Previous installments in this series:
As well, it is recommended to read Part 2 of Workshy Joe’s series ‘Men Who Go Ghost’, which inspired this series
I particularly enjoyed Part 2 of Workshy Joe’s series ‘Men Who Go Ghost’ because I could partly relate to Twin Peaks Giant (TPG), the Ghostly subject of Joe’s post.
Like TPG, I live alone in a small apartment and it’s been several years since my last relationship. As well, many years ago my appendix burst and I suddenly had to be rushed to hospital, and I also spent several years working as a supermarket shelf-stacker.
Unlike TPG, though, I am short and stocky, and I also haven’t owned or driven a motor vehicle in almost 20 years (in fact, I’ve never driven a car – I’ve only ever been a motorcyclist). Most of all, though, while TPG has a frugal home mine is an over-cluttered nightmare, thanks especially to being unable to say no to my OCD self at bookshops (until very recently, when my purchase of an Amazon Kindle finally put a stop to this).
Yet despite the differences in our home lifestyles – and my internet-loving disbelief that TPG doesn’t have his own PC for surfing – I liked and respected the idea of TPG’s home because it is very much his own private corner of the world where others rarely set foot.
Since late 1995 I have lived alone – and unless I have a radical change of character in the future, that’s how I want to live for the rest of my life.
That includes if I’m ever again involved in a relationship. I would much prefer that future partners and I maintain separate homes. It’s nothing against women – I like my personal space, and my home is my cave.
The funny thing is, I first encountered this concept of being together but living apart through a female character in fiction. Back in the early ‘90s I was a fan of Bill Pronzini’s Nameless Detective novels, and when I first read about how ND’s girlfriend wanted to remain living in her own home, I thought “Huh? and “Why?” – but as the years have passed, I came to understand and very much appreciate the concept.
With my previous relationship, living apart wasn’t an issue because it was long-distance over the internet with a woman in the US.
With future relationships, I’ll cross those bridges if I ever come to them.
And that’s a big emphasis on the “if”.
As I mentioned at the end of the previous installment in this series, I was 11 when I discovered girls.
It wasn’t until I was 36, however, that I had my first intimate relationship with a woman, the online one I mentioned above.
Yes, that was 25 years – and during that quarter-century, I didn’t date or make any passes at women.
And yes, in Game terms that meant I was very omega.
As I also described in Part 1 of this series, at 11 I was a social failure and my first year at junior high school was a disaster.
Unfortunately, the next few years of my teens were even worse, and as a result I became even more anti-social and withdrawn. Which of course meant that, despite being a typically horny teenage boy, the idea of being intimately involved with girls was out of the question.
During my late teens, life became much better, but I still couldn’t see myself asking girls on dates or progressing beyond that – and as a result, I didn’t.
In 1989, I did think that things could possibly change when I went to university and lived on campus…but by the end of that year, I told myself that being at uni wasn’t going to make any difference either. I was still very socially awkward; the girls in my dorm and classes were already becoming women while I was still a scared little kid with no idea and little experience about most things in life; and instead of taking action to overcome those problems, I became mostly a recluse instead.
By the end of uni, I was spending almost all of my time by myself.
At the same time, though, I genuinely enjoyed solitude for its own sake. It was a peaceful and much less stressful way to live; I had always enjoyed solitary activities like reading and video games anyway; and best of all, my time was all my own.
In fact, I had been enjoying solitude since my early teens – but by the end of uni, I had decided to make it most of my lifestyle.
After I finished uni in 1991, I spent the first few years of my twenties living with my eldest sister, and later her partner also joined us. They were fun years, and I had no problems sharing a home with sis, her partner and two cats (and for a few months, six kittens as well).
By my mid-twenties our lives took us in different directions and we moved apart. For a brief period after that, I lived with my parents in the country until late 1995 when, at the age of 24, I moved here to Sydney by myself where I’ve been ever since.
As time passed, I slowly became more social. By the early 2000s, I had even overcome a fear of pubs that I’d had since my teens – I hadn’t set foot in one since I was 18 – and I began playing weekly pub-trivia that I still do to this day.
I made friends both male and female whom I also still have to this day – but although I had continuing lustful thoughts about women I worked with, met socially or saw walking down the street, I still had no guts, confidence or ambition to try and slake those thirsts. Going out to places like nightclubs had no appeal anyway, and I still enjoyed spending most of my spare time by myself.
In mid-2007, some medical issues led me to therapy, where I was diagnosed as suffering from depression (and perhaps for most of my life – or even all of it).
Fortunately in the months that followed, I reacted well to medication and therapy, and my life changed for the much-better – so much so that towards the end of that remarkable year, I began to ponder a radical notion.
Now that at last I was developing some self-confidence and broadening my horizons…what if I started dating?
As it turned out, I didn’t and still haven’t – but instead during late 2007, an online friendship unexpectedly turned into the hot and heavy long-distance romance that I mentioned earlier.
And it was a romance that I had initiated, to my even greater surprise – which in turn showed how far I’d come in just a few months of being treated for depression.
(But that may be another story for a future post)
That relationship lasted for about eight months into mid-2008. It ended amicably, and my former girlfriend and I remain friends to this day.
Since then, though, I haven’t had the burning desire to enter into another relationship, either online or physical. It could be nice to do it again, but I’m not in active pursuit.
For now, I’m still content to be a Ghost.
Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂
I must admit that I like reading about ‘all the lonely people’.
I have lapsed in and out of this condition my whole life. I think it’s my fate to be solitary and yet I have struggled against it intermittently.
When I was a kid I had a very naive view on life that no matter what a person did, they would always be surrounded by family and friends. It came as a massive shock to me in my early twenties when I started working and moved away from Sydney that I found that you could literally sink like a stone. I didn’t speak to anyone beyond a few words for long periods of time. I have always been fairly shy and have never made a huge effort with people. My old friends and to a great extent my family simply made no real effort to keep in contact. I simply assumed that social contact would come whether I made an effort or not. I assumed the same thing about women. Part of this is that I thought I was special in some way and that the normal rules didn’t apply.
I think a lot of lonely people have this sort of egotism.
The thought I had was that if I do nothing then I will never talk to someone ever again. Very melodramatic I know – and of course what I meant was a conversation beyond the basics – a friendly conversation about nothing in particular. But I really do think there are two types of people in life – those that this thought has occurred to and those it haven’t.
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