Compulsive Need to Date – or Not

As someone who is ‘perpetually single’, I did some introspective analysis a number of years back.  I realized that the reason I’m generally single is because I do not enjoy the dating process.  As a high schooler, I had never gone on a date. I was part of the goth/nerd culture and no matter how nice – or forward – I was, guys came up with reason after reason not to date me.  Heartbreaking, really – especially since I was open, honest, enthusiastic (nick-named perky goth), and a romantic. 

As the years passed and I realized that I wasn’t going to get that romance, I pursued other interests, but that’s another story.

College was a vo-tech school, after which I opened my own business.  I had never wanted children, so I didn’t mind the amount of time that went into the business (or the side job(s) to supplement income).  I watched as my friends landed good guy after good guy and I landed… less than stellar boyfriends. 

I dated on and off for about 12 years.  There were some stellar boyfriends and some not so good.  But, finding someone my own age was difficult because of my lack of interest in having children.  More than one amazing relationship ended because of this. 

As my mind turned to other things, I began really paying attention to women who did *not* find that coveted right person right away.  Typically, they literally changed themselves to fit the mold of their potential suitors.  I can understand this – after all, like attracts like. 

But, what I didn’t understand is that people really loathed being single.  I didn’t understand how someone could loathe something that I took in stride as a part of life.  I think I can finally categorize it as a compulsive need to date.  For whatever the reason – or no logical reason at all – women seem to feel like they must date, and to not date makes them feel like something is missing from themselves and their lives. 

I get the same feeling from research.  In fact, in 1976, Michael Kaye wrote this article on addiction to research.  Others have called the need to research an impulsive or compulsive need.  This is a need that I understand.  If I do not research at least every other day for several hours I become withdrawn, depressed, and insecure.  I need to research – the same way other women need to date. 
A quick Google search confirmed my suspicions that love addiction – or the addiction to the rush of endorphines one experiences when they fall in “new” love – is a real issue. 
I have already passed the time of the year when I want to date.  I have gone on 2-3 dates this year, a high number when compared to most years past.  I don’t have this need to date.  Once it loses my interest, I stop looking.  (Which really makes me roll my eyes at the ‘it’ll happen when you stop looking’ thing.  If that was the case, I would have been married years ago.)

Do I  think I’ll ever get married?  Sure, someday.  To someone I’ve known for years and love hanging out with.  The wedding invitation will be the stereotypical “today I marry my best friend” thing – and my hopeless romantic, which is hidden in a locket, in a black bag, in an turquoise marble box, will be satisfied. 

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