Okay, so I posted that last post late. I had made that resolution to stay away from online dating before the New Year. And of course, being the lily livered hopeless romantic I am, I broke that resolution.Hey, did you really expect me to stay away from the prospect of finding everlasting love?

To be fair, it was the lady who was the one to initiate contact, and she did so a day or two after I had written (but not yet published) my post about quitting online dating. You see, in the world of online dating – or even in the physical realm – a woman initiating is relatively rare. And so I was intrigued by her boldness.

The short of it is that we met up and discovered that we got along very much. Intellectually, we were very much on the same page. Though we did not share much cultural common ground – most notably, we missed a connection in films and literature – we did hold many of the same stances on philosophy and other things important to me.

But there just wasn’t any attraction. Well, at least not on my side. In my admittedly distracted search for attracted body language, I could only spot a few indicators as opposed to my ability to spot many more when observing other people’s interactions. Namely, she sat up straight, arched her back, and subtly stuck her chest out whenever it was my (rare) turn to speak. Essentially, I had her rapt attention. Such news would usually be good news. Alas, I simply was not attracted to her.That is not to say that she was unattractive. She was in fact quite reasonably physically attractive. She was not a stick-thin woman of frail proportions. Rather, she had a very healthy curviness to her. This I observed not a sexual way but an objective way. She also had a very present and positive energy. Perhaps she would even turn lascivious heads in the summer time. That an intelligent woman who is relatively attractive would exhibit interest and attraction towards me should be something that gives me happiness. It should be something flattering. Dare I say that it should be something that most men would be grateful for? It puzzles me – even concerns me – then that I am indifferent to her.What concerns me is whether or not I can be attracted to any woman at all. All jokes about my being a budding homosexual aside (and there were plenty of those made by her, on account of my penchant for bespoke suits and confessed newfound interest in interior decorating), I cannot say with any degree of veracity that I have experienced any sparks of attraction for any girl aside from Malissa. Well, perhaps Katie (featured in ‘My Red Sweater‘ nearly two years ago). But aside from these two ladies with whom my interactions led to nothing, I just haven’t really felt anything for anyone.

I’ve started to think that perhaps love is really a numbers game. I’ve told myself time and time again that one must play to win. You have to be in it to win it, isn’t that how it goes? This leads me to believe that perhaps the peoplewhoare most successful in romance (or at least most successful at finding a wife or husband earlier on in life) are those who are extroverts. Extroverted people have the energy and inclination to meet people, and by sheer volume they have much greater chances of dating people and therefore have much greater chances of finding the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with. It’s a simple game of probability. But it still doesn’t really answer the question why I seem to be having trouble being attracted to anyone.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I’ve built up a stony indifference as a defense mechanism. Sometimes I wonder if perhaps I am being unrealistic about love. Sometimes I wonder if my heart’s just been beaten to a still death. But none of these concerns ring true. I remain hopeful. I recognize that no two loves are ever the same. And how could my heart have been beaten down? I’ve only ever been in love once (and it is indeed better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all), and had curious stirrings of a more lukewarm liking in another instance.

It’s still a mystery to me. Today, while I was flanked by my two very best of friends walking around in the mall, this strikingly beautiful (and perhaps dangerously young) Romanian-looking girl with her mother walked by. She was giving me the ol’ eye from quite a distance away. I noted her attention and chose not to make eye contact. But why not? Why not enjoy the go-nowhere flirtations of a beautiful young girl? I began thinking that if I were a different man, I would have seized the moment and introduced myself or otherwise performed some contrived but clever social maneuvering in order to make contact with this elegant girl with a rare European demureness in her pouty lips. But I am not a different man, likely to my own disadvantage.

And so I struggle with my own personal dilemma, one that is created purely by my own silly self-defeating and limiting code of conduct. Yes, I am certain I have written about it before. And now I see that it is a recurring self-inflicted conundrum. Is this some ridiculous defense mechanism that creates convenient excuses for me to avoid taking risks? Or is it really a fully justified model of behavior that I have developed through my countless hours of inane armchair philosophizing? What on earth is going on?

The answer, of course, will never arrive. I am quite certain that there are equal parts of self-sabotage and logical philosophizing. I imagine that, one day, when I meet the right woman, I will in my dogged pursuit for the unattainable ‘true love’, be driven to chase her to the ends of the earth. At the end of the day though, I’m counting on the fact that my life, full of statistical improbabilities as it is, will perhaps show me mercy and take a turn for the better. I’m counting on the fact that, with all the crazy unluckiness I experience, that the tides will turn and that I will get lucky just once, when it counts.