A few days ago, I wrote a post about online dating and how I didn’t think it was going to work for me. A couple people have asked me since about meeting people in real life (IRL). I’d be happy to, but I don’t think it’s likely for several reasons.
My brother suggested I just go out and do the things I like to do, and I can meet someone else who likes those things. That sounds great, but most of the things I like to do are pretty solitary. Hobbies like reading don’t lend themselves to meeting other people. I enjoy music, and I go to the symphony pretty regularly. But I’m a solid thirty years younger than most of the other people in the audience. From time to time, I see a woman around my age in the audience, but she’s always accompanied by a guy. It seems like the musicians are actually the best place for me to look, but there’s no way that I know of to interact with them. I also go to the movies pretty frequently. I like movies. I’d be happy to meet someone else who likes movies. But I’ve noticed that I’m the only person who goes to the movies by myself. And I’ve noticed that people aren’t open to conversations with people not of their party. I don’t think just going out and doing the things I like to do will work.
My therapist told me to try Meetup.com. It’s a site where you can sign up to do activities with other people. There are dances and cooking classes and workouts and things like that. The problem is, I’m really not interested in the activities there are to choose from. It feels dishonest to sign up to do something I don’t want to do.
But the big reason why I’m skeptical about meeting people in real life is that I seem to have lost the ability to be social. I went to a party last night. My brother was there, too. He was the only person besides the host that I knew. I was introduced to half a dozen people, and it took legitimate effort to say, “Nice to meet you,” and smile politely. I didn’t have a conversation with any of them, not even about the weather. Instead, my brother and I chatted for a few hours while everyone ignored us and we ignored everyone. I knew that it would be easy to start a conversation. All it would take is a simple, “So, how do you know Greg?” but I wasn’t up to it. I was never a social butterfly, but now whenever I’m with a group of people, all I want to do is go home.
My mom suggests I should join the PTO. Then I’d have something in common with anyone I meet. Maybe she’s right. It’s not like I have many other options.