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Old 12-14-2013, 01:19 AM   #76
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

I think it's good sometimes to not talk about what you're going to do or in this case write about what you're going to write. Or go back and edit for structural consistency and analogies parallel structures working together like they're supposed to. But just to let the time arrow move forward and the word count go up and sentences form how they lie on the page screen just let it happen, let it fly. So I mean that might waste somebody's time.

People on 2p2 go out at night on weekends. This is apparent the place is completely dead and here I sit, keyboard, screen and me. It's hard to stay on task. I might have posted about this before (but not in this blog pretty sure) and it's definitely been fashionable at times among the forum community and there are a few personality types that are very prevalent here, much more than in the general community of the world humanity. So what I'm speaking of (haha no I'm not speaking at all) what I'm writing about is the four variable binary afaik pop psychology bull**** compartmentalization system known as the Myers Briggs something or other. This. Four binary variables. 16 types.

So like I was typing some more prevalent than others and probably a little bit on internet forums in general and very much so on 2p2 in particular, INTJ and INTP are common but in the general general pop of the real world not so much. (Oh so are you going to highlight your own special snowflake type and tell us why it's super awesome or why it makes you hate life because you just don't fit in anywhere and nobody understands you and it would all be so easy so wonderful if only if only, but no no no, this cruel world, they don't get it...). If I was editing this I'd edit that last part out, it goes nowhere. So anyway when I have taken this test I always come out rather extreme on all four dimensions and my type is INTP.

The part that I was planning to highlight when I went into that spiel though, is this: "they may become unaware of their environment, and exhibit weakness in performing maintenance-type tasks, such as bill-paying and dressing appropriately." I'll dress however I want. Who cares?

The bill-paying doesn't seem like it needs a hyphen there but that kind of thing is a problem. I have in the past had piles of mail piling up and just could not bring myself to face it. I don't even want to say anything at all about tax returns. There is a smallish pile of mail right now but it's on its way to being a problem and Blue Cross has sent me a few letters about the impending changes in health care legislation and what it means to me and they have a range of plans that may be suitable but I should discuss on the phone with a customer service representative because my current plan may not be eligible... I mean I read this kind of stuff and my eyes glaze over. It's all complexity for complexity's sake, much like the tax code. Not only do I not understand any of it but there's a part of me that very much does not want to understand it or anything like it. So that's the kind of thing that grows the pile of mail. "Thanks for sharing!"

I don't have a goddamn thing to say. I'll probably click around on the internet but maybe I'll do some reading.
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Old 12-14-2013, 01:57 AM   #77
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I don't have a goddamned thing to say either, other than that I enjoy reading your blog and hope you continue writing it despite your feeling that you don't have much to say.

Last edited by Brocktoon; 12-14-2013 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 12-14-2013, 02:16 AM   #78
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

I always test XXXX on meyer-briggs (even scores on all sections), or IXXX depending on my mood when I take it. Never been able to find out what that means.

I like your blog and not everyone goes out on the weekends. I'm home alone on a friday night and I have a pretty active social life. Nothing to beat yourself up about; I used to think the same thing.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:50 PM   #79
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

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I've considered either donating all my money or just spending it like a moron so it disappears, but all that would do is take away options. In game theory that's a dominated strategy, and following it would be irrational. A lot of my thoughts are irrational too, so that's why this stuff comes up. Like, when people say "If <something>, don't tell me, I don't want to know" that's irrational. For a rational agent information is always an asset (or useless at worst, but never of negative value). It's only harmful if you're going to use the information in an irrational way. (Poker example: You should always want to see the other guy's cards after the hand is over if he's willing to show. Maybe you're prone to tilt and would prefer not seeing that you just got bluffed, but that's a psychological flaw.) Voluntarily making do with less for a certain period of time might be worthwhile though.

hehe
This option thing is an interesting one. I talked my self few times out of suicide with the same reasoning. But it is not true, that having options is good in itself. There are several studies (I am to lazy to look for links), which show that having many choices makes people more unhappy and paralyzes them.
If you are unhappy now (I am not sure. Some posts are pretty dark and some are pretty cool, like this bitcoin thing) may be it is worth to think about it. May be not donating all your money, but taking a definite path one direction. That limits the number of options too.


