12:21 pm - Thurs 4.01.2010
(In big Jim Hoffmaster news...)
Since my last entry, I've been on two "dates" (with the two women I've connected with through the OKCupid.com website).
As I told my friend Cary, it's been weird (very weird) - To go from being completely out of dating-and-relating for most of the past twenty years (And thinking "This is my life now..."), to going out twice in less than a week's time.
And this big "life-change"?
As simple as signing up on a dating website.
So part of what I've been thinking about this past week or so has been just that; fear, inertia, and what-have-you, can make you think the circumstances of your life are set in stone...when that's really not the case.
(I'm "bogging down", so I'm going to type more quickly, opting for "getting things out" over...I don't know what - being thoughtful and coherent? Anyway...)
Beyond considering how "simple" it was - in this case - to put myself "back in the game", I've also been thinking about why I opted out of "the game" in the first place.
There's the "fear" and "inertia" already mentioned. Pretty powerful forces in my life, I'm sad to say (I'd be hard-pressed to say which is more powerful, but today, I'm leaning towards "inertia").
And I guess under "what-have-you" would be the frustration that I heard a girl express the other day - "If I'm attracted to them, they're not attracted to me, and if they're attracted to me, I'm not attracted to them".
I've been thinking about this in a larger, non-romantic sense lately (Particularly regarding Facebook): I know there are people I'm attracted to, in the sense that I would like to be friends and have more of a "connection" with them, who are not interested in me at all. And likewise - though more rare - I've had people clearly want to connect with me who I find, in some cases, off-putting and tedious.
(It makes me wonder - With these out-of-synch desires for connection, what are we seeing, or not seeing, in each other?)
I hate being on either end of personal rejection - I hate being "rejected", but it isn't any more fun rejecting someone else (even if it's a somewhat more novel experience) - and I became so averse to rejection, and so hopeless about the possibility of there being anything but rejection in my future, that I gave up trying.
Now I'm thinking I put way too much stock in the terrible nature of rejection (Going in either direction).
Maybe being in LA has "toughened me up" a bit about rejection; as an actor, I get rejected 30, 40, 50 or more times each year...and I don't love it (As I write this, I'm pretty sure I didn't get the Chik-fil-a commercial I had a callback for yesterday, and I'm slightly bummed about it)...but life goes on.
(It has so far, anyway.)
And if you avoid putting yourself in the position of risking rejection (Or the discomfort of rejecting someone else), you end up, ultimately, not connected to anyone.
As I write about this, I'm really starting to understand why I've spent over a week avoiding writing about this - It's a tough subject, both emotionally, and in the sense that it's complicated, and doesn't lend itself to a short, easily-digestible journal entry.
Because while I was writing about the discomfort of being rejected and rejecting others, I started thinking about how the "risk of rejection" has nothing on the "risk of acceptance"...which I guess, for me, still means the risk of being rejected (Or rejecting someone), just "further down the road"...which is infinitely more painful, because it's infinitely more personal at that point.
But again, all this careful avoidance of (potential) unhappiness keeps (potential) happiness away as well.
And - I guess - I've gotten to the point where it is once again "worth it" to risk trying to make connections. Simply not being "that unhappy" - most of the time - is not enough.
(And at the very least, going out on dates gives me something to do between auditions and Weight Watchers meetings.)
So anyway, on to the "dates" themselves...
(And you might have noticed my putting the word "dates" in quotation marks - that's because, in at least one case, I don't know exactly what we were doing. But more on that in a moment.)
Went out with Karen last Wednesday.
We went to the French Market (An easy trip for both of us - Happily, she lives right in Weho), and ate and talked for over three hours.
It occurred to me while the date was going on that "the online thing" makes things a little easier (Than, say, a "blind date"); you know, at least to a degree, what the person looks like (Actually, Karen was thinner than the pictures she posted online, which I thought was interesting - the cliche would have been the opposite), and a profile/questionnaire suggests that, at the very least, there will be enough common ground to hold a conversation, if not to make a "love connection".
Karen is older - ten years older - which as I think I've said before, gives me pause (Which is a potential entry in itself - Cause I don't think I'd have an issue going out with a women ten years younger than me. But anyway...).
I think, at a certain age it's almost impossible to avoid "red flags" (i.e. talking about things that might not show you off to best advantage on a 1st date) - job/money issues, relationship problems, etc - but the positive part of that is that it's kind of a given that, with age and life-experiences, no one's "landscape" is going to be pristine (And if it is, that's almost a bizarre "red flag" in itself).
Well, I always tell myself I'm going to "just write without thinking" so much...but now it's after 3:00, and I feel a very strong need for a nap before my Thursday night WW meeting.
More on this (Undoubtedly) fascinating subject later...
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