). And then I reported him.
I probably wouldn’t have reported him, had he not been so rude. I’ve never really reported anyone, except for actual spambots. I figure it’s not my responsibility, it’s not going to stop him from doing anything (there’s a billion other apps, plus he could just get a new profile), and that GLBT teens are at higher risk of suicide, homelessness, and a million other problems – and I didn’t want to add to those risks. GLBT teens may need the internet as a lifeline, just to reach out to someone for advice or friendship, to others in the gay community who they don’t have an opportunity to see in “real life.” Especially in rural areas like this without a gay community center or adequate resources. However, when he was rude, I wanted the extra insurance that reporting him would provide – so there would be no question in the unlikely event someone accused me of something. So there would be a paper trail, of the email I sent to the app developers.
And speaking of statutory rape, can we please get rid of that phrase?! Along with the phrase date rape. Something is either rape or it’s not. Qualifying the word rape with those other words is stupid. Rape is non-consensual. Rape is violent. Rape is rape. Even suggesting that a consensual sexual act is “rape” takes the sting out of the word rape, a sting it should have. It doesn’t matter if the people are the same age or different ages, it doesn’t matter if the people had dinner together first or if they are total strangers in a dark alley.
And when the concept of statutory rape was defined, it was meant to protect five-year-olds who don’t understand the concept of sex, and thus couldn’t consent … not 16-year-olds who persue a willing romantic and sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, only to have their parents pursue statutory rape charges against their daughter’s girlfriend as soon as she turns 18 because they can’t deal with the fact their daughter’s a lesbian (look it up, it’s happened.) 18 is a completely arbitrary age for being considered an adult. And while it’s true that most teenagers aren’t fully mature… there are plenty of people in their 20s, 30s, and beyond who aren’t actually mature, either.
But, back to my original thoughts when I started writing this post…
I found a guy who is very attractive. He’s in a career that is very closely related to my own interests. He’s apparently looking (though whether he’s single or in an open relationship is unclear). He’s not too far from me, distance-wise. He’s only a couple years younger than me. I even have the perfect, not too stalker-ish thing to open with. BUT… I can’t work up the nerve to message him.
I’m afraid he’s too attractive to go for me. Logically, I know that what people are attracted to has nothing to do with their own appearance … and attraction isn’t only physical, but also mental, based on personality and shared interests and experiences. But I can’t help but think that this guy’s so hot, he couldn’t possibly go for me. (Especially when he’s judging on the limited information from a Grindr profile.)
I normally tend toward the geeky, the average, the non-traditionally sexy… so I’ve never had problems finding SOMEONE. Finding the right someone, at the right time, now that’s a different matter. I’ve never really had a successful relationship for more than a couple months. I’ve never had anyone reach the “meet the folks” stage. I’ve barely had them reach the “meet the friends” stage, unless we had mutual acquaintances already, which has happened. Most of the time, there’s a longer build-up, a short fling, and then things just end.
And now, with limited options… and so much desperation… I can’t bring myself to message the guys with whom I actually think I may have a chance. Or, they don’t respond. Or, we do talk a couple times, but never meet. They either say something that turns me off completely, or else one of us gets frustrated, or we just don’t care enough to keep up the game playing.
I’m realizing now, my problem is that I don’t feel I deserve a good guy, at least not right now. I am basically a failure, with no prospects, no money, no job, living with family, and not enough motivation to change all that. I desperately want to change it, but it’s hard. It’s a catch-22, since the types of jobs I want are in extremely short supply here, but yet to move I need resources. I’d be giving up free rent (and other things) by moving, so it doesn’t make sense financially to move for a job that’s only minimum wage or barely above it. Plus, I’m not sure where I want to move to. There are two main prospects – both of which I’ve spent enough time in to know what I’m getting into, both of which are doable, but one of which is vastly more expensive and more desirable to live in, and the other is vastly cheaper and closer to most of my family. Plus, I’m still considering other options, although I really haven’t spent enough time in those places to make a good determination. But, maybe being somewhere new is what I need….
I don’t feel I am a good enough “catch” at this point, to be with the type of guys I want to be with. However, I know that I could be, in the future, an even better catch. (Yep, I’m a bit conceited that way.) The thing is, I don’t know how long it will take me to get to that point. And because I don’t have a relationship, because I feel unfulfilled and I am wasting far too much time looking for and thinking about relationships, it’s even more difficult to change the other things in my life that need changing.
I don’t think I can just delete Grindr and never check again. I’ll just fill up my time with another vice, or I’ll end up reinstalling it, anyway. But I took the step of erasing my profiles (mostly) to help clue guys in that I’m not seriously looking, and thus don’t mislead them, when I’m online using the sites just for my “spank bank.” The funny thing is, as soon as I erased the picture (or replaced it with a picture of a non-human object, for the sites that wouldn’t let me just delete the pics), I got a shit-ton of messages. What about that blank profile was more attractive than the real me? What made them message or respond when they didn’t only a day before? That isn’t helping my self-esteem.
I really don’t think I’m unattractive. I’ve had plenty of guys tell me how hot I am. I may be slightly overweight right now (about 40 pounds heavier than I’d like, but nowhere near “The Biggest Loser” territory, and about 40 pounds lighter than my heaviest point when I was a teenager. And when I was 40 pounds lighter, my family members told me they thought I was too thin – though I should stress I have never been anorexic or anything like that, nor was I even actively trying to lose weight). My hair is thinning a bit, and I’m a bit self-conscious about that (but still, it’s probably barely noticeable to other people. My beard is getting a bit grey in some places. I tend to stay “scruffy” when I don’t have anywhere to be, although I put effort into my appearance when I am going out. I think I have a sense of style, although I am probably more conservative in my day-to-day clothing than I would be if I had a better body and more confidence and lived in a more urban environment. I’m not a model, but I think I’m of average attractiveness, at least.
I also think I’m smarter than the average. I’m more talented than the average. I’m more creative than the average. I’m more passionate than the average. But I’m also NOT athletic AT ALL. (I enjoy some things like dancing and swimming, but the only time you’ll catch me running is after a bus or when they’re giving away free chocolate.) I’m shy and quiet. I’m indecisive. I’m socially awkward. I’m introverted. So… these things stack up against me when it comes to forming relationships.
Another thing is, because I want/plan to move, I don’t want to start anything long term. I don’t do distances well. I don’t even want to try if it’s more than an hour away, or the person can’t visit on a regular basis. Another city? Forget it. I know there’s the internet and travel, and it’s great to keep in touch with old friends that way, but for a romantic relationship, I want more. And I’m not willing to stop looking for someone closer, if I did start a relationship long-distance, so it wouldn’t be an exclusive one. It’s not that I don’t like having long-distance friends, but I already have enough of those.
I don’t want just a quick hookup either. I am not clingy, but I need some strings. If I wouldn’t date you, I’m not going to fuck you. If there’s not at least a possibility of a long-term friendship or relationship (even if it’s not an exclusive/monogamous one, because I am totally up for poly relationships), then I’m not going to waste my time. I might jump in the sack within five minutes of meeting you… I’m certainly no prude… but I’m going to want to cuddle and have a conversation afterward. The idea of “blow and go” is pointless to me. I’ll just use my hand, thanks very much. Sometimes, I consider hooking up, but then just give up looking and just jerk off, or either me or the other people don’t follow through.
So where does this leave me? The guys who pursue me, I don’t want. The guys I really want, I won’t pursue. The guys I don’t really want, but would consider out of desperation, don’t reply. So I haven’t had a date OR a hookup in well over a year (nearly two).
My hands are tired.