- I’m incredibly introverted – Being physically close to a large amount of strangers has given me anxiety attacks before, and I guarantee it’ll happen again.
- I need to know everything – I cannot stand not knowing things, if I have a question, I NEED an answer. This applies to science, maths, technology, history, all that stuff, but it also applies to people. How people work, what they like, what they don’t like. I end up creating mental profiles for everyone I meet.
- I act overly intelligent – This ties into my last point. While my crippling social awkwardness prevents me from doing this to people I don’t know, I relay mountains and mountains of information to people that couldn’t give a damn. It doesn’t help that I actually know what I’m taking about (my last point) and so I end up going on tangents.
- I can’t hold conversations – I cannot for the life of me, hold a conversation for more than ten seconds. I’ll ask how your day was, then you’ll say something along the lines of, “good”. At which point my brain has kicked into recovery mode. Recovery mode is what I’ve called the process, in which my mind bolts through every single piece of information I can muster about this person in search of a good conversation topic. More often than not, I’m unsuccessful, which leads to awkward silence.
- I treat everyone as equal – Now, this doesn’t sound very bad right? But think about what I’ve said in detail. I basically said that my mother, the woman that raised me and loved me for my entire life, has the same significance towards me that does someone I’ve never met. Seems unfair right? It is. Of course I’m embellishing a little. I love my mother much more than a stranger, I’ll just treat her with the same courtesy as anyone else. Respectfully.
- I’m a pacifist – I haven’t hit anyone since I was in preschool, so you really shouldn’t expect me to “defend your honor” with my fists if I haven’t used them in decades. I’ll try to calm things down, and be mature about the situation. Which seems like it would piss a lot of girls off for not defending them.
- I don’t like sex – I never have. Don’t get me wrong, I will lay beside you for hours, and do nothing but listen to your heart beat against my chest, but that’s because I crave intimacy, not animalistic noises and broken headboards. And that’s where most of my relationships have ended, I don’t have a sex drive, but my partners does. And because of that, I try, but it ends up feeling wrong for both of us.
- I’m not an athletic person – I have an excuse for this one. In the past I’ve had asthma attacks, heart problems, and to top it off I was in an accident a while back that left my left ankle extremely weak. To run for more than five minutes requires me to wear a leg brace, take a couple of pills, and have my inhaler in my back pocket… so no thank you to that.
- I am a time freak – I’m never late for an important event, and I’ll get very agitated if you’re late too. If you’re with me, and you make me late for something important, it’ll take at least till the end of the night for me to fully let it go. It’s an insignificant pet peeve, but a pet peeve nonetheless.
I met my wife when we were both young. I married the first woman I fell in love with. I knew at the time we started dating that we were incompatible, but it didn’t stop us from getting together, because (a) I truly believed there was nobody else in the world who was like me and would be compatible with me, (b) we both believed that if you love someone you have to be with them, and (c) true love overcomes everything, right? Right? Isn’t that what Disney movies with talking animals say?
When we got together, she wanted a traditional monogamous relationship. I am not monogamous, and have never been in a monogamous relationship. She knew that, but we tried anyway.
So we had a relationship where we could both have outside lovers (and did; she had other partners too) but only with strict rules. She said I was not allowed to love someone else, I could not do things like spend the night with another lover or make commitments to another lover, and so on.
You know, all the things that naive, inexperienced, insecure couples do when they try to open a relationship.
The problem? I didn’t realize that you can’t pass rules on feelings (if that worked, why not just pass a rule saying “nobody is allowed to feel insecure”? Derp.)
More importantly, I never thought about how that disempowers other people, how profoundly it objectifies them, and how hurtful it is to them. It reduces them to the status of walking sex toys, tells them their feelings don’t matter, and tells them that they can never have a voice in what they share with me.
Which is really fucked up, and it’s why, when I speak and teach, I advise people “never date or get involved with couples that have these rules.”
I hurt other people, who became attached to me (as people often do when they have sex) only to have the door slammed in their face, and to be told their feelings don’t matter.
It took me way longer than it should have to see how I was hurting other people, something I still regret to this day. Finally, when I did see it, I could not in good conscience continue to do it and still look at myself in the mirror.
My wife and I tried to find a new foundation to build our relationship on, but by that point we had 18 years of history, and a history of dealing with problems and insecurities by passing rules leaves a relationship brittle and weak.
She had spent that eighteen years truly believing that I didn’t really want to be with her and that I would leave her when I found someone “better.” Having a partner who truly believes, year after year, that your love isn’t real and you secretly want to leave is soul-killing.
So I asked for a divorce.
We are not close any more, but we are still friendly and do talk to each other from time to time.