You're nobody until somebody loves you...
I was talking to a couple coworkers over lunch a few days ago, and one suggested "you know what you're problem is, you don't have enough self-esteem". (When you blog about your personal life, it tends to cause people to offer you advice).
While I respect this person's opinion, i disagree. I think that, if anything, America is awash with way too much self esteem, and that my own lack of it is not some figment of a mind that doesn't perceive things correctly, but rather one that does. I don't like myself very much, but there's a good reason for that - namely, that nobody else likes me very much either.
Recognizing and addressing our faults is how we grow, how we improve - it's what drives us to do better. For years, I was obese - like, BMI over 40, size 46 pants obese. And for years, I told myself that was OK. It was only when I stopped doing that, realized I had a problem that would have serious consequences if I didn't actively do something about it, and started exercising and watching what I ate did I get down to a healthy weight.
Which gets to the major problem in my life - being single. As the Rat Pack once crooned, "You are nobody until somebody loves you". Which would make me nobody, because throughout my life, while I watched friends and classmates and coworkers do all the normal things people do - date and marry and have kids - I've been forever alone. For a while, I could blame that on my weight, but losing most of it hasn't made much of a difference in finding relationships.
Dating advice columns and blogs are always full of advice about how people can be happy as singles, how you shouldn't let that control your life. I suspect these people have never been single - really single. Not temporary, between significant others single, not I could date if I wanted to but I don't feel like it single, but knowing that there is a pretty good chance you are going to die alone having never known loving someone or being loved single. But that's my life.
And it's not for lack of trying. I know lots of people who have found love online, but I haven't gotten it to work for me. I've used online dating on and off for years, and can count the number of dates I've gotten out of it one one hand. Like the Pontiac Aztek or Microsoft Bob, I've been rejected by the marketplace. And that's why I have low self esteem - not because of how I perceive myself, but because of how other people - well, specifically single female people 23-34 living in the Baltimore Metro area - perceive me.
I know, maybe I just haven't found the right person yet - maybe somewhere there is a reasonably attractive woman in her late 20's or early 30's who is looking for a short, hairy guy with bad posture who enjoys blogging, flea markets and auctions, reading books about business, and running road races (poorly). But the older i get, the less likely that seems.
I keep hoping there's just something I'm doing wrong that i can change - that if I make more money or get a cooler job title or spend more time at the gym I can overcome whatever it is that repulses the opposite sex. But I suspect it's not one specific thing - it's just that I'm unloveable, and thus will always be nobody.