The same mistake

I started writing this entry in January, 2016, just after my first entry. I was in a strange state of mind — very depressed, largely due to taking Cymbalta, which I later found out I SHOULD NEVER, EVER TAKE — but I figured I’d post it now, after a bit of editing.

I was very morose. In a deep, dark hole. And the maudlin sentimentality reflects the state of mind I was in at the time.

Note that I was still vol-cel at the time. The issues I discuss here were not sexual, and I think I underestimated just how prevalent the assumption that ‘male attention toward a woman is always sexual’ actually is. Like I said, I was in a weird place, mentally and emotionally. I’m always struggling by January anyway.

I find the thinking morbidly empathetic and self-pitying. The style overly formal, neurotically overstated, and approaching the incomprehensible… but I’ll publish it now, after a little cleanup effort, if only to remind myself of where I was at that time, and where I don’t ever want to go back to…

I don’t want to make the same mistake.

There has never been a mistake I’ve ever made that I have the wisdom never to repeat. One does not live a lifetime on a first meal. Why then the insistence that we learn from our mistakes?

Among those mistakes that are my ‘existential Chinese food’ is the tendency to over-generalize a similarity with someone. No matter how many times it’s happened, I still sometimes find myself taking some small glimmer of similarity with a person, and wrongly projecting it into a broader compatibility. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part, a hope of connection to another like mind that I discussed in my previous essay, “Contemplating Loneliness”.

Perhaps this over-generalization flaw is actually a reaction to its opposite: the inability to generalize, or predict, what other people are going to do in some social situations.

The same personality that can attract friends and lovers can provoke distaste, distrust, disgust, disapproval, disappointment, disregard, and occasionally disaster in some other person — which has at times baffled me. How can people be so different, yet so convinced they see ‘the reality’ of another person.

How can someone ‘dislike’ someone whom other people love?

I’ve realized a pretty young woman must get a type and quantity of attention that a man cannot even imagine. That amount of attention must be both a blessing and a curse. But it comes too easily; they’ve done nothing to earn it, and a suspicion of others, a lack of appreciation for the value of effort, and a false sense of somehow ‘deserving’ — setting her up for a profound shock later in life — is often the price.

The biggest mistake I think she can make is to think she has “earned” that attention. The second biggest mistake is to believe it’s more than ephemeral.

But most times, it seems, all she ever knows is that she’s made another wrong choice in whom to trust, and then only after the fact. Unless she learns she consistently makes the same mistake — the opposite of my own repeated mistake — she is doomed to either repeat that error in judgment, or become embittered and lonely.

It’s easy for me to avoid the ‘false positive’ error of trusting someone with whom I have nothing in common, or in whom I can see no quality of character. It’s always been with those I felt a commonality, and thought highly — leading to a false sense of familiarity — I have inadvertently learned these life lessons.

This fact would seem to lead inevitably into suspicion on my part, but that’s not what seems to happen for me, or for her. I’ve never learned to accurately predict how people will react to me, especially women, but I now try to imagine some past hurt she bore, and a scar she still wears, that causes her to continuously make the mistake of ‘the false negative’, or ‘the false positive’.

(I’m describing a self-sacrificing form of empathy. How noble of me.)

Is friendship predictive of a potential relationship with a woman, or is it an inescapable hole called ‘The Friend Zone’?

The only type of woman who has provoked romantic interest is the rare gem who is neither suspicious nor dismissive of me, implying that friendship and romantic interest overlap for me. But it often seems to work oppositely for women; many would never consider a relationship with someone they get along with — so utterly weird and twisted it seems to me!

The same set of traits that can cause one person to think I am fascinating can cause someone else to view me as a creep. I don’t know what life experiences have led to these radically differing interpretations of this same person — ME! — so I cannot stand in judgment, and thus I best not be offended.


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