A blog advocating autism through my own personal experiences and insights.

Posts tagged ‘sexual frustration’

A Second Level of Freedom

This weekend that just passed, I’ve had another epiphany (I just love having those!). It deals with my feelings toward finding a girl to date, wanting romance in my life, and putting an end to my sexual frustration. I must admit that during the past few months, my sexual frustration has rather increased than where it has been over the last few years. And after all my fruitless attempts at trying to find someone, it’s starting to really exhaust me. And so I have done the only thing I can do. I’ve just let it go. I’ve decided to stop looking.

This is rather analogous to how I was feeling about my studies last fall. Last fall, my academic perfectionism gave me such a painful experience that I did the only thing I could do then. I let go of it. And it let to a wonderful new sense of freedom, which I’ve illustrated this experience in a previous post Freedom. Now we can replace academic perfectionism with sexual frustration and that pretty much sums up how I’d describe what went through me this weekend. Letting go has indeed led to a whole new sense of freedom, much like how my school experiences last fall did for me. Now instead of experiencing freedom in the academic sense, I can now experience it in the human relationship sense as well.

In stopping looking for a girlfriend, I don’t mean I stop talking to girls entirely. In order to have romantic success that’s certainly a requirement. It’s basically my approach and attitude that’s changed. Whenever I meet a girl, I no longer look at her as a potential girlfriend. I don’t care how beautiful she is, whether she loves math, philosophy, writing, or has autism, etc. If she has or is none of these things, some of these things, or all of these things it really doesn’t matter at the start because there are millions of girls on this planet and it’s not like the Earth’s population is decreasing. Chances are there’s another girl out there that I would be just as compatible or incompatible with (and I don’t think I’d want a girl who was to too much like me. We’d probably get bored of each other). If I find I enjoy talking with this girl, then I see her as a friend. I’d probably only consider her as something more if things developed in a natural way. Like if it became obvious that she liked me romantically. And if she started flirting with me and I was interested, then I’d definitely flirt back and so we’d develop something.

And just because I’ve stopped looking, also doesn’t mean that I’m not pursuing a social life just as rigorously as before. Indeed, if I’m to meet someone then having an expanded network of friends will certainly help with that. My strategy will simply to be to get involved in things I like, meeting potential friends, and go on from there. And then simply let the girl follow. Such a strategy I think is beneficial in a lot of ways. It avoids feelings of depression and helplessness if I don’t find someone very soon. It also avoids feelings of obsession over a particular girl and will allow me more control over the crushes that I might find I’m developing for a particular girl. I can also be myself when I’m talking to girls. I can relax and not worry about rejection because I find a girl incredibly beautiful or perfect in some way. As my Aunt Linda pointed out, it’s good to be a “me” before I become a “we”. Finally, I feel more complete by myself. My feelings of inadequacy of never having a girlfriend are vanishing and I’m left with a peaceful feeling of being single. The trite phrase “you complete me” makes absolutely no sense. You have to feel complete before you enter into a particular relationship in order for it to be successful and to not have your happiness or adequacy be dependent on the actions of another person.

Another thing I like doing (as long as it doesn’t become an obsession though I don’t think it will) is to imagine what the girl who I will eventually end up with is doing at any particular moment. What is she doing now as I type these words down? Is she brushing her hair, enjoying some delicious meal, reading a novel, or enjoying a movie with some friends? I love to speculate and it keeps me excited.

I’ve wanted a girlfriend for 11 years now and have been trying to get one for the last 9 years (If you want full details see Figuring Out the Dating Game Part 1 and Figuring Out the Dating Game Part 2). That’s nearly half the time I’ve been here. And unless it takes me until I’m 34 to find one, I think it’s safe to assume that I’m most of the way through the journey by now anyway. But I think I’ll give the world a chance to work its magic, instead of me trying to do it all myself. Whether it’ll take a month, a year, or 10 years, the right girl will eventually come my way.

Taking Action

Well, a couple of weeks into my second term of graduate school, and I can’t complain. The workload is much more manageable. The math assignments are certainly easier, which is true even in the graduate course on logic I’m taking (managed to finish the first one before the day it was due!) and not have to work like a dog. I also passed my exam I took a week and a half ago for my functional analysis course last term so I passed that course. I’m now done one half of the courses needed for my masters!

But now there’s been an interesting turn of events over the last week. Not school-related. School’s fine now. What I’m talking about is feeling pain for a whole different reason, namely from sexual frustration. Now sexual frustration is nothing new for me as is probably clear to you if you’ve read my previous posts Figuring Out the Dating Game Part 1 and Figuring Out the Dating Game Part 2. I’ve felt it for a solid decade. About a week ago, however, it really started bugging me a lot more. It was actually painful. Luckily, my roommate has a couple of shelves full of self-help and psychology books, and I actually managed to find a book called How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Dr. Henry Cloud. Even though the book has a religious theme running through it and I’m not religious, I’ve since found the book to be a good read.

