I have no friends; I have no girlfriend.§

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: June 27, 2012; revised: August 30, 2017; readers in past month: 980

Last year in November I canceled my account with Internations, a group that has parties each month in Milan for single people. I also stopped going to Partyamo, another group in Mlan. I went to a few of the parties for the Americanites, but the organizer of it — a friend of mine — returned to the U.S. this week. So that’s over. From all of the parties I attended, after all of the money I spent on drinks, food, and transportation, I went out dates with three women, of whom I could not get a second date. There was one woman I met at the begining of this year, but not from the parties, although she goes to them. We dated for a few weeks, but it’s over. During that same period last year, I deactivated my account with Facebook, but reactivated it a month or so later. When you reactivate your account, all of your friends and messages are restored like you never left.

A few weeks ago I couldn’t suffer Facebook any longer. I thought to deactivate it again, but knew I’d give in later and reactivate it. So this time I deleted all of my contacts. According to Facebook, I now have no friends. It’s kind of a neat thing to say. I also deleted all of my contacts from Linked-In, a professional social network. I can still receive messages on Facebook (which are forwarded to my email) and people can still see my resumé on Linked-In. There’s just nothing for me to see or do on these sites. So now I don’t bother looking at them. If anyone wants to know what I’m doing, they can look at my personal site, this site, or email directly me. If they want me to know what they’re doing, they can tell me. I don’t need Facebook as a vague and messy form of communication, as a way to keep people in my life who are not otherwise in my life. If they don’t want to be a part of my life enough to call me or meet me or communicate directly with me, I don’t want a method by which I’m permitted to snoop into their lives or by which they may mass communicate with their friends, of which I am somehow included. Plus, I find that for many people, the information they provide on Facebook about themselves and their lives is lacking greatly in substance. Incidentally, I also deleted all of my contacts and information off of Google+. I have no participaton in any social network

For over a year I have had an account with match.com (a.k.a., meetic) — since the ex-girlfriend left me in January 2011. According to the statistics for my account on match.com, there were 5,260 women who viewed my profile. A few hundred women ‘winked’ at me — I winked at three, two of which are already friends. I corresponded with over 100 women. And 72 women marked my profile as one of their favorites. I made friends with one woman in the first month last year and we’re still friends — that was the best thing to come out of the site for me. I should have closed my account then, but I continued on like the hopeful sucker I am. I met in person two other women: each for only one time. One with whom I began corresponding a few weeks ago and traded about forty emails, we met in person one time. I felt very good about her and thought my efforts on the site, the perhaps hundreds of hours I spent trying to find one person, had paid off. But it ended this week when she met someone else whom she fancies — but hasn’t dated yet. She’s sweet and I like her, so I wish her well. However, in disgust over wasting so much time spread over eighteen months, I gave up finally and closed my account at match.com.

Now I have no easy channels by which to meet women or make friends: I don’t go to the parties around town and I shut access to all social sites. My deus ex macchina, upon which I have relied so much, seems to have failed me in this way. If I am to meet a woman, she’s going to have to get a job with a courier service in Milan and wait for me to order something from amazon.de.

What does all of this say about me? What does it indicate about my mental health and psychology? Each time I have been hurt in the past year, I have shut bulk access that people have to me. I’m not becoming a hermit or even lonely, but I am becoming particular about how I let people in. The fact that I’m writing in this web log shows that I’m not becoming overly private. But this site does not allow users to comment on my posts. Although I’m willing to express publicly my thoughts on personal concerns, I’ve decided that social networking and public access to me is not to be trusted and should be eliminated. It is a source of frustration and a distraction for me.

Despite that logic, I cannot deny that I am over reacting and pouting. My actions may be childish. What I suspect, though, is that I’m realizing emotionally that I don’t like unfettered access to me, nor do I like interacting with groups of people — at least not through my sacred format, the computer. If I had been true to myself from the beginning, I would have never joined any social networking sites: they put me in a setting in which I am hurt easily and they make me feel like a kid again (perhaps the subconscious reason for the photo of me as a boy on Facebook), being trampled by bullies and ridiculed by hooligans in the schoolyard. I don’t feel that I’m pouting. Rather, I feel I am protecting myself, protecting the boy in me. Recent events have hurt the boy within me and made me realize I am exposed in ways I don’t like. No one protected me when I was in fact a boy. It’s up to me to protect that boyish spirit now that I am an adult.