So I'm a handful of days until I reach 1,400.
Yep. 1,400 days of being celibate.
Why am I bringing this up? Many of the reasons are still valid:
1. a fear of loving someone and losing them (i.e. my mom) (but I'm very much able to love friends, or love my pets, even with full knowledge that nothing is guaranteed)
2. the fear of being hurt (and not wanting to resort to emotional eating) (but I think I have a handle on 90% of my emotional eating, just need to conquer mindless eating)
3. omg, have you read the STD statistics? (especially 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men have HSV-2) (yeah, this is still scary)
4. people in DC my age don't date, they have casual, no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits relationships which are not relationships at all (I have yet to meet a guy to prove me wrong on this one....)
5. I didn't think I had anything to give (I know I have so much to give, and that I deserve what someone else has to share)
6. I am wary when guys find me attractive (i.e. what do they want from me?) so i come off as hard to get, oblivious, or cold (I'm starting to believe it more, but I'm still wary)
7. guys seem to have a thing against women who live with cats (though Spike and Jack are awesome) (The right guy will know me and my cats are a package deal)
8. I love answering only to myself (It's an amazing shift when you go from wanting to be loved to wanting to do the loving....okay, so I might answer only to myself, but I don't want to anymore)
9. change is fucking scary (change is still scary, but I know how to turn on the lights)
10. I tend to go for men that are "out of my league" (I still go for hot guys, but I don't put myself down around them)
11. guys love to put me in the "just a friend" or "one of the guys" friendzone categories and it's impossible to escape (This happens a lot still, but it's okay. These guys will realize that the best girlfriends are both girls and friends)
However, I think I need to dig a little deeper and put something else onto the table: I am a control freak.
Okay, I knew this, but why is it coming out now? I keep reading more and more people vowing to eliminate something they love out of their diet. They skip the step of being moderate and go with complete elimination. I'm guilty of that as well (anyone remember the Oreos Breakdown of 2010?).
I understand loving something so much that you don't think you could be moderate around it. I can understand temptation.
But shouldn't we have already learned the lesson on how to include the things we love in our diet?
Shouldn't we have learned that forbidding something only makes us want it more?
Shouldn't we have learned to make better choices based on information, not emotion?
You might see what I'm getting at: I treated men and food the same way. They both distracted me from what I was really feeling and/or I used them to feel something other than what I was feeling.
While I feel so much more capable of being able to address my emotions in a straight forward manner without resorting to some parlour magic to make a getaway, I'm still at a loss on how to trust myself to be moderate around a man, especially when feelings like love might get thrown into the mix.
I'm 29 years old. I should have already learned that love is not a moderate emotion. But hey, you learn that from experience, right?
I'm so glad that you made this correlation!
Things in response:
1) A very good friend of mine (who is 33) met and married a man (they live in DC) because he said that he couldn't find the same kind of thing that you're looking for. They're out there. Statistically, they have to be, right?
2) STDs are prevalent, but herpes and HPV aren't ones to get all twisted up about. In France, it's no big deal for either one. If you're safe and get tested (both of you) after you're monogomous and before you're fluid bonded, you're MUCH less likely to contract something. Until then, be safe and your risks are low.
3) I don't know your money situation, but consider going on a paid dating site instead of OKCupid. In my opinion, you get what you pay for...and the guys that are not willing to pay seem to be looking for one thing...that being to end your celibacy. :)
4) You are phenomenal, beautiful, and totally a catch. Guys will figure that out - unless they're stupid. And if they're stupid, you'll be bored with them soon enough. Don't take this the wrong way, but you seem to be a bit defensive or prickly. Open yourself up, be vulnerable and get your feelings hurt if you have to. If you can teach yourself to soften up and trust openly (not saying be stupid about it, but you know...) you might be surprised at all of the sweet nice guys that fit what you really want. If you can, distance yourself from your thoughts in parentheses. Trust and believe that someone will come along who will get that you're great - someone too good to pass up.
Do not worry! After losing 200 pounds, guys also look at me as just a friend.Reply
Thank bejezzzus my wife does not!
(1) I don't know if statistics will come through for me. I think most guys my age are just starting to figure out that they don't want the same type of girl they've been casually screwing, especially when many girls my age haven't figured that out either.
(2) I know my risks are low, but they are still risks. It's not in my makeup to be laissez faire about STDs. They're still a big deal to me.
(3) I have been on paid dating sites. All the guys are the same...literally and figuratively. I'd rather make the right connections "IRL" even if it's just at the grocery store.
(4) Boys are stupid, but it's okay. I'm looking for a man. I am defensive. I think I have every reason to be defensive after what I've been through. I've been mistreated at the hands of many people, especially men. It brings out my defensive/assertive side. Am I looking to take it out on all men? No. But it does make me wary of putting myself into a position where I can be hurt so easily. I know there are lots of nice, sweet guys out there (my brother is a great reminder of that). They're usually coupled up, too intimidated, or just not knocking on my door.
Patience is a virtue that i don't have... and I fully know this.
