I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself. I started an online dating profile.
The smart thing to do, if you're me, is to sit on your butt and let life pass you by. You are in an art gallery. Looking is permitted, but you can't actually touch the installations. You don't own them. Respect the velvet rope.
I've been struggling with that line of thinking since I got here. I couldn't avoid making an impact on Chris' life: he lost his job between the transformation, and the lack of finances coming in from my custodian job means I'm going to have to find a new place to live soon, probably. So I've already made a small mess, but no biggie. He can recover when he comes back.
It clicked for me one day last month. I was on the subway, watching this beautiful blonde girl take her seat, maybe 22 or so. Long legs, wearing yoga pants... I tried not to stare too long, but I did despite myself. I kept finding my eyes flickering in her direction, between looking at the ads and watching the stations speed by. I admired her subtle makeup job, the way her hair fell casually, her cute nose... even under the winter apparel I could somewhat admire her figure, too. I felt really crummy, like I was on the brink of becoming one of those sleazy guys who whips it out on the train, or follows the woman around.
The worst part was, I thought I noticed her glancing my way. Repeatedly, intentionally... not negatively.
As a man... which I am at least 60% at this point... you yearn for that. Attention, being noticed... someone noticing you noticing them and not hating it. I feel crappy doing it because I know how paranoid women have to be when strangers take an interest in them. I don't want to be that way, but this overwhelming urge pulls me, and I just have to keep a grip on myself. It could even have been just my imagination, but it stoked my fires a bit.
I tried not to look her way again until I got to my stop. I stood to go to the door, and she go up too. What a coincidence! I was aware of her behind me, and considered letting her pass me on the steps, but then I worried that I might end up following her accidentally, so I went on my way and lost track of her. That night, I posted a missed connection, alluding to the stops where I she got on and off and a description of myself, but nothing happened.
It was disappointing, but I knew it was a longshot. Still, I was left with an impression. I wasn't exactly in denial about being attracted to ladies: my fixation on Andrea proved that to me. But I felt like I had it under control and it was smarter to ignore it. But gradually, it dawned on me that I wanted it more than I wanted not to make trouble. I wanted to feel a full range of things while in this body. I've been a timid little house mouse my whole life. Time to get out there.
That ache of jealousy I felt when I read some of my Blog-compatriots posts about their romantic entanglements - positive or not - confirmed that.
So far, however, the results have been... ho hum. I haven't even been on a date. Mostly I just glance at photos of women and give myself reasons to write them off, whether based on their appearance (mostly style, I mean... I'm trying to keep an open mind when it comes to looks!) or their interests, or the way they answer the profile questions about sex and dating. Too much experience and I get intimidated, too little and I think she's a prude.
I hate myself. But if I'm going to mess up my life for the sake of a little fun, it had better meet my standards.
I have contacted a few women, usually including a joke or reference to something they put in their profile. Occasionally I get a response but usually it peters out... I decide she isn't so exciting after all, or she ghosts me. One time I gave a girl my number and we texted for a solid day and that was very exciting, but then she turned around and said she had met someone else and it was getting serious (apparently they had met before I even contacted her.) Out of 22 women I've messaged, 10 have answered back, and three I would have met in person. A few women have messaged me (but I had to tinker with my profile endlessly to get to that point) and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they've all gone nowhere too. women aren't exactly falling over themselves to date young janitors.
Even if I met someone, I psych myself out by wondering what the long term plan is: hookups until we have to have an uncomfortable conversation about getting serious, where I somehow explain that I can't be in a relationship past June? Do I just shrug my shoulders and let someone get hurt? Chris has made it clear he doesn't mind if I have some fun... apparently, he figures he would just slide into my role when he gets back... I would rather break up with someone than do that. Which sucks, but one thing at a time, I guess.
And let's face it... I know what I really want. Andrea. I still think about her, text her... every so often she asks me out for drinks or some other activity, but I have to resist because that was the one request Chris made of me. No delving into the past.
Lastly, there's that huge snowstorm barrelling down on the East coast, so I hope everyone else on the blog (those of us located here) stays safe and warm. You're all so kind and helpful.