Being 24 and involuntarily single, it often crossed my mind that dating is hard on people like me, and it’s unfair how a pure-hearted, full of love guy like me doesn’t get a chance to partake in this wonderful affair. Even in the relationships I have had I felt that I was a good, near-selfless partner and often felt that if I had to build a resume to date I would be proud to list my past experience and achievements. But I guess that’s the problem. I realize that I have always seen dating too much like a game, with XP, levelling and achievements.

In retrospect, I think that I may have never romantically loved anyone. Yes I have had my attachments and obsessions, but the selfless quality of love hasn’t been there. I yearn for somebody, do my best to get noticed, start dating, and then keep leveling up on the bases. It’s not that I consciously saw these as challenges, but I do remember experiencing the feeling of getting stuck at a “level”, not progressing, as if once the challenge of reaching a level is over there is no point savoring those moments, and that does make me feel sad. Because as much as I know that my intentions were not bad, I did not take into account the feelings of my partner and in retrospect I could see that some of my aloofness due to the boredom of being stuck might have prompted my partners to level up even when they were not very comfortable with it, which is extremely unhealthy.

Another thing I realize is that I almost exclusively vie for women/girls in some form of power or sway, either because of their looks resulting in them being in high demand, being in a literal position of power , or being the nucleus of a social group where the peers look up to their Queen Bee. I think the reason for this is that being someone who considers himself socially awkward I tend to vie for a taste of that power myself, and in a convoluted manner a primal part of me sees power as a transitive thing, as in if A>B and B>C then A>C, similarly if I make someone love me,  then I would have some power over them who have some power over others making me feel powerful over all. It might seem that I am being too hard on myself, but I realized this when multiple times I saw myself upgrading or downgrading the valuation of certain prospects based on what others said about them, not because I instantly believed what they were saying, but just because irrespective of the truth the social valuation of the prospect was low. I realize that some of this wording is disturbing, and that’s what disturbed me too, how some part of me is so demeaning to all these people.

Now, i don’t think that this is totally how I think, maybe this is just a part of me, but it is definitely not insignificant and as long as it holds any power over my decisions it is dangerous and abusive, qualities that do unfortunately transfer to me as well. The only recourse I see is to try and be more introspective and more empathetic about others, even seek help if possible.

I used to believe I was a good man, but now that I have proved myself wrong, my only solace is in knowing that I am at least trying to be one!

With love, apologies and sincerity.