Thursday, November 30, 2006

“the gap between expectation and reward”

There was something about that date I had a couple weeks ago that put me in old and familiar territory, that Oh shit, here we go again feeling that comes with every first date. Don't get me wrong, I had an enjoyable time, but the thought of getting out there again in the dating world was enough to make me break out into a cold sweat. In the end I really couldn't be bothered and didn't email her back. Dear readers, I just didn't care.

So why the apathy?

If burnout is the gap between expectation and reward, or rather the failure of expectation and effort to meet up with a desired result, then I am burned out. I'm burned out on love, dating, and being single. It wasn't until I read New York magazine's excellent feature on burnout that I realized my dating apathy is one of the classic signs of this phenomena. Another sign? Feeling like I have been struggling greatly for little in return.

As many of you know, I started Operation Find The Lesbians (OFTL) in January as a New Year's resolution. My goal was to get out there, wherever "out there" was, and meet other gay women. At the time I had 1.5 gay friends and a gay man + a bisexual woman did not a gay life make. So I got out there full of expectations and hit the scene with all the gusto of a marathon runner. I did online dating, the bar scene, Lesbian Club, and sleeping with friends to mixed results. You couldn't fault me for trying and I'm satisfied that at the bare minimum I achieved what I set out to do.

But I wanted something more. I wanted a girlfriend. I wanted a deeper connection with someone. This is where the burnout began. My high expectations and great effort ran into the hard wall of little reward. I think the Holly situation hastened my burnout. And even if I could walk away from her for good, what then? Go back to the parade of first dates that never materialize into anything? I'd rather take a nap with my two cats.

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