It’s been a hell of a year.
I can’t begin to sum up what’s happened over the last year. Between losing my father, my struggles with other issues, it’s been rocky.
With all that has occurred, the biggest thing that has suffered, and most often suffers with single people in my position, is my social life.
It started back when my sobriety started, some 4 years ago, when I distanced myself from my local buddies, college friends, and social acquaintances. I moved away from social time locally here in my state to online. I met friends on Twitter (now X), joined the Fraternity of Excellence, gained new and improved friends all over the map. I even cultivated dates and relationships in my new found groups.
The relationships were always long distance, as I hadn’t done anything locally for years to grow social circles. And the relationships always failed, because they can’t surpass the challenges of that distance. Someone has to move, and I couldn’t. I needed a break. A break from doing dumb shit.
Instead of diving back into the pool, I paused. Rather than pursue another heartbreak, I stopped pursuing. Instead of blindly trying to meet women wherever they were, I pulled back. I caught my breath and looked at what I was doing.
Has this pause been self induced? I could say yes or no. I haven’t dated in two years since my last breakup, a relationship that should never have gone anywhere, but my delusional mind thought that this was the long distance relationship that would work (hint: it never works). I had love-bombed this woman on top of everything else. And an intervention in my fraternity shook me to the fact that I had things in my life that needed addressing, especially when it came to dating and relationships. But then again, I haven’t expelled the effort needed to “get back out there”, merely opting for excuses as to why I couldn’t, or in this case wouldn’t, pulling every reason out of the book to not go back out and meet new people.
As with every other article I’ve written about taking a self sabbatical, every time I’ve withdrawn to “monk mode”, every time I’ve called a time out to “get myself together”, I’ve stayed on the sidelines, hoping for the right moment to jump back into the game, only to see the season’s over.
There’s a point where monk mode becomes an array of excuses, a point where MGTOW becomes a cage of your own making, all because you don’t want to get hurt again. All because you’re scared to put yourself out there, because you value judgements of people who have no impact on your life.
This is the ultimate comfort zone for people. “Working on yourself”. I’ve been there for two years, waiting for the train to slow down so I could jump on it.
It doesn’t slow down. You have to jump and take a risk.
But for us risk averse individuals, this could be as daunting as staring down a river full of rapids that could potentially kill you.
And so the pause button keeps getting hit, because you don’t want to see what happens next.
I think it was Alex Hermozi who said “The pain of staying where you are has to be greater than the pain of making a change. Only then will you make a move.”
And it’s true.
This is not saying that the major life events that I’ve experienced in the past two years should have been ignored. They obviously played a role in my decision to put my social life on hold. My company needs me to be front and center at all times. My kids need a strong, connected father. My family needs a patriarch. But imbedded in that role, is the role of a man who is looking for his significant other, and that needs air play as well.
So as the pain of staying where I was in this vice has been greater, I’ve been putting myself out there, albeit very slight. I joined a yoga studio. I’ve been more accepting of time with good friends. I’ve been working to find other activities to join where potential women that I want are present. It’s not just about meeting women, it’s also about meeting people, expanding connections, and growing my network.
And it’s not that I’ve not met any women, it’s that the women are not the women I want. So I have to change my strategies and get out there to experience all that life has to offer, even while gritting my teeth to get through the struggles I still endure.
Personal strength is the ultimate multi-task. You have to try shit you don’t want to to meet people you would potentially like to date. It signifies squirming and exhaling to get yourself through the toughest parts. That on the other side of that sick feeling in your stomach is the promised land you so desperately want in your life.
So that for me means more yoga sessions with people I don’t know. That means looking at dance classes, cooking classes, and self defense classes. Church? Maybe, but I’m not ready to cross that bridge.
It means growing my expertise while I’m growing my circle.
The pause means nothing if you do nothing during it. The pause isn’t a pause if you wait too long to make a move. The pause is meaningless if you don’t take advantage and help yourself.
I’m most certainly further and better than I was two years ago. Did it have to take two years? Most certainly it did not.
The pause button is there for you to press if you want a break, collect your thoughts, absorb what you’ve learned. It’s meant to be momentary, not forever. That’s what the stop button is for.
So, my new goal is to unpause, hit the play button, and see what happens.
I hope men who are in my position do the same.