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Seeing a psychiatrist: The problem I have with psychiatry is that it seems to me that the go-to option in their toolkit is psychiatric meds*. That makes a lot of sense from an efficiency standpoint on their end. Patient is depressed, must be a chemical imbalance, take this pill. Next. No need for the messy business of looking into underlying causes, delving into the patient's history, or asking the patient to do any kind of real work to change their lives or their outlook on life. Psychotherapy could be useful though. Without proof, I'm not willing to accept that a "trained therapist" knows any more about how to live my life than I do. There are a lot of bull**** certifications in this world. I know I'm pretty messed up psychologically, but I think instead of paying a therapist, what I really need are relationships. But if I knew of a good therapist who I trusted, I wouldn't be against that.

Why is the bold part bad? If there is chemical imbalance, then it makes totally sense to shift it the right direction. The thing is with depression ( if you have one. ) is, that it increases that you draw back socially. And if you then correct the chemical imbalance, it gets automatically easier to form relationships. But who am I to give advices..... But I do find your blog interesting
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:07 AM   #80
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

So the past three months have been pretty uneventful apart from a trip to Chile. For a few weeks I got obsessed with chess. I do that from time to time, and it's fun for a while, and then I get sick of it. Chess is this really elaborate self-contained world with no connection to anything else and you can get lost in it for as long as you like. A few weeks is usually about the right amount of time for me. A month, max. I do wish I was better at chess, but my ability is just mediocre. Or maybe if I would really dedicate myself to the game for months at a time, maybe a year, one day I'd have a breakthrough... Nope. Not going down that rabbit hole any further. Nothing to see there.

So I played lots of chess and it was winter and it was cold, so very cold. It's March and the snow is just now maybe thinking about starting to melt a little, so much snow here in Michigan it's ridiculous. But I went to Santiago, Chile for 10 days. I'm planning to go back for a much longer stay. I might move there. I might as well. I hate planning things. I should just buy a plane ticket and then I'll have a deadline to work with. I've been dragging my feet ever since I got back in mid February. It's really not that hard for me to pick up and go wherever whenever but when I think about planning things it feels difficult. Eventually I make myself do things and things happen. One night in January I was sitting here in front of my computer obsessing over details and I guess doing some sort of research for the trip and clicking through related and unrelated links and then I finally said screw it, bought the plane ticket booked a room and that was that. A little over a week later there I was. Great success! So now I think I'll try living there for a while. I don't have a good explanation as to why. Just, why not?
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:19 AM   #81
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What happened in Chile? What did you do there that made you want to live there?
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:19 AM   #82
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

And I just booked a flight to Santiago, so I'll be going back at the beginning of April and planning to stay for three months this trip and maybe move there permanently. What makes me want to live there? I'm looking to move somewhere and I think a lot of different places would do, so it's a fairly arbitrary choice. But any other choice would be just as arbitrary. I spent 10 days there and it seemed like a place I could live, that's about it. There's not much I value about my current life so I'll be starting from zero anywhere I go. I'd like to go someplace outside the US and I don't mind if it's far away. Learning a foreign language will give me something to do even if I'm not doing much otherwise, so that's actually a plus.

