Observational Ramblings…I’m in a dating slump.


I spent the weekend “supervising” a space that my friends at Bottom Shelf Films were using to film an entry for the 48-Hour Film Project — not that they needed any supervision, but I’m gettng off-topic here — and I noticed something that has changed in the way I approach dating.

See, since I can remember, I have either been in a relationship or I have been looking for one.  When single, I used to enter a room full of people and immediately assess which men in the room were available to me and then, of those, which I would choose to pursue.  When in a relationship, I often tried to keep a “Plan B” on the side – someone who I would potentially try to date in the event that my current relationship failed.

However, as of late, I’ve noticed that I enter rooms with potential “Dateables” and immediately say, “Nope.  He’s not here.”

Now, I’ve been dating for quite some time and I can scan a room of 30 men and tell you which three are at the top of my predatory list.  The difference is these days, I don’t pick out the top three.  It’s as if I used to make the best of any potential dating situation, no matter the selection.  These days, if I scan the room of 30 men and there isn’t a guy that really appeals to me, I don’t approach any of them.

I no longer go out with guys from OKCupid to simply practice dating or just to have something to do.  I have stopped trying to kindle old flames with exes or with guy friends with whom, for whatever reason, I was never able to make it work.

I oscillate between being panicked about possibly missing out on opportunities, and satisfied that at least this way, I won’t rush into another bad relationship.  It’s a strange feeling to proclaim that at 36 years of age, at my current “fitness level” and professional status at this stage of my life, I’ve become so selective about who I choose to date that I say, “No,” more often than, “Yes.”

Leaving Writers’ Workshop last night, I passed through Atomic Empire and only gave a cursory glance to the many guys who were there playing games in the store.  The last time I was single, I would have made good eye contact and zeroed in on at least one of the guys there and tried to flirt.  But this time, I just couldn’t be bothered.

And I think I’m okay with this.

I wanted to go home and work on the next MHMG Episode and plan for my upcoming NYC trip anyway.  I’m pretty sure I won’t find the future Mr. Kelley Hightower at a NYC Pride event, but that’s okay, too.  He’s out there, and I’ll know him when I see him.

10 thoughts on “Observational Ramblings…I’m in a dating slump.

  1. First! No seriously, nothing wrong with being like “I’ve seen everything in the mall and I’m not gonna buy any of it right now.” Give it some time, maybe a pair of shoes will eventually jump out and say “TAKE ME HOME!” 😉

    • Your “First” made me LOL 😀 I agree, and on a related note, I’ve stopped buying shoes I don’t need too. Maybe I’m evolving!! This isn’t even my final form.

  2. You should blog more often! I was thinking the other day that it used to be so much easier when younger to find people to date. Not sure if people have changed or what. Maybe a mix of things. When we are younger it is all new and no one has really dealt with a bad breakup etc. Now it seems it is a mixture of people being self involved (not necessarily in a bad way) living their life, maybe disillusioned with relationships, etc. And maybe we just get a little more picky as the years go by. But I will say I have learned a lot from listening to the pod cast and it gives people like me hope that we can have the confidence you seem to have in certain situations. When I go to my local comic store and there are lots of mens in there I avoid looking at any for fear of eye contact! lol I have not have a relationship in 7 years and it is scary to think of looking for one. ( I swear there is nothing horribly wrong with me! Just one of those really shy and self involved ppl lol) But I feel like I could approach it from a better perspective since listening to the pod cast 🙂

    • If by “self-involved” you’re referring to your running and your reading, I’d argue that it’s a good self-involvement 🙂

      I’m eternally grateful to have a fan and friend like you, and I hope I can continue to teach you through my many, many mistakes!

      • That is exactly the self involvement I mean. And I am glad to have found an awesome friend in you as well! And one that can laugh and allow others to laugh at her many weird experiences and mistakes 🙂

  3. Congrats Kelley. You’ve hit the “I’m single. And I’m actually cool with that.” point a lot of us schlubs are at. It ain’t a bad place to be, as long as you’re still open to something happening.

    Just watch out, you may end up needing a calender to figure out when your last date was. 😛

    • I’m always open to the possibility, and still put myself in places where opportunities might present themselves – but yeah, I already need that calendar. I think it was back in November? 🙂

      • November isn’t too bad. I haven’t had anything serious in like…. 3 maybe 4 years. I Dated a girl for 5 years and decided to take a break from relationships for a bit…. However, now I’ve just realized that means that I haven’t tried to get anyone to go out with me for 9 years… damn. I think I just psyched myself out… Help me, Only “Wan” Kelley! You’re my only hope! 😛 (lol.. I’m such a nerd!)

  4. This is a rickety boat that I have been very accustomed too my whole life, but its only since I got back from my Japan trip and had a few talks with people wiser than I, that I know that I can be content with the old gal.

