As I knew it would, the funk has passed, and I’m in a much better place in my head. And in the sober light of lucidity, I can go ahead acknowledge that it takes a particularly twisted, specific, and self-hating logic for me to think of myself as “bad at dating”, akin to what these guys are doing (although, I hope, less toxic to the people around me). I’ve spent all of a year and a half single as an adult. Most of western culture seems to define “relationship success” as “length of relationship”, and I’ve had three very long term relationships. Moreover, on those occasions when I’ve dated qua “going on a date”, it seems to have gone well enough; I’ve had fun and I flatter myself that generally so has the other party.
I’m having trouble with a very narrow and rarefied dating style, which is not the same as being “bad at dating”. And when I was single, despite also then thinking of myself as “bad at dating” (at least, eventually–at first I thought it was going to be a cakewalk), what I was having trouble with was finding someone(s) who wanted to fool around without getting super serious, in my thirties, in Indiana.
What I am is badly confused by the flirt-and-get-to-know-each-other-and-maybe-make-out stage, and also inexperienced with approaching people because I’ve basically only been with (I’m sick of using the word “to date” and all of its conjugations. Someone suggest a better term for whatever it is that I’m attempting to do) people who approached me, and with whom I skipped the aforementioned confusing stage in favor of sleeping with each other immediately.
What I need to do, as per the comments of the previous post, is just to up and ask some people out already, because that’s the only way to get used to asking people out, and also the way to get to the next stage that I find awkward so that I can eventually find it less awkward. I’m just being petulant because it’s not being made quite as easy on me as everything else in the world is.
Which is not to say that I’m not in a trapped-and-flailing place in my head, but at least I’m being slightly more rational and less woe-is-me about it.