I haven’t been in love for some time. I’d roughly estimate it at five years. In those five years I’ve basically repeated the same relationship over and over: meet someone, become interested in them, get into a relationship without knowing them well enough, watch it decay at about 3-4 months and break up. Four months is the absolute max I’ve been able to go before things ended. I’m starting to realize that this lack of love has had a serious negative affect on my personal and social life.

The last time I was in love it was tumultuous, like all times I suppose, and ended in chaos. After all the negative shit worked out we became friends again and still are to this day. For a while I wanted to take a break from relationships and just be single and date around. What started as a period of being single and self growth quickly turned into a lifestyle of distancing myself from my own need for love. And when I say need I use that word specifically because we all need love – whether it is from family, friends or romance. Casual dating started off fine but in a world as fast paced as ours it’s so easy to forget about what you need and focus on other things. I was working, I needed money, I was working on personal projects, I had trouble with my family, etc. The fact that I was consistently dating only made me less apt to see that I was (and am) avoiding love. It isn’t that I am consciously looking for short lived relationships, it’s just that somewhere deep down inside I am picking people I know aren’t right for me and I am denying myself the ability to attract or be attracted to those who are. Of course, throw in the natural streak of bad luck inherent to all dating and you have me, five years on and alone.

How do I fix this? Well, I guess this post is a start (have I said that before???). I’ve been thinking hard and I realize that I really need someone to love and to love me back. It isn’t a dependency kind of thing, I personally don’t need that person right now, but in the context of a romantic relationship it is what I should be looking for. I have to look for deep personal characteristics in people that I am strongly attracted to. I don’t need short lived flings with people I somewhat like, I don’t need physical connections instead of emotional bonds, I don’t need to date someone just because they’re cool and the opportunity presents itself and waste another three to four months that could be spent looking for someone really meaningful.

As a man it was easy for me to sink into this rigid dating structure. In the end all it did was screw me over. The longer I dated and didn’t experience deep love the more I became emotionally distant to my friends and my own life. It has become hard for me to talk with my friends about their relationships because it’s been so long since I cared enough about mine to feel what they’re feeling. I’ve distanced myself from my own heart so much that I lost track of what I really want to do in life and who I want to be. My emotional well being is the foundation of my entire existence, and to keep a protective covering over my heart only serves to stop all my desires from coming out. This is such a large factor in how men operate that when I realized how easily I succumbed to it, it ultimately didn’t surprise me. Our society is so well designed to make me settle, give me false hopes for things I shouldn’t care about to begin with, and at grinding me down day by day until I don’t even remember who I am any more that I’m just as susceptible to these evil structures as anyone else. Being a feminist and a man is an ongoing struggle of identity, hell, that’s what life is isn’t it? Luckily I have some tools to actively think about what has happened to me, and I have my fellow feminists to thank for helping me remember that.

This destruction of the self as a social creature is a very masculine trait in my opinion. People are not one hundred percent individuals. We need each other, we want each other, and we’ll always be connected. I’m largely a reflection of how people treat me and how they help me grow and change. It’s time I start meeting women who really fit what I want out of a relationship. Who provide the emotional support I want so that I can do the same for them. I’m sick to death of the way things have been. It's time I start loving again!

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