Can You Be Happy In Your Lonliness?

I’ve been doing some thinking lately.  I know, that’s always a dangerous endeavor.  Unfortunately, it becomes unavoidable, like taxes or diarrhea.  I hate to do this so close to February 14th too, but like my non-New Year’s resolutions that always come at New Year’s time, I always find myself writing about love and relationships a week before Valentine’s Day.  Now, you may recall that I had these silly notions of at least seeking out new friendships with females this year.  Ok, ok, I said I was going to introduce myself to no less than three women in the month of January.  (FAIL)  The idea was that if I at least found new friendships, it could potentially lead to a relationship with someone somewhere down the line.  As I did not succeed with that resolution, I started thinking perhaps I should re-evaluate my goals.  I thought long and hard, for like ten whole minutes and had this epiphany that while I say I am lonely (true) I may not also be unhappy.  You see, I always assumed that these two emotions went hand in hand, or in fact, one negated the other.  If I was lonely, I could not possibly be happy, and if I were happy, I could not be lonely.  I reflected upon my current situation and asked myself, “Am I happy?” and it turns out, I answered yes.  I mean, I’m not bubbling over with smiles, but I have worked quite hard over the past several years to improve my outlook on life and avoid being angry at the world.  I went through a kind of dark patch in my life for a few years, but I am pleased to say I feel much better with myself and my life in general today, so while all is not necessarily perfect, yes, I am happy.  Of course, that brings us to loneliness.

Am I also lonely?  Are there times I sit here in my apartment and realize it is incredibly quiet in here with no one to talk to?  Of course.  Are there times I wish I had someone sitting on the couch opposite me to talk to?  Almost daily.  I’m thirty years old (quickly approaching 31) and I wonder if I will find someone to call my wife someday.  The ultimate question here is, is that what I really want/need?  I’m a simple guy with simple needs.  I have my simple little space with my simple little things and I feel content with that.  When it comes to my space, I am very protective of this place, meaning I am not keen on the idea of sharing it.  So while I occasionally daydream about romantic dinners in NYC or vacations on the beaches of Cancun, I question whether those lovely notions are worth the sacrifices I would have to make in order to have them.

While I fear growing old alone, I am stubborn in the sense I won’t compromise my feeling of contentment for the potential of something more.  I like living here enough that I don’t want to risk it for something better.  If I were on Let’s Make a Deal, I would always take the cash instead of what’s behind door number 2, just because I don’t want to take a risk, even if it is a new car.  Some people think it’s crazy to always play it safe, but I was burned enough in my youth to be too cautious now.  Sure, I’d like to find the perfect woman, but knowing the perfect woman doesn’t exist and that I won’t compromise on what I already have, it is very difficult to foresee myself finding a date anytime soon.  “Hi, I’ll go out with you only if you promise to never encroach upon my free time/space and you never ask me to walk aimlessly through a mall with the intention of not buying anything.”

I’ve had two sorts of relationships in my life.  I dated a girl for a year and four months (four months too long) and I have had relationships involving nothing more than sex.  Neither one was very satisfying.  All right, to be fair, had my girlfriend and I had more sex during that year and four months, I may have been more content, but as it was new to both of us, it didn’t go so well.  Other than that, we had a fairly “normal” relationship in the sense we argued over where to spend our weekends together, we held hands when we walked in public, we bought expensive gifts for one another on holidays, and we text messaged each other non-stop.  As far as my sexual playmates, we had our fun but quickly found it wasn’t as satisfying as we would have liked, and given the potential pregnancy scares, we decided to stop playing with fire so to speak.  (For all of you concerned folks, we always used protection, but you know how that goes!)  Basically I learned relationships without sex aren’t fun and sex without a relationship gets dull too.

So what’s the solution?  Well, it sounds like I need to find a woman who enjoys sex, doesn’t need expensive gifts to keep her happy, and won’t be afraid to (SOMEDAY) get pregnant.  Sounds easy enough, right?  If it were I don’t suppose I would be writing this 75 days before my 31stbirthday.

I’ve been trying to think of ways to put myself in situations to meet new people, but so far my attempts have all been foiled either by my own inaction or by things not going the way I wanted them to.  I was going to sign up for an Italian cooking class (that taught both cooking and the language) but it turns out it is not offered again until the Fall at the earliest.  I suppose I’ve gotten this far, I can wait a few more months, but I was disappointed to lose the chance to both learn how to cook some good stuff and improve my speaking skills, which are suffering greatly these days.  I also wanted to work part-time at a Mexican restaurant where I could do the same thing, but with Mexican cuisine versus Italian, but I never heard back from them after I applied.  Ok, I’m a 30 year old white guy looking to work with a bunch of young Hispanics.  Were they really going to hire me?  I also wanted to do some volunteer work with the Hispanic community nearby, but they never contacted me either.  I position myself in Starbucks quite a bit, hoping I will appear educated enough to be approached by some young intellectual who would like to chat with me, but strangely enough, that hasn’t worked for me either.  So far, as all my intentions somehow involve food or drink in some form, I have done nothing more than put on weight, which I doubt will help me attract the ladies.  I still go to the gym of course, but not with the frequency I used to, and the times when I am there, the only ladies working out are old enough to be my grandmother.

So I sit here and lament on not having someone to keep me from being lonely, all the while, happy to do so, or so I think.  It seems I just talk myself in circles, never really deciding on what it is I really want or need.  I’m not sure I really accomplished anything here today, other than putting into words the things I have been thinking about.  I guess that will have to be good enough for now.  Until next time…

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~ by James on February 9, 2012.

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