Valentine’s Day 2008

This won’t be the most organized post I have ever done. Plus, it will contain a lot of my whining and complaining. But it will have more than that, I can assure you. So maybe you’ll get something out of it, or maybe you won’t. I’d advise you to scan it to identify the key points, but it will be so disorganized that scanning may not work. Often, I submit my blog posts as articles to other web sites, but I probably won’t be doing that in this particular case.

You know, life is strange. When I was in high school and college, most of my peers were single. Come to think of it, a lot of my colleagues at Harvard and Jewish Theological Seminary were also single. Now, most of my peers are married. The vast majority of my colleagues at Hebrew Union College are married, at least the ones in the graduate school. And I’d venture to say that most of the readers of James’ Thoughts and Musings are married. That’s just a hunch I have, based on who responds. But I could be wrong, since I may have a lot of single readers who do not explicitly respond to my posts.

So what’s my point? I don’t know. I just feel at times that year passes after year, and all these things go on around me, while I simply pass through life.

But here’s a thought I had yesterday: You know, the world tells us to envy certain people. We men are supposed to be jealous of the “players,” the men who can get of all of the attractive women they want. But what if God has something in store for me that is lot better than the lifestyle that I envy? That’s just a thought. Maybe he has a destiny for me in which I am to do something significant. Or perhaps he will one day lead me to someone who accepts me for who I am. Wouldn’t that be nicer than pretending to be someone I’m not to impress the opposite sex?

Naturally, however, I question God a lot. Or I question life a lot. I mean, if I am to one day get married, wouldn’t it be better to have had some past relationships as practice and preparation? But I haven’t had those. If I were to get married today, I wouldn’t exactly know what to do. I live alone. I can’t imagine having to be around another person under the same roof till death do us part. I’d get tired of having to please someone else all of the time.

Even though I want someone who accepts me for who I am, I know that I should practice my social skills. I should always aim to be a better person than I currently am. I’m saying this in terms of my personal goals. I’m not going to work on my social skills to appease some authoritarian deity who will love me only if I behave in a certain way. I’m not saying that is the way God is, but that is the picture that I sometimes get in conservative Christian settings. But I will do it as part of my personal and spiritual growth, and because it is something that I want to do. And I won’t do things perfectly. But, hopefully, I can learn some practical wisdom.

Another thought, and I may get tomatoes thrown at me for this one: the dating game is so much easier for women than it is for men. That’s just my impression. If you are a shy yet attractive female, you will most likely have dates. Maybe you also will if you are a shy, unattractive female. My view is that most women can probably improve their appearance. But if you are a male who lacks self-confidence, then you will most likely go dateless. One reason is that men are supposed to be the ones who ask the women out, which I consider to be nerve-racking. The second reason is that woman are attracted to confidence. Of course, women have their challenges as well. They have to sift the wheat from the chaff and weed out all the slimeballs. But at least they have people they can evaluate. We dateless men are lucky to have even that!

To be honest, I hate having crushes. I really despise the euphoria and the obsession. I don’t like setting a goal each day to ask a particular woman out, only to lose my nerve. As a matter of fact, I’m happy when my crushes end up having boyfriends, husbands, or fiancees. That takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders!

One of the therapists I see asked me if I have ever been in love. I had to think about that for a second, but the answer is no. I’ve had plenty of infatuations, but no one with whom I’d want to spend the rest of my life. And there were women I initially admired because they appeared to be the sweet, friendly Christian types. On some level, they actually were. But they usually didn’t give me the time of day, so there wasn’t much of a basis for me loving them, was there?

And then I get tired of people who act as if I’m a deficient person because I’m single. Life is hard enough without me feeling like I’m a loser to the rest of the world. Even if I don’t meet someone for the rest of my natural life, I am still a person of value.

And why are women so stuck up? On some level, everyone is. I can walk on the sidewalks of Cincinnati, and people won’t even look at me when I’m passing them. Of course, I should say “hi” to them, I can hear you saying. Well, maybe I’m lazy, or I fear rejection, or I’m afraid of being stuck with a person who wants to monopolize my time. That will be something to discuss in my next therapy session. But, anyway, when I am walking down the sidewalk, the strangers who do say “hi” to me are mostly males, not females. Men seem to be more friendly than women, or at least that is my experience. And I don’t think that those men are gay, but, then again, I have stereotypes in my mind of how gays act.

But I’m not exactly a sexist. I’m not a radical feminist either, but I do believe that women should have the same opportunities as men (though I’d leave manual labor to males, who are physically stronger, yours truly being the exception). I don’t even think that all women are bad. I just get frustrated with women sometimes.

So these are my thoughts and musings for today. Have a happy Valentine’s day!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
This entry was posted in Asperger's, Autism, Dating, Holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Valentine’s Day 2008

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here is one for thought:

    “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” ~Author Unknown

    It will happen when you least expect it (and are least prepared for it).

    Mom

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  2. James Pate says:

    That’s an interesting way to put it–mutual weirdness. Thanks, Mom.

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  3. FT says:

    That makes two of us guy! As one who is thirtysomething and still single, I too get extremely frustrated with women too. They can be sooo anti-rational and proud of it!

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  4. James Pate says:

    Yeah, and that’s a complaint I’ve heard from men with Asperger’s who have actually had relationships, even marriages. They see things solely in a rational way, whereas women, well, I’ve not quite figured them out yet.

    But no offense meant to my women readers, who are rational.

    I checked your blog. Looks good! I’ll be putting a link to it on my own blog. It looks like we’ve read some of the same books, such as George MacDonald’s works.

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