Jeff's online journal, ramblings, whatever.

That look

I noticed tonight during a home evening activity that I have grown extremely cynical, even for me, and I thought it might be wise to try to explore why.

When it comes to attraction, there’s that one undefinable quality, one that I lack. I don’t know what it is. Everyone I’ve ever dated seriously has either been suffering from depression or not that into it in the first place. And the ones suffering from depression just needed someone, and I was there. They’ve never lasted more than a month. I’ve pursued relationships with girls who I thought were interested, girls I really liked. But there comes a time in all these where she gives that look. You know, the one that says, “How do I cut this guy loose?” I think I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing this look. I’ve seen it probably close to a dozen times. In the past, the look usually comes pretty early on, but at first I didn’t recognize it. Then in later relationships I thought I did, but just hoped I was wrong about it (I wasn’t). In my most recent failed attempt at a relationship, it only took three dates to figure it out, as opposed to a few months like with many previous ones. If there has been a girl who genuinely liked me for me, and not just ’cause they felt obligated/wanted to have fun with some random guy/used me as some sort of venting board and discarded me afterward, I have yet to hear about it.

There’s something I don’t have that guys who have successful dating lives and get married do have. I don’t know what it is. I’ve tried to figure out what it is I’m missing. I try to be on my best behavior when I go out, yet still be myself. I’ve tried to treat girls like queens. I’ve tried to treat girls like human beings. I’ve tried treating dates like they were no big deal; no pressure, no worries. I’ve tried treating dates like they were a big deal: nice dinner, fun activity, even a walk afterward or whatever. I feel like I’ve tried everything, but sooner or later, that look appears, and it’s over. Doesn’t matter how much longer the actual relationship lasts, it’s over from that point.

So what is it? What do other guys have that I’m missing?

This is not a new thing. I even wrote a song about it once. But it’s been weighing on my mind heavily lately, and as a result it’s been sapping my will. It’s gotten to the point that whenever I see a girl I might be interested in, I immediately dismiss the notion that I should do anything about it, simply because I’m done putting in the time and effort to get to the point where that look comes and then I’ve wasted some more time and gone through an emotional wringer to be back at square one. Until I know what I’ve got to change, it’s not worth it. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. And the fact that I have no idea what I need to change gives an added feeling of helplessness to the loneliness I’ve already been swimming in most of my life.

I still possess the capacity to love. I just have nowhere to direct it. And that eats at your soul, bit by bit, until you find it hard to love anything again. In the movies there’s always that one girl determined to somehow get through to the curmudgeonly protagonist and teach him to love again. That’s Hollywood for you. Most girls I know want to be loved back. Of course, when I’ve tried that, and I truly have loved women that I’ve dated, then it’s just a matter of time before the look appears. Being loving doesn’t work. Being the curmudgeon doesn’t work either, but it takes less effort and heartbreak.

So I guess what I’m saying, in a roundabout way, is this is why, during home evening tonight, I wasn’t all that excited about looking at my roommates’ fiances’ rings. Sorry to offend, gals!


5 responses

  1. Marne'

    Wow, I certainly hope I wasn’t one of those girls that gave you that look. If I was, we seriously need to talk.

    I’ve been talking to a friend of mine about relationships a lot lately. She’s really interested in finding out why I don’t pursue romance like “normal people”. In fact, she audibly gasped when I told her I had never been in love. While talking to her I came to realize that even though (to many people) I appear entirely driven by emotions, I have a very technical side to my brain. This technical side has taken the role to protect my emotions from potential harm. Having friends is one thing, you can open up yourself to friends, and still pretty much keep your wits about you. But love, from what I hear, is entirely different.

    I think it comes down to what I want from a lover. Ultimately, I don’t want hugs and kisses as much as I want acceptance and freedom. I want to know that the other person will always respect me for who I am, and will never condemn me for acting different from the rest of society.

    I’m probably the last person who should be giving advise, but have you discovered what you truly want? Perhaps all these girls saw it and didn’t think they could give it. But I don’t know if that’s the truth. Really, I don’t. The only reassurance I get that I won’t end up an old spinster is from my Patriarchal Blessing, which (un?)fortunately does not have an exact time frame.

    April 13, 2010 at 7:01 am

  2. When you figure the magic formula, let me know! Seriously though, I think it comes down to a few things- being happy for who you are and when you are. Keeping faith that the Lord will provide and being open to opportunities, even if they turn out crappy at least you can learn. It’s ok not to be excited for girls rings. Just be happy in the moment and have faith that the Lord will guide you. I know it sucks sometimes, but don’t get bitter. It’ll work out, I promise.

    April 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

  3. Kristopher Swinson

    I stopped by at an interesting time. I could’ve written your third paragraph from the bottom! All I can say is that I hope you hang in there. Only one girl needs to shake the trend–in fact, it’d be downright disorienting to have multiple contenders. At my age and in my circumstances, I still tell people that the saddest feeling of all for me is when I have no one on whom to set my sights. Try to stir that interest a little more and don’t wind up like me! You deserve better, and it’ll come.

    May 12, 2010 at 2:08 pm

  4. D

    It just means they’re lukewarm about you. Try to date women you are less into than they are into if you’re so concerned. Women don’t have the luxury to initiate or stop initiating aka not call so they wind down slower. The hottest trait of a man is nonchalance (less interest than the woman has) and confidence. Work on those. Treating a woman like a queen doesn’t work, treating her like an equal does. I have a list of insecurities a mile long, but I am a woman and acquainted with the foibles of women.

    February 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

  5. iris

    I don’t think you are doing anything wrong. I think you just haven’t found that woman who is compatible with you yet. I have found myself giving that look to guys who were handsome, well off, intelligent and kind; guys who I wished I could fall in love with but couldn’t. For me it’s that I need someone who has common interests and passions, so no matter how great he is, If he’s not excited and moved by at least some of the things that are exciting to me, then I start to get bored. I think you will find the right person. Don’t give up.

    May 11, 2015 at 10:45 pm

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