AntiJ: You lost an entire man. That's mindblowing. And i hope your wife sees you as a friend and then some :)
Hmmm...honestly I don't know what you say, but I feel I can offer some kind of wisdom here somehow...Reply
See I went the other way-I treated men like dirt and used them for whatever I wanted, not getting attached. That was my way to control, and to also ensure that I was never the one holding the bag of feelings.
In this manner I was able to turn my addictive personality on it's ear, by making sex less of a treat and more of just a common thing that could or didn't have to happen. I brought it down off it's pedestal.
You should have control, but maybe what you are trying to control, as you say, is less about sex itself and more about not being screwed over or getting close to anyone that could hurt you.
I recommend a better dating site, and I am almost sure there is one out there for celibates. But honestly, and I am sure you will hate this cliche, the right one will show up when you least expect it...
Well, Polar, between you, me, and anyone else who bothers to read the comments, I was a bit the same. I didn't have sex on any sort of pedestal. I fell into the classic trap of girls who have sex to feel self worth. Until one day I woke up and realized that men couldn't make me love myself in a sincere way. Too much post-nookie guilt and disgust to do that.Reply
But you hit the nail on the head -- I don't want to get screwed over.
And you're 100% right. Love is like one of those magic eye puzzles. You don't see the ship b/c you're looking too hard.
I understand being constantly in the friend zone... at 120-odd kilos, I tried that dating thing, and on paper I seem like every guys dream girl... I love football, motorracing, and I'm an engineer for gods sake...Reply
And then the breakdown when the photos came. How pathetic!!
I'd gotten to a point where I was happy in myself. I loved myself, and I was alone!! Me and my dogs...
Lo and behold, not 6 months before I had the realisation that making myself happy was the most important, I met a guy.
The guy who chased me no matter how cold I was. The guy that was PETRIFIED of dogs yet still came to my house and petted her when she said hello (read: barked SO loudly she scared the crap out of him, she's an Alsation cross, lol).
Things will happen when things are well and truly ready, I've learned. Just be prepared when it comes.
And don't be surprised (or suspicious) when a guy does find you attractive. It's much more fun to pretend it's genuine until proven otherwise!!
Jess -- I need to let your reply stew for a bit... but that whole "just be prepared when it comes" part left me speechless for the time being...Reply
My story is like Jess's - when I decided to really be happy being me and had in my mind a lot of things that I wouldnt compromise on, that's when I met my husband.Reply
I did force myself hard on the dating sites - I pushed the online chat stuff off and gave myself a target of a number of people to meet in a certain timeframe, with a goal of making some new friends, refining my online criteria and getting a few good stories out of the deal. Because I was focused on the in-person dates I met people I would have maybe passed on - one became a good friend (no "love match" connection but we connected on other levels) and I have 3 good stories out of the deal (one of which is sad, 2 are funny).
My goal was to get to 10 in real life dates with different people (repeat dates didn't count) and once I hit 10 I would re-evalute being on the site. My husband was number 7 - never got to 10...
There are so many topics within this overall post. Here is the one that is bouncing around in my head now... relationships are distracting. Whether casual, deeply intimate or somewhere in between; they will distract you from the life you have set yourself up in at present. And that is not a bad thing, or it need not be. That is, as long as you are Ok with the distraction.Reply
Distraction I believe is the right word, I almost just altered it and replaced it with teh word 'change'. If you have a desire for being with someone else, you need to choose to the level of 'togetherness' that you are comfortable with. And this is tricky because the other person needs to do the same and the two desires do not always mesh.
I tend to try and make the complex things in life simple, you may have a sense of this from following my blog, for I find it helps me determine what the right decision is for me. Love, and all that comes with it; is very complex. And even when simplified, it is challenging to accept the risks.
Are the rewards worth the risks? Well, only you can answer that. A zillion doctors will sell a zillion books with a recipe for all to follow and expect the same result; hogwash; but none of them. Listen to your heart, your soul, and trust you know what is right for you. What is right for you now, celebacy; may not be next week, month or year. But if you are good with it now, good for you. Just understand you may not be tomorrow and that is Ok, it is Ok to change and do so when your heart tells you it is ok.
Ugh, I think I butchered what I meant but I am 5 minutes late to a meeting now as it is.
i loved this post and really resonated with a lot of what you said. i met my partner on match.com, but only after years of celibacy/looking around/not feeling worthy/fighting with myself between being too scared and being lonely, etc.Reply
i'm tempted to ask: what kind of guy are you looking for? i have a close friend in your area (fairfax) and he is totally not like the guys you mentioned meeting all the time. 35, 6'2", poet/writer and he likes cats! :o) but then, you don't know me from adam so..... ha!
email me if you want! firstname.lastname@example.org and i can at least introduce you via email if you're interested. :o)
and i can't believe i just said all that, but hey, stranger things have happened!
I don't even know where to start. How about some background on me first and see where I end up. First, I'm a big guy. 6 foot, 230-ish pounds. I eat when I'm bored and when I'm stressed. I've started exercising on a regular basis and love the changes I've seen in the past year or two. My wife (and mother of my children) of 10+ years is my best friend. I love her deeply and madly. And it's because of that love that I don't care how much she weighs. Scratch that. I do care. I've just learned to deal with it better.Reply
When it comes to sex, it sucks. It has been, is, and probably will be one of my biggest regrets in life. That is, not finding a mate that likes what I do in the bedroom. Don't get me wrong, I'm not into the whips and chains and stuff, I'm just a normal guy (well, I think I'm normal - who knows, I've never asked another guy). I like sex. I like women. I like sex with women. The more sex the better.
