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Single and happy ... but still


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So for the longest time I've been single by choice for almost coming on to 2 years now. I'm not the type that likes to forge intimate relationships with many people, if anyone at all. I'm a keep to myself sort of guy that enjoys his solitude and I really don't like the anxiety that comes with having close friendships, let alone a girlfriend.


A few years ago I was was a well known guy among a community of sci-fi aficionados, gamers, fellow students, literature buffs and skeptics. It was a fun time back when I was younger. But as I grew older (I'm 34 now) I become more anxious about he relationships I forged with people and I realized the near hundred or so people I knew weren't really who I would call friends or even acquaintances. They were people who looked upon me favorably who respond to fb post when I left one or a text when I sent one. Ironically, despite being so popular, during those days (I was around 27 - 29 during that time) I was not not really savvy when it came to romance and I didn't really appeal to those to whom I was attracted. So during that time I wasn't involved romantically with anyone long-term (though I did have fun with quite a few women from time to time). During that time, some few years before my 30th, I become anxious about finding a girlfriend that I would eventually marry. It suddenly dawned on me that I was getting older and the clock would run out on getting a mate before I get any older. My circles were no help in that regard it seems as I continually made myself miserable because I felt I was missing the boat in terms of getting into a relationship. This need to find a mate had dominated my thinking and, to this day, I'm not even sure why I felt this way.


Then I turned 30 and I realized I was sick of having known so many people who hadn't really known me. I was everybody's friend though these relationships were entertained simply with a passing interest in having people around me. I realized I was so insecure with myself that I felt I need people around me to validate ... well ... me. I realized my confidence was abysmal and I couldn't even imagine being alone or being without being a part of a group. I was depending on other people for my happiness without even considering for one second if I would truly be happy if I were on my own. So ... I went out on my own and left these myriad groups behind me. I closed my fb account, left the meetup group in which I was an assistant organizer and I reduced my circle from hundreds to maybe a handful of people. To my surprise I found out I was happier this way. And that's the way I felt for about 4 years without any real close friends or even a girlfriend. I realized this insecurity would disappear as soon as I found ways to depend on myself emotionally. This, of course, extended to my "need" to have a girlfriend. It finally dawned on me that I was alone and happy removed from the anxiety to have to please anyone by myself.


And, for the most part, I'm really contented with the ability to feel indebted to no one and getting to know the world on my own without having to be indebted be around anyone else. I've been able to find my own direct, take a path to what will likely become a career and I've been in control of the people whom I've wanted to have in my life. It's been pretty sweet now that I don't have to wager whether or not I will fit in to a group or have to worry about the responsibilities of being with a girlfriend.


But then, after a discussion with a girl in my class today, she was talking about her boyfriend. For some reason I felt that anxious feeling of being alone from a while back. I'm not sure why it's bubbling up again but hearing this girl talk about her boyfriend somehow ... I dunno ... got to me. I've been (essentially) single for about 2 years now and I haven't for a single moment been bothered by it. Now, I'm wondering if I'm missing out on something. But ... I REALLY don't want to give up my solitude, my freedom.


To find a empathetic, attractive and intelligent person by my side I would have to entertain the idea of becoming attractive myself. I'm not just talking about looks. I'm talking about having money. I'm talking about becoming social and showing that I have lots of friends. I'm talking about possible overcoming my general distaste for having people around me that I would likely not care about just to be appealing to ONE PERSON. While I may have a few regrets about the decision I made so many years ago, I feel I would once again be entrapped by this need to impress others should I go back. Only this time, I would be confident enough to know that it would be a facade and I would only be doing it as a means to an end rather than to satisfy my insecurities.


I've realized my anxieties cannot guide my actions as it leads to poor decsion-making. And for the last few years I've got everything lined up to make my life better for the next 20 - 40 year regardless of whether I'm with someone or not. Still ... my instincts and my past do much to confront me on the path that I'm on. I suppose we all have regrets.

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You need to get out of your head. Your mind is telling you all these stories that are not necessarily true. You don't need lots of money or popularity in order to get a girlfriend. You do need to be authentic and able to stand on your own two feet, which you say you are. You seem to place a bunch of preconditions on yourself that are not even real. Age, money, popularity. And you have trouble giving up your comfort zone, which most people do. It might be useful to work with a professional counsellor to challenge your limiting thought process.

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