A Beanbag of Misery§

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: October 23, 2007; revised: April 24, 2018; readers in past month: 595

Russell Dyer in Grey

I’ve stopped fighting it and have let myself slump into misery today. I slid into it, comfortably. I know this state well. I don’t like it, but I know it and can deal with it. I don’t mind being alone; I just don’t want to be alone. I think about trying to find someone else, but at times like this I’m not hopeful. Besides the lack of appeal one has when in this mode, I’ve come to realizations about my situation: although I have improved myself greatly and become much more charming than I have ever been, my new self and ways have cut me off from good dating prospects.

For instance, living in Italy can make me interesting, but not to women who live in Italy. Those who are impressed by me living there, don’t live there and therefore I won’t meet them other than for a brief time by chance while I’m in the U.S. My lifestyle of traveling and working very flexible hours is another aspect of me that seems to perk the interests of women I meet, but the reality is that they usually cannot join me in this. They usually have jobs, more standard lifestyles, or other impediments that don’t allow them to tag along with me. Then there are the other simpler factors like cultural similarities, educational and academic interests, etc. I won’t easily find women in Milan with similar cultural factors. When I do happen upon an American woman, if a U.S. cultural background is key (I don’t know for sure that it is), I suspect that we are drawn to each other because we are outsiders and feel alone in a foreign land.

My need for love, romance, passion and sex draws me to women, to keep trying to find a woman despite the unlikely circumstances I have put myself in. While in this miserable and reflective state, part of me thinks that I should stop trying. I’ve certainly learned not to see every woman as a prospect, including women who are willing to have sex with me. Although I’ve only recently broken with the girlfriend, looking back over the last year or so, I can only think of one woman that I’ve met who I think might be a good match. Touching on that point this week with her, she does not share my interest in exploring a relationship together. So, that’s it. I’m without prospects. It’s a miserable thought, but I can live with that. I can accept that and am tired of avoiding it.

The reality is that sometimes there are tradeoffs: If I want to live a non-conformist life, live in Europe, travel, be a writer, and so forth, then maybe I cannot expect easily to establish a relationship in conformity with normal standards or with women of my own culture. Certainly, I may come to embrace the Italian culture and become so fluent in Italian that I’ll find another Italian woman who is compatible with me. At this point, though, I don’t think that’s realistic and I don’t want to do that. That’s probably just me pouting, but it’s how I feel at the moment. I’m unwilling to chew on hope. Whereas I’ve been avoiding misery for the past week, now that I’ve plopped into it like a bean bag, I don’t want anything to disturb my disgusted slumber. I don’t want to shift myself and risk rolling off the bag. Just leave me alone, is my mantra at this point. I know that that will probably change fairly quickly, but I see no hope of it doing so and I like it that way.

Besides having less exposure to women in which I prefer, I’ve become more particular about the type of woman with which I am willing to enter into a relationship. I don’t like hurting a woman’s feelings and I don’t like trapping myself. If I start a long-term relationship with a woman and I find that it’s not working, I have difficulty splitting with her because I don’t want to be hurtful. As a result, I end up staying in the relationship too long. With each time I experience this, I try to learn to assess the possibilities of a relationship, quickly. As witnessesed in this last relationship, though, I’m not always good at deciding quickly enough. Hopefully, I’m better at it now.

So it’s ironic that when I am most interesting to women, I have become more discriminating and have less access to the ones in which I would be interested. It seems to be a joke life is playing on me. The good news is that although I have this quandry, I still like myself better this way. That is to say, what some women like about me is also what I like about me. So, while I could change myself and my circumstances to find more easily a woman, that would require changing who I am and I’m not too keen on that.