Why am I single?
Am I stopping myself from falling in love? Or am I truly just not falling for anyone? I don’t know which option I fear more. If the first is true, then I may be dooming myself to a life alone. If it’s the second, well, that wouldn’t be my fault, would it? But it’s no less discouraging to think that no one in my world could ever interest me.
I get crushes sometimes, yes, but (and this sounds weird) I can’t even tell how serious they are. I second-guess my own feelings constantly. Do I really like this person, or am I just fooling myself? All too often, it feels like I’m imagining I like them just because I like the idea of being madly in love. It’s more about the idea than the actual person.
I can create an image around a person that obscures who they really are, and pretty soon I’m in love with the image, but all the while in my gut I know that the image is not accurate and what I’m actually in love with is an illusion. That’s not true love. I know that. So I don’t allow myself to actually engage with the person, because I know it’s not what I think it is. In that sense, I guess you could say I do keep myself from falling in love… but not without reason.
You see, in every case, I see red flags. Even beyond the smokescreen of the fantasy image I create around a person, these red flags are always visible to my deeper instinct. And when I say “red flags,” I mean intrinsic qualities or ingrained habits that I do not want in a romantic partner. Things that the person obviously either could not or would not change. Things that I am ultimately just not okay with. They stand out to my subconscious mind, flashing cold warning lights, spelling doom for any hope of a relationship with that person.
If I didn’t see these kinds of red flags, I like to think that I would do it. I would move forward. I would give the person a chance. But when I see these kinds of things beforehand, plain as day… I mean, am I supposed to ignore them? So far, I have not been able to do that. I know what I want, and I know what I do not want. Why should I walk straight into a situation that I know is not what I want? Won’t I be kicking myself later for making such a stupid move, eyes wide open?
At the end of the day, I wonder:
Will there ever be someone who doesn’t strike me as full of warning signs, someone I won’t have to invent a mostly false image around so that I can pretend to have a crush on them?
Will I just end up caving in and dating someone who is below my standards?
Am I keeping myself from happiness, or sparing myself genuine heartache and wasted time?
As always, the standard answer to all my life’s questions resurfaces: I don’t know.
— Submitted by @angelwithashatteredheart