Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fear and loathing

Before I begin, two things:
  1. Tomorrow (12/29/05) is my one-year blog anniversary. I have a super long special dating post ready so don't miss it!
  2. Send your questions in so we can have Dear Jamy next Tuesday. Just click; it's that easy.
Now on to the post...

I've been kicking around this idea for a few days. It occurred to me that there are two major reasons why many seemingly desirable people are single: 1) self-loathing and 2) fear.

Self-loathing is more common than you would think. It's also the kiss of death for relationships. I dated a guy once (last Chapel Hill boyfriend) who hated himself. He ate himself into obesity (seriously) and ridiculed himself constantly. He was a very funny guy until I detected the note of self-hatred in his humor. He also erupted in angry shouting at me several times. I never understood the source of his self-hatred, but it was there, it was strong and when I saw it clearly, I had to leave. (It was mutual.)

Self-loathing keeps some people off the market entirely. They are not confident, they don't think they deserve any happiness and then they direct their anger back at the world. The angry people you are meeting? Actually, they hate themselves.

I know that I am not filled with self-loathing. Nothing could be further from the truth. So, lets go to point number two: fear.

What is this fear of which I speak? Why, it's fear of commitment, of course. But that could mean anything. I am often accused of pursuing unavailable men (looking at the dating history detailed on this blog, it's hard to argue with that assertion). It may be true, but why? Why do I like unavailable men? Why am I afraid of commitment? Because I don't actually want to be in a relationship. What?? Really?

Well, no, not really. There was a time when I did not want to be in "big deal" relationship (when I was in college). There was a time when I was willing to settle for a far from ideal relationship (in grad school). Now I'm afraid that I'm stuck in my fear rut and it is keeping me from either being available to the right men or finding the right men interesting.

I'm not afraid of relationships (anymore), but I haven't figured out how to get the message to my brain and translate it into actions.

And why would I be afraid? Is it because of my childhood? Probably. Specifically, I fear losing myself in an unhappy relationship, making the choice to be in a relationship for the wrong reasons (fear of being alone is the flipside of a fear of commitment), and having to make the compromises involved in cohabiting. These days, these are more worries than fears. But still...what does my behavior tell you?

Grateful for: starting to conquer my fears.

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