When something is not working the way you want it to, if something is malfunctioning, the proper thing to do is to troubleshoot the problem. Getting mad at a computer system or your automobile will notfix anything. You need to take a deep breath, take a step back, and look at what is wrong. In the same way that I would troubleshoot my novel, my computer, or my air conditioner, I took a realistic look at my status as being single and why I would likely remain as such for a long time.

Self-knowledge is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Most of us never reach a state of awareness that allows us to reflect with clarity upon our lives, personalities, and relationships. This knowledge of oneself can be a lifelong pursuit. Despite my youth, I feel that I have a very firm grasp of the things that make me unique, the things that make me me. With this humble and grounded vision, I examined all the factors that go against me in my search for love.

Consider my discovery of what is most attractive about a woman to me: her values and philosophy. With these strong values a central part of religion, it would make sense that I should start hanging around churches to find women who share the same values that I do. Several years ago, I spent a good deal of time around The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. And what I realized was that as hard as it was to find a woman with good values in today’s modern culture, it was even harder to find one who was motivated by her own heart and spirit rather than her religion. I also realized that it would not be fair to have a relationship with such a woman: she would in all likelihood be a deeply religious woman, one who would want to find a man who shares her religious beliefs. I certainly am not religious, and in all likelihood will never become a true believer of any religion. One of my top priorities in finding a suitable romantic partner is that she is compatible with my views and beliefs. And so the chances of my finding a compatible woman are incredibly slim.

Moving on, there are lifestyle factors. For one, I am an incredibly introverted person. I don’t have any desire to go out and do things. If I had the option of watching a movie in a theater or on my 24-inch calibrated computer display, I’d choose staying at home. Let’s list some of the things I enjoy doing: reading novels, writing these pieces, reflecting upon my life and contemplating the future, playing computer games (a guilty pleasure, yes, but hey, I am a part of the Nintendo generation), watching movies, practicing illusions, learning and practicing self-defense systems.As you can see, all but the last two can be done in solitude. In fact, most of the activities I enjoy are better done without the company of others. Perhaps one day when my skill in performing magical effects is up to the task, I can go out there and perform. But as of now, it is still a private hobby. As for martial arts, there really aren’t that many women who attend meet ups for people who are interested in krav maga, pekiti tirsia, and systema.

Aside from what I do in my free time, my line of work is not very helpful in my search for love. I am a security officer. The security industry isn’t exactly filled to the brim with eligible young bachelorettes. And although I do come into contact with many ladies, it would be entirely unprofessional to attempt to start up any kind of romance with any of them. My professionalism is one of the few distinctions I can wear proudly in an industry where I am competing with ex-military or law enforcement professionals. Breaking that professionalism would not only disappoint my employers, it would be a violation of my own code of conduct, which is ultimately more a gross disrespect to myself than anyone else.

My desire is to enter into a long term relationship that will ultimately culminate in marriage. Honestly, most of the girls my age barely even know what they want in a man. Hell, they don’t even know if they want to get married or have kids. These are all things I know with great certainty. I know that I want kids (at least two of them), I know I want to be around my children, I know I want to be best friends with my kids, and I know that I am emotionally ready to settle down with a woman if I feel that she is right for me: I would have no qualms about not having dated tons of women or not having fooled around enough. Dating these immature (or simply not as well developed) young ladies would simply a waste of my time, energy, and resources. And of course I am aware that there are a handful of mature ladies who have their heads on straight. In which case, if you know of any, send them over!

I am very cognizant of the fact that I can change myself. I can make different choices. I have tried that. I was even a pick-up artist for small while, as far fetched as it may seem. And I discovered very quickly that these changes are not sustainable. At the end of the day, no matter how many changes I make, I will always stray towards the opportunity to watch Taxi Driver in the dark and on my own over the opportunity to head out to a club with a couple of friends. Not only are these changes unrealistic in the long run, they go against my very nature. I am a strong believer in doing things that play to your strengths. As a quiet and contemplative type, the strong silent type, it would make no sense for me to go against the grain and try to become a loud gregarious back slapping jokester.

Taking that step back to gain a balanced perspective grounded in the humble reality of things was helpful. I’ve taken to saying, “Them’s the breaks.” Recently I have been attempting to come to terms with my loneliness (Sentenced to loneliness, 22 Jun 2009). These reflections and thoughts, these conclusions and realizations, they are a part of that process. Those desires and hopes to find a compatible romantic partner don’t do me any good. And as Kung Fu‘s Master Po taught me, it is wiser to let go of that which no longer serves me. With that sentiment, I have come that much closer to regaining my balance and becoming centered once again.