I think part of the reason why I’m feeling like this, however, is because of last semester. Last semester, because I was so worried and suffered large amounts of stress and anxiety due to my school work, it was like I didn’t have time to worry about anything else that needed to be addressed in my life. The pain from school stress completely numbed my pain from loneliness and sexual frustration. I think it’s analogous to why a person who experiences emotional pain cuts themselves. They do it to make the physical pain overtake and make the emotional pain seem trivial. In the case of me, however, the pain from stress from school certainly wasn’t intentional, although it had the same effect. Now that school is no longer a problem, my sexual frustration has radically increased.

So what could I do about it? I had a problem on my hands and while I doubted there was a quick fix I wanted some way to manage it. I have since used one piece of advice from the book I mentioned above and not only do I now feel a lot better, I’ve actually taken a step further in improving my social life.

Let me explain. The book actually posed the challenge that I try practising to talking to random girls that I’ve hardly met before. The conversations didn’t have to be long. Just a few minutes or so. I didn’t have to know anything about the girls in question or likewise they didn’t have to know all that much about me. When I first read this, I first thought that there was no way I was going to do this. I was having a hard enough time trying to talk to the ones I was acquaintances with. But after thinking about it for a day or two, I decided to test it out.

As it happened, I got a chance at the first meeting of the philosophy society. Last term, at philosophy society there were no girls, but at this meeting two of them had showed up. I decided to try talking one-on-one with one of them at the end of the meeting. I started by asking her where she was from and it turned out she was originally from Africa, but was now permanently living in waterloo. I didn’t get much further than this at the end of the meeting because one other guy joined us as we were heading out and we were all talking philosophy again. Once he left, however, she started asking me questions about my life, which I answered, and reciprocated. So after a few minutes of this, we said our farewells, hoping to see each other at the next meeting.

I was amazed with myself. I couldn’t remember the last time I had that good of a conversation before with someone I had just met.

Then I went on. In one of my undergraduate math classes I had on Friday morning I caught a girl I had never seen before who was sitting alone. I hesitated, wondering if it was worth the risk. I decided to go for it. I sat down beside her. Boy, I was a bundle of nerves! I felt panic. I asked myself what on earth I thought I was doing. What were the chances that this would go well?? But somehow my determination simply matched to all these worries that were going through my head. I sat there for a couple of minutes without talking to her, although that was more because I felt it impolite to start talking to her when she was texting on her cell phone. Luckily, she finished with that activity and I grabbed the chance and introduced myself. It was better than I thought it would be. Not as extensive as it was with that girl from philosophy society, but we said a few things about each other like how I was a masters student taking this course to beef up my background, while she was a math undergrad student in another department in the math faculty. I even commented on the weather and how we had least gotten a sprinkling of snow so far.

Afterwards I posed a task for myself that would surely be even more challenging than this. I decided that I would go to the Chapter/Indigo bookstore in Waterloo and try conversing with a girl I would see there. Not wanting to think about the possible pitfalls that would happen here, I decided to go ahead with it and did so today. At first I just pretended to be an ordinary customer browsing for books. Girls came and went and I did indeed find it more challenging! Not only was this a place where people moved around in random fashions, but I became worried not just what the girl would think of me, but also what the others around us would think of me. At least in the math class, others were talking and so talking seemed the natural think to do in that setting. The store certainly wasn’t empty today, but hardly anyone was talking, at least not to perfect strangers it seemed. And it was in a much more unofficial setting unlike philosophy society or class. Certainly as someone who loves structure, I had a difficult time.

Then I decided to just go for it. I walked up to some girl and asked if she had found anything good. It turned out, however, that we weren’t into the same type of books (she into personal non-fiction, I into fiction), so we said bye. Even though it wasn’t much, I was proud of myself that I had had the courage to do what I just did.

I wasn’t going to give up that easily though. I was determined. I caught a girl looking at some science fiction novels and made the general comment once again if she had found anything good. I managed to get this conversation to last longer. We talked a little about what a great activity reading was and she even recommended some science fiction novels that I might enjoy.

I walked out of that bookstore feeling very amazed and also very strange. I’ve completely surprised myself over the past few days. Something that I think has helped me, however, deals with a passage in the book: ‘Return to the way you were in the safe, structured settings of high school or college where this kind of interaction happens naturally. As an adult, you have to make it happen for yourself.’

Looks like I’m succeeding in making it happen for myself. Even some of the sexual frustration has gone away. Now that I’ve started playing an active role in improving my social life in a way I hardly pictured myself doing, I feel less afraid of the world and more connected to it.

I’m taking action. It feels damn good!