The Problem

“If I were as sketchy about sex as you are, and then my first experience getting back in the game were getting hit with that, I’d be tentative too.”

I’m paraphrasing here, but this has been said to me, in a couple of forms, over the years. And oddly, it’s not always about the same event. The reality is, I feel like a blind man in a strange house when it comes to sex and romance. I’m constantly stumbling and hurting myself and others in my flailing meander. It’s much easier and much less painful to just sit still.

And that’s the problem.

Many times now, in multiple different forums, I’ve been in a nice starting position with someone I find appealing. We’re past idle chitchat, moved to substantive discussion, and in normal situations, would be making the plunge toward more personal questions, but instead, I idle on the curb. The other person usually interprets this incorrectly as me being uninterested and moves on. And while I continue to make the same ineffective discussion, they are drifting further and further away. And typically, by the time I realize this and make one of my patently ridiculous and ineffective overtures, they’ve found a new applicant with less confusing signals to play the game with. In extreme cases, this overture may be years too late, causing consternation and drunken confusion and awkwardness, all of which only serve to reiterate that the best plan is to stand still and not even make the initial approach.

But each time, as I stare down a holiday or birthday or even a long weekend… I wish, and I think, and I fret, and eventually my loneliness overrides my brain and I make that first step. And then I sit, terrified to make the next one.

The real point here being that there’s a potential relationship I can feel running through my fingers right now, and I just can’t figure out how to make that next step naturally. I don’t know how. In all reality, I should probably take my dad’s advice from when I was a kid. “Son. Don’t worry about being cool. Just say it. I’d rather be the guy who ran up and said ‘You’re Pretty!’ than the cool guy who was too afraid to say hello.”

One thought on “The Problem

  1. I have been racking my brain for some encouraging words of wisdom when it occurred to me that I don’t have any. Why not? I have that same paralysis, you see.

    So do lots of other people. It’s not just you.

    Your dad’s advice is better than anything I could have come up with anyway.

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