Being alone is not necessarily the same as loneliness. But often, the former leads to the latter. It is, as I’ve said time and time again, something I’m very comfortable with. But I’ve been noticing…it’sapproximately every four months that I will get the idea in my head that I really should try to find a mate.

These desires to find romance, to have a woman beside me, the search for intimacy and love, they arise in what appears to be a cyclical fashion. The thing is, when I really think about it, I feel that if I were to get a girl, I wouldn’t know what the hell I’d do with her. To paraphrase Joker, I’m like a dog chasing a car: if I caught it, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

I’m ill-equipped for conventional dating. I’m not the type of guy you’d date if you wanted to know all the hotspots in town. I don’t know where the coolest clubs are, where the hottest restaurants are, or when the latest show is coming to town. And I refuse to arm myself with such knowledge to “prepare” for the world of dating. In my eyes, dating is supposed to be the process by which a man and a woman get to know each other. I don’t see why I ought to be the one entertaining her. What the hell am I going to learn about her when we’re rocking out to some local band? And what the hell is she going to learn about me when we’re watching a Broadway show? I say that those nights on the town should be reserved for a couple who have decided to enter into a relationship. But at the onset, they are mere distractions. Yeah, I’ve heard the argument that having an activity puts less pressure on entertaining each other through conversation. But that’s precisely my problem: dates should be a chance not to entertain each other, but to find out more about each other. Conversations and getting to know one another is what is important, not nightlife.I went off on a tangent yet again. Let’s refocus. I always think to myself, I’m happy with myself right now. I have no qualms about who I am, where I am in my life, and where I am going. I’m satisfied being single, for the most part. I was in love once, and yes, I would really like to have that in my life again…but I’m not the type to feel incomplete without love. And clearly, I have no issues with abstaining for an indefinite length of time.So when I get these littlenaggingthoughts in the back of my head, I always fall prey to them. I go on my dating sites and look for matches, spend a couple of hours crafting clever emails to prospective ladies. And most of the time, I don’t get an answer. I’m not ashamed of saying this. It is, after all, the truth, and I don’t shy away from the truth.

After realizing that I expended an amount of energy that was not insignificant, I start to remind myself, “You don’t believe in dating remember? You don’t need to seek love, it will find you. And if it never comes, then it was never meant to be.” I remind myself that I need no one, that I am strong and satisfied with a life of solitude. I remind myself that most people are only bound to disappoint me, that rarely will anyone meet my standards and that most everyone is will fail to rise to my expectations.

The feelings of pining over a woman to give my heart to subside, and I return to my regularly scheduled programming. But all it takes is four to six months, and those desires sneak up on me again.

I’ll admit it…while most guys are having erotic dreams of banging Ms. February or driving a Ferrari, or sometimes both at the same time, I dream of having an intense romance with a woman who has a beautiful soul, a strong and attractive personality. I dream of staring into her beautiful eyes and holding her close to me, feeling like we’re both absolutely one of a kind, that we were made for each other. Feeling like she was my Kryptonite and my source of invincibility at the same time…that I could move the earth with her in my heart, that she was the only thing that could level me.

Most of the time, I don’t even really know what she looks like…only how I feel about her. I wake up not with an embarrassing erection or a mess in my boxers, but an embarrassing emotional experience. I awake, not knowing why I had a dream like that.

And so goes the constant battle, back and forth like a pendulum, between my heart’s desire for romance and my satisfaction in my solitude. It never ends, this fight. To my friends, I must sound like a broken record…but I just can’t help it. I must revisit these issues every so often. It is inevitable. But I always have hope that one day, that pendulum will stop swinging.

The author is on the hunt for the perfect pendulum to photograph.