One thing I liked about Santiago is that there's pedestrian traffic everywhere, and both the subway and buses run relatively efficiently, so having a car isn't necessary. I walked the streets quite a bit while I was there, often without knowing where I was going, and at no point did I feel unsafe. I've heard the Santiago climate compared to southern California, and it was sunny and in the 80s every day during my trip (granted I was there in February which is their summer). Lots of parks distributed throughout the city, and you'll see stray dogs wandering all over the place which could be seen as a negative, but the locals basically regard these dogs as part of the community and they don't seem to cause any major problems. Americans wouldn't stand for that kind of thing but the Chilean culture seems much more laid back in general.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:16 AM   #83
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

How does the cost of living in Chile rate compared to the US? Can you "live like a king" there as I often hear people I work with say when fantasizing about retiring to a foreign country?
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:37 AM   #84
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

Not really. The prices at least in Santiago (maybe it's cheaper in rural areas) were about the same as what I'd expect to pay in the US. I think if you want to "live like a king" on the cheap, you have to go to a legitimately third world country and of course there are downsides to that. So probably Guatemala or Honduras everything is cheap (never been to either so I'm guessing), but in more stable and developed countries like Chile or Costa Rica you're no longer getting the third world discount.
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:36 AM   #85
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

Ten days and I leave for Chile. Planned three month stay and I've got ideas about moving there permanently, so apparently this is a BIG DEAL, I have finally MADE A DECISION, things are HAPPENING. It's been giving me an excuse to disengage from my surroundings even more than usual, because now I get to treat my stupid life here in Michigan where I live with my dad and sister like it isn't real, like I'm stuck in a cryogenic chamber waiting for the thaw. I'm might be here physically but I don't live here. I'm an expat now.

There are a few things I need to do before I go. I need to get my taxes filed but I won't have time before I leave, so I'm filing an extension, but in order to do that I need to at least get my accountant enough information so she can estimate what I'll owe. This is something I put off every year and I even went a few years where I didn't file at all, and that was a lot of unnecessary stress and if I get cancer later in life I might blame it on that, but I finally got up to date on my tax situation last year. So the putting off my taxes I'm doing now is just the normal level of putting off my taxes I'm used to. I'm putting it off right now but there isn't much I have to do really, just gather some documents together and write a little note explaining to my accountant what I think my tax relevant activities were for the year, even though I don't understand this stuff at all (part of the reason I put it off). i could get this done tonight and drop it off with my accountant tomorrow if they're open Saturday, but way more likely I'll do it Monday. Monday will be fine.

Then the other thing I need to do is figure out where I'm staying in Chile. Last time I rolled the dice and got a small, cheap room through airbnb and that worked out, so I'll book through airbnb again for maybe the first ten days and see about longer term arrangements once I get down there. Not a lot of stuff went wrong on my previous trip that could have gone wrong. I feel like I'm due.

I have two cats and I'm not bringing them with me at least not this trip, and even though it's the only reasonable way to do this, I don't like it at all. My sister is an animal lover and has no problem taking care of them though, and of course they get to stay where they've been living the entire time. So it's about the lowest impact abandonment imaginable but that's still what it is. I also have an old friend who lives not too far away, who I haven't seen in years, and if I called him up to tell him about my plans we'd probably hang out at some point before I left. We used to be good friends and I wouldn't object to doing that, but I don't really see the point either, so I won't bother.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:51 PM   #86
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Wow! That sounds awesome. Chile! Best of luck there. They have great wine and beautiful women. Never been, but that's what I hear.

I congratulate you for embarking on this journey and doing it! Inertia is a real thing and it is really difficult to break out of a rut and just keep going through the motions day to day. Kudos to you! Happy travels!
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:08 AM   #87
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

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Wow! That sounds awesome. Chile! Best of luck there. They have great wine and beautiful women. Never been, but that's what I hear.

I congratulate you for embarking on this journey and doing it! Inertia is a real thing and it is really difficult to break out of a rut and just keep going through the motions day to day. Kudos to you! Happy travels!
Well unfortunately I don't like wine. They have beer too though. The coffee is really disappointing most places. My first night in Santiago I went to a sushi place that I liked enough to visit twice more during my ten day trip, but when I ordered coffee I was presented with a cup of hot water and a small container of Nescafe crystals (no es cafe). Not what I expected at all. If you want decent coffee in Chile you have to seek it out. I ended up going to Starbucks almost every day.

