I’ll be 57 on 12/3. It is around this time every year where I will do a retrospective on my life, or maybe just on some elements. Sometimes I’ll write about it, other times not.
Today’s element of focus is women, my relationship with them, and what could very well be my future with regard to women.
In my younger years, I did have some issues. This was mainly due to most of my dating advice coming from my mother. Never take dating advice from a woman. In fact, don’t even ask a woman what she personally wants in a guy, because what she says will probably not match what she actually wants. This is because our parents and society lie to us.
I’m sure that men have similar idiosyncrasies. With things like this, there is a difficulty in achieving self-awareness.
I want to be really clear about it. Pointing these things out is not out of judgment or contempt for women. It’s out of awareness.
One piece of advice my mother gave me was to “be nice to women. They appreciate a nice young man. Remember to tell her she’s pretty.”
Yea, tell a woman she’s pretty, and the first thought she has is that she can do better than you. You’re not a challenge. But give her a lukewarm reception, and she will spend the entire evening working to prove you wrong.
Mom’s advice, and I know it was out of love, was as bad as “honesty is the best policy,” in that honesty has caused me most of my problems. As I write this, I’m learning how to fudge things more like “normal” people.
But I got past this challenge and got over it. I rose above.
And I don’t fault Mom for trying.
Historically, I’ve had no problem getting with women. The problem, it seems, is finding a woman who won’t do things that will destroy me. I’ve only recently learned [in late 2017] about my Level 1 Autism.
More to the point, I’m starting to discover how my Autism broadcasts, effectively making me an easy target for people (men and women) who have ill intent. This presents me with a challenge of building healthy relationships, whether they’re friendships or romantically driven.
The only semi-success I’ve ever had with a woman was with Catherine. We met online in 1999 and spent almost 21 years together as a couple. There were problems evident in the last handful of years.
We figured out the issue. It’s that we were never a romantic couple in the first place. We spent 20 years being supportive, sharing responsibilities, and taking care of all the things that life requires. She was my drum tech for 14 years. We worked hard and played hard. When the dust settled, we were left wondering what happened.
We just don’t have that romantic attachment. We never had a honeymoon phase. And we struggled with this issue for a long time. Today, we are roommates, and she even has her own room. We still get along perfectly, which makes our lack of romantic attachment all that more tragic.
She’s a truly kind person. I’ve lived with her longer than any other human. At this time, we consider one another to be best friends. And we both consider ourselves to be fortunate, even if we are no longer a couple.
The lack of romantic connection between Catherine and me wasn’t really obvious at first. We both struggled to figure it out. But when we look back on it all, we realize that we did NOT have a honeymoon phase. We never really bonded sexually.
The whole issue came to light in October 2019, when I found an old girlfriend from 1982 on Facebook. She and I had a romantic attachment. The problem was that this was almost all we had. There was no big history, we didn’t have much in common to talk about, and other issues I won’t get into, because this is not about bashing her. She’s got enough to deal with, I’m sure.
In the end, I realized that I had NO idea who she was. I knew NOTHING substantial about her, even after sleeping together for the better part of a year. Over that span of time, she became a stranger.
It broke my heart, and I am only recently starting to feel like I can move on with my emotional life.
WHAT WILL I DO WITH THIS?
That’s the short answer.
As is the case with most things human, the longer answer is by far more complex.
I just paused to think about what I would write about next. There was nothing but silence in the air. It’s a rare thing to get to enjoy silence. I can stand up and go outside if I want. I can pick up a guitar. I can take a nap with the cats. I can do anything I want.
This is not the case when one is in a relationship.
WHAT I WOULD WANT IN A WOMAN?
Since it’s something that as flown over my head in the past, I’d be actively looking for romantic connection. Beyond that, friendship, the ability to get along, willingness to chill out and vibe, curiosity about film and art, a passion for 60s and 80s media, and the lack of need for aggressive shopping. No materialism or gold diggers!
I don’t care about wealth or expensive trinkets, as I don’t need to impress the world.
How much of that will I get? It’s so hard to say, because when you date people, they put their best foot forward. What’s weird about that saying is one must have THREE feet in order to have a “best” foot. So what we have here is actually a case of putting the BETTER foot forward.
As for the lesser foot, it comes flying out of the closet at hyper-speed, right in your face, just as soon as you’re on the hook. I don’t play that game and present myself as I am. It’s why I get lots of rejection, but also why I have bouts of luck.
It’s just like life. Life mostly sucks, but there are a few happy parts here and there that give you the will to not stop breathing in your sleep.
WHAT I WOULD NOT WANT IN A WOMAN
Now we’re getting into the significantly bigger list. Don’t be mean or cruel. Don’t be a slob or a pack-rat. Don’t sneak around, or feel like you have to sneak around. Malignant Narcissism. Don’t be a jerk. The basics.
However, beyond that, I suspect that I might have trouble living with another person at my age. I’m not certain about that, but I do suspect that I am getting less flexible with my personal space as I get older.
WHAT I NEED TO DO TO PROTECT MYSELF
It is very important to look back on one’s own mistakes and take action to correct them.
For me, a big problem I had with my last relationship was that I wanted it to be, and I wanted it to happen so badly that I was willing to overlook a cavalcade of red flags. Hell, near the end I was struggling to reconcile the horrible things that were happening, so that we’d not have to go our separate ways.
Alas, there was nothing that I could do, except realize that we were toxic together, let her go, and then move on.
Since I have this issue, it is probably best that I not go out and not go looking.
WHAT’S A GUY TO DO?
As I said earlier, nothing.
I will do nothing.
That means not going out, not looking, not doing ANYTHING. If a woman falls in my lap and is interested in me, then I will have to turn off my excitement and really evaluate the person and the situation.
This is basically me leaning toward remaining with me, myself, and I for the remainder of my days. There is NOTHING wrong with that. Pass the Playboy, kid, that garbage will rot your brain.
IN THE END
While this was a personal ramble that was specific to me, it was also a general thing that we all go through. I’ve spent the last year going through the heartbreak of losing someone.
The thing is, what I lost was my idea of what she was and what she could be. It wasn’t rooted in reality. What I lost was the potential that ended up not being.
In reality, what I lost was a stranger who wasn’t honest with me, who told me what she felt I wanted to hear. I suppose there’s a good reason why she was married FIVE times.
Big. Red. Flags.
And while her feelings toward me may not have been authentic, my feelings toward her were VERY real, which is why I spent the past 13 months recovering from this madness.
She’s gone, and so are my problems.
What I have remaining is a former girlfriend of 21 years who actually was a best friend. We trust each other with the bills, and we have our separate rooms. We work together to survive, which is something many women in my life couldn’t do. In fact, most of them worked against me, which is evidence that they were merely out for themselves.
No matter. I am fine. I am happy. I’m a little curious about what it would be like to meet another woman someday, but I won’t be actively pursuing it.
Who knows, it could end up working. I usually find that missing sock when I stop looking for it.
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