After years and years of misguided social behavior, one probably wonders how I deal with the opposite sex. I don’t do it very well. I could end it there, but I have a lot of grievances to air.

One of things working against me is my physical state. I possess some of the ugliest features ever known to man. I’m 5’10” but only 140 pounds, the minimum for my height. Others have described me as sickly despite my nearly flawless attendance records at school and work. My scarred complexion and droopy eyelids give the appearance I abuse drugs. Girls do not find me attractive, or at least that’s the way I see it. One female acquaintance did tell me “girls don’t like skinny guys,” then added “sorry,” not in the sympathetic way, but in the truthful way. Somehow I’m proved wrong from time to time. I found out long after the fact that a rather cute girl had a crush on me in the 7th grade. No matter, that wouldn’t have lasted for multiple reasons. And for multiple reasons, I didn’t ask anyone out until my senior year of high school. I was never really comfortable with the idea, particularly the rejection. I took the back door on asking someone out too. I sent a homecoming card to a girl named Melissa, who I knew from bell choir, and had known for years. We had always been pretty friendly. Much to my surprise, she agreed to go with me to the homecoming dance on a date.

We eventually went on more dates and became more romantic. But my self-deprecating humor proved to be the catalyst of her frustration. The hammer dropped a few months later when I found her getting real close with another guy. She dumped me on Valentine’s Day, claiming she didn’t know where our relationship was going. She knew where it was going, because she steered it in the direction of someone else. My suspicions were confirmed a few days later as I saw her making out with the same guy I saw her getting close with. He was a sophomore no less, a year younger than she. My intelligence reports picked up on Melissa’s comments afterwards. She called me psychotic and terminally depressed. I had to laugh. She obviously had not prepared herself for the kind of intelligent and transcendent relationship I can offer. She’s a teacher now, which I find surprising.

By the way, she’s the only girl I ever formally asked out. I sidestepped that in the future in favor of drinking with acquaintances at the bar. My first year of college, I talked to perhaps one female stranger, who rebuffed me instantly. My third year, I became somewhat friendly with a girl who had terrific legs, but a pug-nose face. If she was interested in me (looking back, she very well could’ve been), I would never have known it. She freely slept with people, so I missed my one golden opportunity.

That leads me to my other problem in dealing with the opposite sex. I do not possess the ability to receive signals sent by women. By that, I mean I have no idea if a woman is interested in me or not. I need a series of signs in written form, and probably a sworn affidavit to convince me a girl is indeed interested. But in reality, all I have are smiles (girls smile at everything), casual conversation which I inevitably kill with my odd humor, and shaky reports from intelligence sources which I can’t count on.

Love Shy

I had never seen the term "love shy" until 2008 or so. But it described me perfectly. I couldn't imagine a more appropriate definition. I am so frightened of rejection, so full of self-pity and lacking in confidence, I can hardly talk to a woman without melting into a stuttering mess. Eye contact is impossible. Don't even think about being intimate. I haven't even been close. Love shy is also associated with the term involuntary celibacy, which is self-explanatory.

By now, I’m nearly 40 and have never held a long-term relationship. While I don’t actively search for a girl to share my life with, I fear now that day will never come. Because of my inability to interpret signals from women, it will take a serendipitous encounter for such a relationship to develop. Of course, the conflict between my current life and the ideal relationship greatly reduces my chances of ever succeeding. As a single guy with no prospects or planning for the future, I do whatever I want. But sharing my life with the woman of my dreams would mean huge sacrifices. I hardly ever spend money, so that would have to change. I hardly ever talk about my moods, my feelings, my fears. Of course, I would have to do things she’s interested in, no matter how stupid they are. And I haven’t had a health checkup in years. Truthfully, the odds are against me. Even if a woman were interested in a long-term relationship with me, she would find my stubborn nature draining. I have no big financial prospects, or good genetics. So there’s no possibility of improving the future return if a girl were to invest her time in me. At this age, I’m fine with the possibility of never having a family. However, I can’t predict my future position on the subject in five years, ten years, and so on.

You might ask what I look for in a woman. Although I shouldn’t be picky, I am. Beautiful, intelligent, willing to absorb my sense of humor and lack of lifestyle, no one has all that. There’s a song called “Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face” by an old punk group called The Monks. I seriously consider that each time, because I appreciate nice legs, even if the woman is downright ugly. I tried placing a personal ad on the internet once, but no one replied, so obviously nobody is out there looking for the qualities I have. In a second attempt, I filled out a personality profile, only to have the website reject me as “incompatible” with every woman in the database.

I also tend to develop irrational crushes on women I clearly have no chance with. For several years, I had a crush on a co-worker, who is very short, fluttery, good-looking, very charming and in possession of an infectious laugh. She tried to fight off someone who kept bringing her flowers. She won’t date co-workers, but she‘s told me about other dates she‘s been on. She’s had sex with several co-workers anyway. I haven’t said a word about how I feel. I don’t anticipate I will. The two times I tried, she looked scared, terrified even, to hear such words coming from a guy like me. I eventually psyched myself out of the crush before it consumed me. I’m just not sure how to control these feelings, and balance the need for companionship (as much as I claim I’m independent) with my realist view.

Furthermore, I tend to imagine myself with women I met previously and couldn’t do a damn thing about, or women that just don’t exist. Dwelling on the past keeps the solo sex going.