Not so sure about the beautiful women but I can confirm there were women, and some of them were beautiful (like almost anywhere else), but I don't think the percentages were especially favorable. The occasional eye candy is nice, but since I can't see myself going all PUA and playing the field it doesn't really matter. If I do any dating at all it's going to be with the idea of finding someone to settle down with.

I leave next week and still haven't made arrangements for where I'll be staying. I'll have to get that settled tomorrow.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:54 AM   #88
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How did you fare in the earthquake? Hope all is well.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:50 PM   #89
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

I'm fine, I'm in Santiago which is in the center of the country and the earthquake was in the north. I actually found out about the earthquake by reading a few emails from concerned family members. Coming toward the end of my second day of this trip and my return flight doesn't leave until June 27, so I'll be here a while. I'm staying in a two bedroom apartment this time, which I'm sharing with another American I met on my first visit. We're not gay! Actually he might be for all I know, and I don't care if he is, but I'm not. Getting a roommate was an unusual move for me, but what I usually do is isolate myself and get depressed and I'm trying to break the pattern. We're both quiet and introverted and we both have similarly negative views of the US government (and governments in general) so it seems like we'll be able to get along.

So not much has really happened yet. Yesterday I was just really tired from the flight, and today I spent most of the afternoon walking the streets more or less aimlessly and then I did some shopping. My roommate mentioned a Spanish class he's planning to sign up for and I think I'll sign up too. Apart from the very practical goal of wanting to improve my Spanish, I need something to do and a little structure would be a good thing, and maybe this will give me a way to meet people. That's something I really have to push myself to do. I'm very familiar with what happens if I don't.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:15 PM   #90
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

I've been living in an apartment in Santiago for almost a week now. I go shopping and take walks and cook meals for myself and don't have a huge amount of difficulty conversing in Spanish for the things I need to do, even though I stumble over my words plenty. What do I need to do anyway? Being a consumer isn't a very high standard.

This morning was the first day of the Spanish class my roommate (who I will call Bob) and I are taking. We're not really roommates. He has a room with a bed. I have a room with a bed. There is also a kitchen and common area which we share. We get along pretty well and I shouldn't feel so weird writing about this. Somehow I have the idea that heterosexual men over 30 aren't supposed to share any kind of space at all with each other. I don't know why not. It's fine. What kind of a heterosexual am I anyway? Who cares? I have a lot of insecurity about this stuff. Seriously, I need a girlfriend.

If I come out the other side of these three months speaking fluent Spanish that would be a nice achievement, but it would also be meaningless. I'd still have the same basic problems with my life that I have right now. Things aren't even going badly for me down here so far, and I don't regret coming down here. I could do with some sleep but that feels like an excuse for free-floating evasiveness. I don't even know what that means.

Usually the traveling blogger would tell stories of the things that had happened on his travels.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:20 PM   #91
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I'd like to hear more about Bob. What brought him to Chile? How long has he lived there? Does he work? Do you two go out socially? Basically what is his deal?
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:56 AM   #92
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

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We're not really roommates. He has a room with a bed. I have a room with a bed. There is also a kitchen and common area which we share.
Definition of roommate:

A person who shares a room or apartment with another or others.

You're pre-conceived notion that there's something wrong with having a roommate when you're over 30 is all in your head, you're living in a country that's foreign to you and you don't know anyone else, that combined with the lonliness you've mentioned makes me think a roommate is a great idea.

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I'd like to hear more about Bob. What brought him to Chile? How long has he lived there? Does he work? Do you two go out socially? Basically what is his deal?
I'm interested in this as well.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:57 PM   #93
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

Why Chile??
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:10 PM   #94
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Enjoyable read. You articulate your thoughts well. I hope you find/decide your purpose.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:08 PM   #95
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

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I'd like to hear more about Bob. What brought him to Chile? How long has he lived there? Does he work? Do you two go out socially? Basically what is his deal?
I don't know but can guess that things weren't going well for Bob in Los Angeles where he was living before, because I asked him about LA once and he suddenly had very little to say. It's possible he'll tell me more eventually but it's not a subject I'll be bringing up with him again. Things likely got dark there for a while before he left. I believe he's been in Chile since January or February and has no plans of returning to the US.