So lack of sex leads me to depression. Which leads me to eat. Which leads to more depression. But as I've set out to turn my life around, my eating habits, my emotional habits, etc. As I try to "fix" myself, I've learned to overcome the lack of sex. It hasn't been quite the stretch you have, but sometimes I wonder if it would be better to just not have sex. I mean, once a month may sound great to you, it may fill your needs, but not for me. I need more, I want more.
So I put myself into therapy. I exercise. I set goals for myself. I make plans to better myself. And in the process I leave my wife behind. She's still larger than I'd like her to be but I still think she's sexy. I know what she's like inside (in both meanings) and I'm comfortable with that. I love her skinny or fat, I'd just prefer skinny.
I have no idea what you look like. I don't know if you're "my type" or not. But the simple fact that you put yourself out there (as in out here where everyone can read about you) shows you have confidence. To me, that's just as attractive as if you posted a photo of you in a bikini. You know what you want. You'll get it. It may take time. It may take some sacrifice (i.e. broken hearts). But you'll get it.
Think of it like losing weight. Did you lose 5 pounds in a day? No. It took hard work. It took sweat, tears, and maybe some blood. You made a plan, followed it, fell off, got back on, etc. Don't give up hope.
As an aside, I'm remaining anonymous because I have a hard time dealing with my lack of sex. I have nobody to talk to about it. No friends close enough I can share something so personal with. So instead, I'm dumping it here with you. I read your blog on a regular basis. You inspire me in so many ways and this post is just one more that shows me that while things could be worse, they'll eventually get better.
Jess: I've let this percolate a bit. I think i've been doing exactly what you said -- preparing myself for when it comes. I think I just didn't realize it until you said it. I'm fortifying my self esteem, getting to know myself and what i want a little better. Compared to me at day 1, I'm an entirely different person. I think the person I am now is much more capable and worthy of loving another person and being loved in return. I love that your guy and your dog are okay with each other. I'd never date a guy that didn't like my cats or that my cats didn't like.Reply
Sarah: you remind me that it really is about putting yourself out there. I'm going to try and go on more than 2 dates this year (went on two in august.... thought guy #2 was the be all and end all, he didn't think so). I've had some bad experiences with online dating, including a guy that failed to mention to me that he was born without 8 of his fingers.
Patrick, my dear friend: Sorry to make you late for your meeting! You're right -- it's super challenging to accept the risks of loving another person in any context. At some point you have to put fear aside and just jump in. I think i wrote the post because I thought that counting the days has gone from being a challenge to be celibate for the right reasons to avoiding interactions for the wrong reasons. I've missed out on 4 good years of my sexual peak. But I'm 100% attuned to what you said -- listening to myself to figure out when it's right, landmark or not.
Jayme: I'm glad you liked my post. I've posted my okcupid link before (hiding in posts, usually.) http://www.okcupid.com/profile/girlouttany I'll email it to you as well. I don't know what kind of guy i"m looking for really... I just know how I want to feel when I'm around him. Thanks for being awesome!
Anon: First of all, I'm humbled that not only do you read my blog, but that you know it's a place where you can speak your mind and not be judged. That trust is very important to me.Reply
First of all, there are photos of me in a bikini on here, and I find them very exposing... but you know, journalistic integrity and such. I find that my words describe me more than any photo.
Far be it from me to offer relationship advice (because I haven't been in many relationships, but i am pretty good with the advice)... but have you talked to your wife about this? Is there something medically or psychologically in the way of having a healthy sex life with her (on either of your parts)? Is there something you could do to help her to want sex more (many women report that they'd be more willing to have sex if they got more help around the house).
Is your wife willing to go along with you on your fitness journey? Can she be involved in going for walks? It's great that you love her anyway she comes, but it's also a significant part of your life that she's not involved in.
You're right that i didn't lose 5lbs in a day. I need the same patience and determination in terms of letting myself love and be loved. I won't find a guy over night, but i might find out a lot along the way.
I think we all have to hope (even if it's against all odds) that our actions will make our lives better.
So much thoughtfulness here. It's beautiful. Good for you for wanting to change for the better.Reply
I found you on Twitter and am now checking out your blog. Am glad I am! :)
First time reader, w/r/t point 4, I'm reading a book right now that you might enjoy, non-fiction called "Unhooked." About the current hook-up culture, focusing on young women in HS and college (including at GW in DC). If you're interested, see if your library has it. Author is Stepp, who's won a Pulitzer.Reply
I was single at 29 and don't think it's anything to stress about, but meeting more people is always good.
LindsayDianne -- Welcome to my blog. I am glad there's something here that you enjoy.Reply
Carina -- I lived through it... a book might just scare the bejeebus out of me.
This is really nice! Very inspiring.Reply
Thank you, Nicole!Reply
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