Romance

I have been thinking lately of romance. It is not because I have met someone. In fact, it is just the opposite. I have not met somebody in a long time and I am alright with that. It is not that I am settling for something less than I want, either. I have never really pursued a romantic relationship in my life so far. I remember being at summer camp when we had dances with our sister camp Camp Netimus. We would travel to their territory or they would travel to ours. Under a big pavilion, we would have loud eighties and nineties music played at us and we would be expected to exist there until it was time to go to bed.

The first few times, I was bored out of my skull. I hung out with my friends but there was nothing to do. I wanted to sit and write or read or play Gameboy but it was not allowed. It was too loud to have a proper conversation. My friends urged me to start asking girls to dance. I had no interest in doing this. I love girls. I am attracted to girls. However, I felt like I was pressured into asking girls to dance. I did it poorly, I’m sure. For whatever reason, the majority of them did not want to dance with me. It was humiliating at the time to ask and get a no each time. Mostly because I did not want to ask in the first place. That probably showed.

When a girl did say yes, I had no idea what to do and I was so self-conscious and shy. I moved around like she did but my introversion made it hard to feel anything other than a nonexistent searing-hot spotlight. After a song or two, I would thank the girl and never see her again. I do not remember their faces. Somehow I remember their names even less. I remember that they were kind to me and I was not unkind to them but I probably left the impression of a shy, uncoordinated boy. I also remember asking a female counselor to dance (she looked young!) and her declining politely. Instead, she proposed a group dance, a construct used by middle school dances everywhere.

When it came to school dances, I was friends with a group of nerds, geeks, and outcasts and so we were more interested in fooling around and having fun rather than going after the girls. At that point, girls were friends and not potential romantic partners. It was a hormonal time so there was a lot of physical attraction but I never pursued anything romantic. I remember very clearly looking at one particular girl who I thought was pretty. I had gone to the same school as her for nine years. I thought that she would be the one that I would date if I was going to date. I knew nothing about her. I just thought that everyone was dating and that, as a point of pride, I should probably be dating. Thankfully, I never pursued that. It was such twisted thinking.

College was a time of crushes. There were many crushes that drew me in and were really fun to think about and even obsess over. For the most part, they were fun and nice young women who treated me well. There was one who probably easily figured out my secret crush. She definitely played with me. I would have done a lot for her. She said I should shave my hair and get a tattoo. I said I thought that was a good idea. But even looking back I cannot see myself spending a portion of every day with her. It was physical attraction and the desire for love in general, not romantic love. I wanted to feel special. That kind of thing is not real to me anymore.

That is to say, if somebody comes along that inspires real and romantic love then I will pursue it. However, I am not really looking for it. I like my life. Well, I like what my life is becoming. I am bettering myself every day through therapy, exercise, and general self-improvement. I really enjoy living alone and being alone and entertaining myself. I venture out every so often to hang out with friends and laugh and connect. I think that is exactly what I need right now.

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