He has a job doing web development, probably for a company based in the US, and I've seen him skyping with his boss before. We don't go out socially but we're on friendly terms now, it's just that "going out socially" doesn't seem to be his thing. He doesn't drink, he has zero interest in nightlife (as do I tbh), and actually I've never even seen him go out for dinner. He doesn't seem depressed or anything, but from what I've seen he won't leave the apartment without a specific reason.

This week we both started taking a Spanish class which meets at 8am and it's in another part of the city, so going to class has been kind of like a social outing for us. On Monday we discovered that getting on the Santiago subway during the morning rush is a serious challenge. We got to our metro stop around 7:15 which should have given us enough time, but for over an hour we kept not being able to get on the train. To be fair, we lacked the aggressive sense of urgency of most of the other passengers who managed to squeeze in eventually, and my attitude the whole time was kind of "oh well, this is kind of interesting to watch, I wonder how long until the crowd thins out?". Tuesday we got there 15 minutes earlier and were able (just barely) to get on the first train since the crowd hadn't quite picked up to full intensity yet. Then this morning we were 5-10 minutes later than that, failed to get on the first train as the full morning rush had begun, and based on Monday's experience decided to try to get on a bus, but not knowing the bus routes very well we end up taking a taxi instead. So getting to class has been an adventure.

Quote:
You're pre-conceived notion that there's something wrong with having a roommate when you're over 30 is all in your head, you're living in a country that's foreign to you and you don't know anyone else, that combined with the lonliness you've mentioned makes me think a roommate is a great idea.
These are all good points. I kind of knew all this but needed some reassurance. I've got this idiotic inner critic, this immature unreflective but massively judgmental guy who never has anything worthwhile to tell me, but will blurt out the first insult that pops into his head if he catches me doing anything I don't normally do. In this case he was shouting "F@G!". Getting a roommate was actually a solid decision for the reasons you mentioned.

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Why Chile??
Wanted to go somewhere far away. Knew some Spanish. Didn't feel like taking my chances in the third world. I didn't research this in any systematic way (I tend not to do that), but as far as I can tell that leaves Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, maybe Uruguay (and maybe I'm confusing Uruguay with Paraguay). Spain's economy seems to be a complete disaster these days. The banking situation in Argentina is kind of ****ed. Costa Rica has been the expat destination of choice in Latin America for a while now but the prices have gone up accordingly, although Chile isn't cheap either. At some point I had a look at the Index of Economic Freedom where Chile beats out all of Latin America and the US too. I don't think the specific destination was hugely important anyway, the important thing was just to get out of my rut, but when I finally got tired of clicking around the internet and decided to call it, Chile had a slight lead.

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Enjoyable read. You articulate your thoughts well. I hope you find/decide your purpose.
Thanks, I'm trying. I couldn't say that when I was back in my home town in Michigan, minimizing my existence and following the same dull routine every day.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:07 PM   #96
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

Went on a rafting trip yesterday even though I have a really bad cold, to the point that maybe I shouldn't have gone. But I met a girl there who invited me to go surfing in Valparaiso next weekend. Wasn't sure exactly what to make of the invite, since it was going to be her and her friends and she seemed very social in general, so maybe she just wanted to include more people in the group. I told her about my roommate and she said he was invited too. Sat next to her on the bus ride back to Santiago and it definitely seemed like she was flirting with me though. Not that I'm any good at reading these things but I think it was obvious. I could tell she was kind of young, but after friending her on Facebook I see now that she's only 21. Jesus, what am I getting myself into here?

