Last year there was this girl in one of my classes. I still don’t know her name actually. I never gained the courage to go up to her and say hi. For me there was this air about her. To put into words, she looked joyful, as if she enjoyed life more than anyone else in the world. Her facial expressions were usually so full of emotions and she was very animated when she raised her hand to speak to the class. Every week I would look forward to that class, not really because of what was taught in the class, but merely because she would be there.

The last time I felt a deep one-sided crush like this about a girl was back when I was in jr. high school. You know, the corny kind of crush that makes your heart flutter, and every insecurity that you have about yourself just comes flaring up, and you lose the ability to speak. There was this girl in my class last year I thought was really pretty, that I found myself crushing on her really hard.

The other day, like about two weeks ago I think, she was in the student lounge. I was reading an article for a class but I found myself overhearing a conversation she was having with another student. I still don’t know her name, and no, I still did not have the courage to say hi and talk to her, but now I know that she has a husband.

If you expect my reaction to be “dammit,” well, you’d be right. Partly right at least. Learning that about her was a blow, yes, but it’s interesting that another big part of me felt relieved. That I couldn’t say hi to a person just because I found her so joyful and animated and attractive… it’s kind of ridiculous, isn’t it? Now that I know it’s not at all possible for she and I to get anywhere romantically, I no longer find her intimidating, and the insecurities I felt about myself around her are gone. If we chance upon each other again, I’d be okay with saying hi, get to know her, become friends.

Last year when I told my therapist about this crush I had, my therapist had this puzzled look on her face. Why wouldn’t I say hi? If I found her attractive, why not go up to her and start something? What was I so scared of?

Look, I still don’t know the answer to those questions. I’ve been single for like 99% of my life. I asked someone out when I was in jr. high school and we “went out” for a few months before I felt we should call it quits and just be friends instead. My first real romantic relationship was years ago by this point, which went on for about three months before I again called it quits, but this time a complete breakup. That breakup kind of devastated me actually, as it had the effect of making me feel like a total jerk. In high school there was a really close friend I had that I ended up really liking that way. It was a one-sided like though and so ultimately that friendship had a falling out. More recently, a year after my breakup, I sort of dated a former coworker. We didn’t have much in common and I think largely it was just physical attraction for me, and that made me feel like a jerk, and so wrapping myself up again in insecurity, I broke off from that quite quickly. That, and what she wanted and expected from a man was something I could never ever live up to so I backed away so she could find someone better suited for her.

It’s not much, but after all that, I think about relationships and my gut reaction is, “no thanks.” I don’t ever want to be the one who dumps a girl again. I also have to work on lot on all these insecurities I have about myself. When when I’m with friends, when I’m with coworkers, when I’m listening to clients, I feel okay. Actually, I would say that I am happy. Maybe I don’t exude joy out of my facial expressions like the girl I had a crush on did, but when I’m around people without any notion within me of engaging in anything romantic/sexual with the opposite sex, I am happy. Even when I’m by myself, for the most part, I feel good, I feel extremely privileged, I am happy.

So that’s what I tell myself. Like many other humans, I have sexual urges and dreams/hopes about romance and love. For me when I get the urges, my right hand and simple porn (meaning, not those weird crazy “kinky” “rapey” “fetish” stuff) suffices. I’ve talked with a female friend before that I wish there was more porn geared towards women because as a heterosexual man, I have insane amount of options to choose from, whereas for women, there’s really not much out there for them that would work well. Ever notice how in porn the men usually are silent and grunt very infrequently? Well, that’s just one example of how porn is geared towards men.

Anyway, because I don’t want to digress to talking about porn (a fascinating topic I’m sure, but not the point of this particular blog lol)… I am 27 years old, single, and not actively looking for a relationship. Last year my therapist determined my issue to be loneliness. I have to admit that I fully agree with her, to some degree even nowadays. In this culture I have been bombarded with the dreams and hopes of a romantic. That stuff tugs at my heart too. One of my close friends suggested I try online dating. Ugh, shudder, no thanks. Not because I don’t think online dating sites are useful tools, but really just because even with my loneliness I have no intention of dating. I am single really because I choose to be. My solution to my loneliness is not romance. For me, learning through books and conversations, video games, social work, and hanging out with friends have turned out to be very effective solutions.

From time to time, I do find myself chancing upon a girl in class or other places where I go in my mind and in my heart, “whoa, she’s super pretty and nice and charming and awesome…” As I’m getting older, I’m finding that 95% of the time, those girls already have boyfriends, or already married. In fact, it’s probably not right that I refer to them as girls; they’re more accurately women. When I browse around Facebook, I realize that most people I’ve known in high school are married, and many of them now with kids of their own. I get older and my chances of exiting singledom is dwindling and dwindling down.

Shrug, I think that’s okay. I’m happy with what I have, and I will definitely be happy being passionate about social work, having friends I care deeply about, enjoying the “me” time I have with a book, a Korean drama, or a video game. I might always end up being single like this, and the more I think about it, the more I’m okay with that. I’m able to find joy in my life in so many other things. My parents are going to be really upset with this as I’m an only child, but I think it’s really their fault for not having more kids.