Why I Was Chasing Men

And why it took me so long to realize it

Not to toot my own horn here, but I am quite the catch. I’m kidding, maybe. But seriously, as far as being a decent human being with fairly righteous morals and ethics, I think I’m quite fine. At the end of the day, however, I always found myself wanting to be liked. Hell, desperate even on some occasions. So when it came to pursuing men that I liked and I would either be rejected or the feeling was not reciprocated, I started to ask myself, why me?

Photo by Darshan Gajara on Unsplash

I understand that not everyone is going to like you

yes I get that everyone. But that wasn’t the issue here. It took me a very long time to realize that I was

interested in people who were not interested in me.

It was a real ah-ha moment.

The realization was a slow-growing process. One which gears starting to churn after each rejection, each ghosting, and every friendzone.

Dating advice columns tell you all the time that being interested in the wrong people is common

How they will:
- Not be keen to know your interests as much as you want to know theirs
- Not make an effort to see you
- Simply not even reciprocate the same cues as you to show interest

There was this one guy I ended up dating that I was head over heels for

He was in a different department at my job but we would cross paths every so often. I’d try to walk past him whenever I’d have the chance. He was too cute to not look at twice.

Finally, after I had the strength to get out of my post-breakup slump I started to talk to him more often and eventually did the deed and gave him my number. The last thing I said was, “if you’re interested you can text me, if not it’s cool.”

Of course, I wouldn’t be cool about it if he wasn’t interested! Lord knows I wanted him too and it seemed like I got one of the three I listed to have an inkling that he did feel the same way.

He texted me that night.

He told me he was moving away at the start of the next month, so our dating journey had a beginning, middle, and end (if he wanted an end).

And in practice, it was everything that I really wanted. We went on really cute dates, talked lengths via text and he was such an interesting person, (not to mention very cute).

But I had to ask myself — if he wasn’t leaving, would this even work?

You see those talks we had all the time via text? They were all about him. He would speak lengths about his day, his life, his career, his family. I’m talking literal paragraphs while I’m in the library trying to study. But he’d never ask in length about me.

Sure, we hung out, but he was extremely busy with wrapping his life up in the Bay, so I had to get a foot in to even get a few hours which felt like a burden.

He started to pull away once he was about two or three weeks out of leaving.

Finally, I had to force myself to not try to spend more time with him.

I can’t blame him for everything given the circumstances. But a part of me also thought that even if he was moving, if he liked me enough, or wanted to still stay connected, we could have. Especially because I did not want to let him go.

But I think to myself at the end of it, even with what I got, I was still chasing in the end.

I just try too hard to hope or dream for something that is not there, for someone who I know deep down is not chasing me.

Sometimes I know. And if I know at the start, they will simply be a crush from afar. Someone that can be the highlight of my day when I see them.

But if I don’t know? I start to overanalyze. I start to daydream. I start to wonder if the simplest of social interactions mean anything and then blow them wildly out of proportion. It’s a mirage and I know there’s nothing there.

So what now?
It’s funny, I have found myself to be completely oblivious of those who are chasing me. And even though I always give them a rose, I’ve started to notice what they do so I can know in the future. And in the meantime? I’ll just be doing me, trying to live my best life, love myself, and only pursue people who want me as much as I want them,

as far as I can tell.

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A 20-something who stutters and trying to figure out how to deal with it on top of adulting shenanigans and discovery