Now as for Valparaiso, the fires there were all over the news today so those plans might have to change. Tonight she's been texting with me but really hasn't said much so far, so I might possibly be in for lots of meaningless text updates about trivial ****. Or she's waiting for me to make a move. For now I guess I'll be getting some practice in basic conversational texting, in Spanish. The latest update is that she's really tired.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:55 PM   #97
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

If I'm not careful this is going to be psychologically devastating for me, pretty much any way it plays out. Yup, I'm completely obsessed with this 21 year old girl now, because she's cute and friendly and decided to flirt with me. And that's really all it takes for me to start thinking about our wonderful future together. I know this isn't realistic or healthy. I know this shouldn't even be a big deal. But for me, it is. And given my history, I don't think it's too hard to understand why it would be. I haven't been on a date in the past 10 years. This is at least partly because I have been insulating myself from the pain I felt the last time I got even slightly involved with a woman. I am ridiculously fragile and need to protect myself.

For reference, this is the email I sent out to the last one when I just couldn't take it anymore (copy/pasted from post 17):

Quote:
Sarah,

Here's one last, ill-advised email, and then I'll leave you alone. What I have to say is very simple. I would like to see you again sometime. I enjoy your company. I'd like to get to know you better. It's very rare for me to meet someone I really connect with, and (maybe delusionally) I felt that way with you. But I'm not going to call you repeatedly and make a nuisance of myself. So, your decision. Obviously I'd like to hear from you, but if not I won't attempt to contact you again. Either way, it was nice meeting you. (Of course, since we have mutual friends we might see each other again anyway, but I don't intend to turn that into a problem.)
But I'm older and wiser now? We'll see. I know objectively that the situation is ridiculous. She's 21 and I'm almost literally twice her age. The purpose of dating for me, if I'm going to do it at all, is to find a woman to settle down with. She's young and most likely just wants to have fun. I'm not even sure why she thinks I might be fun. Maybe she thinks I'll buy her some nice, expensive things? I guess I don't know what she's after but I'm pretty sure of one thing. This is not nearly as big a deal for her as it is for me, and I need to adjust my perspective accordingly. This thing is almost certainly going to run its course within a week. If I can internalize that knowledge on an emotional level, I'll be ok. Hell, maybe this can even be fun.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:28 PM   #98
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

Do you think increasing your overall level of social interaction would result in you obsessing less over it when it happens?
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:12 PM   #99
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

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Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
Do you think increasing your overall level of social interaction would result in you obsessing less over it when it happens?
Probably, but I think this issue is specific to my relationships with women. Since they've been so few and far between, I tend to regard each one as precious, possibly once in a lifetime, DO NOT MESS THIS UP. Which I inevitably do when I'm that uptight and insecure.

Doing better today but my mood is still swinging around quite a bit. Conclusions are being jumped to on the basis of not much evidence. Since I know my mind isn't working properly as long as I'm doing that kind of thing, everything comes with an asterisk.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:12 AM   #100
chopstick
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Re: EvilSteve's midlife crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
Do you think increasing your overall level of social interaction would result in you obsessing less over it when it happens?
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilSteve View Post
Probably, but I think this issue is specific to my relationships with women. Since they've been so few and far between, I tend to regard each one as precious, possibly once in a lifetime, DO NOT MESS THIS UP. Which I inevitably do when I'm that uptight and insecure.
That's my point. Increasing the volume of social interactions would hopefully reduce the likelihood of you regarding each one as a unicorn.

Hang out with more women. Spend more time with women. Go on more dates with women.

Think of it as exposure therapy. When someone is afraid of spiders, the therapist starts them off by thinking about spiders a little bit. Then more. Then talking about them. Then looking at photos of them. Then seeing one in the distance. Then seeing one across the room. Then seeing one nearby. Then seeing one close. Then touching one. Then letting one crawl on their hand. Eventually the patient loses fear of the spider, because their reaction to spiders has been normalized to something more rational.

The more women you interact with, the less likely you will be to have the current response you have, which should make interacting with them easier, which should reduce the response further, etc. Should make your interactions with them a lot easier.
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