The More Things Change…

Everyone knows how that phrase goes. Things work in cycles and often until we solve a particular dilemma or flaw within ourselves or our lives, these cycles repeat. Often times in my life I feel I rarely have a choice between a good or a bad option; I have to choose between bad or worse, and figure out which is which. In regards of anything involving romance or the opposite sex, the fact that I am starting out from a severe disadvantage compared to virtually every other able bodied adult guy out there. There’s worse, of course, but that doesn’t always make it easier.

There’s been a gap between posts, and much of that has come to deciding on a topic. I have exhausted all of my previous adventures of failure with women, after all. It came down to a topic I wanted to talk about versus something which has developed organically over the past year. Ultimately, the latter has won out.

I didn’t join Facebook (the social network) until 2013, and even then I had to be almost blackmailed into doing so by my well intentioned friends. Two years later, you’d hardly know as I have roughly 120 “friends” on it (even if many are acquaintances I barely know due to hobbies or being a few degrees removed from them. I also play a few games and use it to promote comic book based articles I write, and keep in touch with my friends (such as “Sonia“). At the start of the year, I happened to be passing along a meme which involved superheroes and selecting which one for a pal to promote if they liked it. I responded to one woman who had clicked “like” on it who was an acquaintance who I’d met but rarely interacted with much. I looked at her profile to decide the best one for her, choosing Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) due to resemblance and heritage (as both the character and the woman are Italian). I was surprised when she quickly instant messaged me back, saying she was “impressed” by my choice.

Having “met” her more formally online, I started hanging around her profile more, interacting with her posts on Facebook and so forth. This continued for several months, with me usually displaying my usual snarky and sort of intellectual humor that I do online. This blog is usually the exception, as I type on this to explore my feelings and vent them. After a few months of this, she started instant messaging me more often. Now we’re at the point she she does so every other day on average.

For an alias, I’ll go with “Carrie”. Like me she is “over 30”, although a couple of years younger than me (of the same generation). She lives in the general radius of me and my troupe, and is of Italian and Jewish heritage. She works in the financial district and is very well educated, with a masters degree. She is into “geek things” like video games and Doctor Who, has a healthy sense of humor, and is naturally very beautiful. She displays a fondness for the 50’s era pin up figure Betty Page, based (likely) in part because she resembles her. We’ve met in several “bar gatherings” my pals and I have gone to over the years, but before meeting online we barely exchanged more than greetings and introductions in passing. She has at least four cats and often laments about her inability to find quality men.

Later on when she mentioned being an ex of my friend “Tee” and dated him for three years during her 20’s, I came upon a startling revelation. Carrie was indeed the woman who was involved in “My Embarrassing 2nd Base Story“. I doubt she remembers that, but once I did, I was boggled by how small a world can be and how awkward that would seem if I brought it up.

Lately, Carrie’s been feeling dejected about being dismissed by the latest man she was trying to connect to – a doctor who had pursued her for some time, only to ditch her to flee to his ex. For reasons I can’t fathom (she cited me being “intelligent” and someone she could trust), she’s vented at me about this. I’ve tried to do my best to reassure her, and aid her with the best advice I can give, without betraying my own hand too much. I’ve developed a crush on her, naturally. As you do in situations like this. The more we talk, the more about each other we seem to reveal or joke about. On my end it seems like we have a lot in common and she has become more comfortable with me, at least online. I have no idea whether she has any feelings for me and is merely trying to set me up to make a move, or if her bubbly and energetic personality has led me to some wrong conclusions.

“So just ask her out!” is the easy solution. The problem is we’re both coming from different directions. She’s over thirty and would very much like to settle down, find someone stable, especially with a guy who represents a step up. I, as an romantically inexperienced and inept older male virgin, am barely looking to get started (belatedly). I am not in a position where I could look at anyone in the eye and promise my undying love to them, most of all because I’ve never even been through a relationship yet and its pratfalls. One reason why people (men and women) don’t like dating virgins is because of a fear they’ll imprint on them like a baby duckling and become more attached than they want. Would I get like that? I don’t intend to but I have no idea. I feel it’s wrong to even entertain trying to ask her out when I know deep down we’re coming from different paths. Least of all the fact that I do have that terrible secret – no woman has ever desired me sexually, and for a lot of good reasons. The last thing I want is for my secret shame to spread around my social circle like wildfire.

It’s a no win situation. Even if I were to try to ask her out, I know we are coming from different paths and don’t want to deliberately waste her time. I don’t want to lose her respect or her friendship by making an unwanted advance, or by revealing anything secretive about myself such as my virginity. Yet if I stifle my feelings forever, any slim chance I have will fade, and I’ve seen that movie before. Like I have stressed previously, I like having friends who are women and interacting with them on that level. I never feel “cheated” by “a friendzone” like it’s the Phantom Zone from Superman. I like talking with Carrie, making her laugh and so on. Yet I feel any attempt to move beyond that will shatter what I have, and what I have is cool. Again, I have been here before; to a degree with Sonia but with others in college and high school as well. Carrie deserves better than me, and I know it. She doesn’t need a post-30 virgin who can’t commit off the bat. That’s the dilemma.

I wish I wasn’t in this camp. I wish I’d had some more experience so this wouldn’t seem so futile. I wish I wasn’t wired this way where every single step involving a woman seemed to be like stepping into a minefield while shackled in chains and blindfolded. There’s no “fast way” to “catch up” and get a few relationships under my belt so I would fit in better with Carrie or women of her stature. Once high school and college are over, you lose a lot of opportunities and excuses for “trial relationships”. You don’t think they’re that when they happen, but those initial flings and romances build up towards something greater later on (ideally). I never had that, and there’s no way to get it.

On the other hand, while I don’t want to become fixated on one woman, especially one who is just a friend…if it was my fate to attach to the only woman who gave me a chance, ever…I could certainly do worse. For heaven’s sakes, we’ve shared stories of being lonely or rejected to each other online. Is this a sign or a cruel joke?

So, I don’t know what to do and likely any step I take will be the wrong one, and backfire. But, it makes for a good blog topic after all this time. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!