Sunday, December 4, 2011

"I'm not single, I'm alone."

I can't tell whether online dating is killing me or keeping me alive. It's a ray of tantalizing hope, certainly. But it's frustrating and fraught with perpetual disappointment. Conversations are abruptly dropped with no warning why. There's no real way to evaluate why some people respond and others don't. I fall in love with someone's profile and she lives in fucking Toronto. I've exhausted the supply of remotely compatible individuals within at least 200 miles. And there seems to be little chance of things getting better any time soon.

As someone [the only one] I've been messaging off and on on okcupid said,
 "you continue to be hilarious as your emotional investments in this website's prospects fall away like so much overstewed tallow from the bone. "
 The conventional wisdom is to learn to love yourself and love will eventually find you. I'm improving on that count. I am continually surprised at my confidence and assuredness, knowing what I want and taking active steps to try to make it happen. I still have something of a fundamental lack of self-worth, but I'll find the suicidal ideation creeping back in and part of me shouts at it that even though things aren't great, they're encouragingly positive. It's progress.

But as one of my friends said, quoting tumblr, queer dating is like applying for jobs: you either do it online or through referrals. One can hope you'll meet someone socially, but especially in Knoxville that just doesn't seem feasible any time soon.

And that's quite discouraging. I put myself "out there." I go to all kinds of events, talk to all kinds of people, look for what I want and don't get too beat down when I fail any one individual time. But I worry that it really is a matter of place. In Asheville, in Atlanta, in some big city elsewhere, in some *progressive* college town, maybe there'd be a thriving queer community. But here there just... isn't. And although many of us are making efforts to advance that cause, it's not like lesbian graduate students are just going to pop out of the woodwork.

So. I keep staring "3.5 years" in the face. And part of me feels like that's insane. Surely I'll find *someone* eventually. And even past that, I have a lot going for me in my life otherwise. If only what I have felt like it was enough.

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