My first attempt to get into online dating perfectly matched one of my biggest fears about online dating: there’s no one around. The most basic search with a wide distance and age range shows that all the single people are at least 60-70 miles away from where I’m at. And I kind of expected that. Businesses have died and/or left, and everyone I see around who isn’t at least my parents’ age is married and raising a family. Might be worth noting that Tinder is one I haven’t tried because I have zero interest in hookups. I want to find a long-term partner and get married, sooner rather than later because my 20’s are over and I’m afraid that if my singleness goes on for too much longer, then I won’t be able to raise a family like I want to.
It seems like the solution is to just move already, but the problem is, I kind of have a really good gig here. Professionally, anyway. I have a good job that pays well, I occupy a unique role in my workplace, and I have good professional relationships. Socially, it’s all gone to crap. I don’t have any close friendships or emotional intimacy with anyone. I haven’t been on a date in nearly a decade. I’ve recently done a really good job losing weight and getting in shape with healthy diet and exercise, but my appearance will still be lacking even if I get a good physique. All this is good for my health and I’m glad I’m doing it, but it won’t fix the problem that I’m still me.
And that’s my big fear of relocating. My job feels like the one good thing that I have going for me. Creatively, no one wants anything I’ve made. My poems do nothing for people. My short stories lack relevance. My novels, like me, lack a worthwhile personality (I don’t care how difficult writing a novel may seem from the outside; all it takes is time and effort, so it’s not so much an accomplishment as a consequence of that effort. Writing a novel isn’t an accomplishment, writing a good one is). I’m not even capable of forming a critique group because no one reads my stuff beyond the first chapter. Socially, I don’t stand out in any distinct way. I don’t draw people in, I don’t have the sheer breadth of experience that most normal people have had by the time they’re 30. And I haven’t been on a date in years; I’m terrified of what someone would think of me if they found that out and were immediately repulsed (I hear the way people around me talk about people they met who don’t get dates, so this fear isn’t 100% irrational). And not to mention, this blog writes about how easy it is for people to detect loneliness and low self-esteem and be repelled by it, so I’m even more self-conscious and anxious because I know the people around me can all sense my already low self-esteem. Unless I’ve read into this incorrectly, it’s like low self-esteem is a permanent “keep away” sign bolted on to me for everyone to see. And yet I’m somehow supposed to feel better about myself even knowing this.
So let’s say I move, and now I’m in an area that has a large amount of single women ranging from mid-late 20s to early 30s. I would still be me underneath, and I would have thrown away the one good thing I had going for me, potentially trading it for a job I might hate, and now I’m just as alone as I was before except I can see that there are people out there dating. I’m afraid that I would have thrown away the best thing about me in exchange for a slightly bigger chance at something that I always had a hard time with. I have a really hard time swallowing that cost.
In short, would relocating right now just end up as a stupid, reckless gamble? Is there a way I could be smart about it and not take such massive risks(some risk is unavoidable, but you don’t throw all your money on one roulette spin)? Do I need to somehow get my personality fixed before I even consider trying to fit in with people socially? Or am I just a coward, and that’s why people aren’t drawn to me in the first place? Externally and on paper, it seems like I’m doing great, but I’m socially empty and it feels like I have to toss out the good I have just for a slight, tiny chance of not being empty.
Running Out of Time to Fix My Life