    My best advice that I am now finally attempting to do is being content with who I am and where I am at in my life. My problem for the longest time was I would think that I was single because “there might be something wrong with me and I am too stupid to figure it out, what can I do?” attitude. It seems that after completing a life long dream of going to Japan is when I realized that If that can happen to me, something I thought was impossible for the longest time, then finding someone will eventually come along. I think for me, the bait (my “wonderful” personality) that I am putting out just isnt what the ladies around me are looking for, but someone out there will be attracted to it.

    It seems that whenever I try to make something happen (which was the case leading up to about when Animazement was going on), that it never worked out for me if I try and make the first move on someone, which seems to never go anywhere or makes it awkward between me and that person. So right now, my best attitude for me is to just wait and focus on where I need to go in my life. I am not looking for someone to complete me, I am looking for someone who is complete who wants to walk life with me. That is something I can fully accept now, and I feel much better understanding that perspective which seems to have finally started to make sense for me. I would rather live a productive life doing what I love than to be stuck in relationship and “pretending” that its where I need to be. So eff it if I am still single past 30, I just hope im kicking ass somewhere across the world and finding fulfillment in doing what I love. Because eventually, someone will come along and want to share that with me. And frankly as of this post, I’m not feeling any desperation or need to find someone, because I am feeling pretty damn good girl.

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope something out of this can be applied to you and help you, even if this is coming from someone in their late 20’s at this point in time. I found this post in my email feed form you site, which I felt the need to say something. But take care Kelly, cuz don’t worry bout it.

    • Oh boy, I love long post discussions. En garde. 😀

      I kinda went the other way with my personal development. The “fuck it, I’m fine with how I am” attitude lasted me for MANY years. I kept doing the same shit I’d been doing. And I kept getting the same shit I’d been getting. So I decided to reinvent that guy into a much better package.

      I know the blind, unrelenting acceptance of myself let me keep sliding further and further away from where I wanted to be. I let myself gain a lot of weight, because I was the guy who would only run if something was chasing me (coincidentally, I kept to that mantra with the Zombies, Run! game). I was gonna eat what I wanted to, appearance be damned. I sat around consuming media, anime, books, games, whatever, by myself because I was a loner. I kept working the same dead end job for years because it was easier than change.

      And at the end of the day I was just as fucking alone as I had been for years. I stuck in my habits, and I went from a 19yo single guy to a 26yo, 60 lbs heavier single guy. In refusing to change, I had drastically changed, for the worse. I kept making excuses for why I wasn’t in a relationship, why such a smart, funny guy like me was still single.

      Trouble was, I was stagnant. I wasn’t growing, I wasn’t developing, and my social circle had practically collapsed on itself. Me, as he was, in all honesty, was a complete fucking loser. He wasn’t happy. He was depressed, and alone, and bitter, and detached. And it took life giving me a MASSIVE kick in the balls to get me to change.

      But god damn if I didn’t change. It took a 50Cent attitude to do it too. I was gonna change or die trying.

      Kelley once said (in a earlier podcast) something to the effect that arguably everything people do is to improve their odds of having sex. Figured I’d give that a shot.

      So far I’ve . . .

      -Lost somewhere between 50 and 75 pounds (haven’t been on a scale in 6 months), went from a 2XLT shirt to an XL, from a 42-44 waist relaxed fit jean to a 38-40 waist straight leg or boot cut jean.

      – Purged all my old, oversized clothing, been rebuilding a wardrobe not entirely consisting of cargo pants and ratty t-shirts. Even the t-shirts I do wear are better fitting and look better.

      – Started learning to play guitar. A lot of it has been nerdy stuff, but still, chicks dig a guy who has even basic musical ability. Plus I’ve got a few rock songs ready for a party.

      – I can’t hold deep, detailed discussions about the comparative powers of the Bleach Espada anymore. I can, however, hold my own in any number of topics, from food to philosophy, both the possibility of the future and the interesting parts of the past. And I still have a solid grounding in nerdier topics. I lack some of the depth of knowledge I once had, but the breadth of what I know now is much more interesting and conducive to interesting conversation and making connections.

      – Been upgrading the nerd cave to look a little less like a college dorm room. Fewer posters or wall scrolls on tacks, something besides graphic novels on the bookshelves. That beat-up old mattress on a metal frame is getting replaced with a platform bed, the cheap WalMart linens are getting a thread count upgrade. You know, make it look like something a girl might actually want to get on at some point. Looking to find a new apartment in the next few months too.

      – Gotten a better paying job with better hours and real benefits. And I’m about to talk to HR about getting my pay adjusted to something more on par with similarly qualified coworkers.

      – Asked for more girls numbers, e-mails, etc in the past year than the preceding six years.

      – Gone to more social events in the past year than the preceding six years.

      – Made more new friends in the past year than the preceding six years.

      And so on and so forth. I still am a big-time gamer, I still read and watch nerdy stuff, but it’s not the one and only thing I do anymore. I’m more interesting and rounded as a person.

      Sometimes you have to identify what you want, then put yourself in the best place to make that happen. If accepting yourself is the right path for you, that’s great. For me, it was deciding to change my life and not the other way around.

What say you?