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Old 10-23-2008, 09:24 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,548
Default My Liberation

It has been three years since Lobster Cowboy first posted this guide to the Diaries board and I think I can safely say it is the most memorable and useful post I ever saw on ZMD. By 2005, I was already experienced enough to know that he had hit the nail on the head, even if could not have put it so eloquently myself. In fact, I thought it a shame that I hadn't read such a guide before high school so that I could have saved myself a lot of pain and suffering.

With that said, however, I'm going to tell you why he was wrong. His error was so extreme that the contradiction with reality became such a profoundly useful counterpoint to my experience that I began to think again that he was right.

Let me explain...

Originally Posted by Lobster Cowboy View Post
Here's a quick questionnaire for you. It's only one question, so it won't take long. At this current time, is there a girl out there that you secretly love, and hope will become a girlfriend to you?

If the answer is yes, STOP RIGHT THERE.

Let it go. Right now. I'm not kidding.
When I was a Junior in college I began spending time with another student in the astronomy program. This was a fantastic girl, she was smart, she was pretty, she was fun... she was taken. So was I, as it turned out, and I felt more than a little guilty about my growing feelings for her. When my then girlfriend left town during the summer before my senior year, more and more of my time was being devoted to this new girl.

Eventually I decided that it just wasn't right to be obsessing over one girl while dating another, so I broke off my relationship. Around the same time, she broke off hers as well, and it began to seem like an inevitability that we would get together. After a lot of deliberation and hesitation, I drummed up the courage to ask her out... only to get shot down. It turned out that she hadn't even thought of me that way and couldn't believe that I had any real feelings for her. I was the friend zone, deep in the friend zone.

I'll admit that it wasn't easy to let go of this and I continued to spend a lot of time obsessing about "what ifs," even as the years passed and we got more distant. I remained friends with her during graduate school but maintained an active dating life (some here may even remember one of my girlfriends posting on this board). With each girl I dated, I gained a little bit more confidence and a little bit more experience, but my mind never fully retreated from this girl I knew in college.

Then, six months ago, things began to change. I had gone down for one of my yearly visits and she had really opened up to me, more than she ever had in college. I sensed something was different, both in her and in the way she looked at me. After another long round of hesitation and deliberation, I asked her out again, this time putting it all out there. She said yes. I was absolutely ecstatic.

[Unfortunately, this was one of those false endings. You know, like in the Dark Knight when they first captured the Joker and you thought the movie was about to end. Heh, fool... not before they kill off some of the likable characters.]

I was determined to make our first date a good one, so I really went all out. I bought her flowers, rented a car, went to New York to buy some nice clothes... trust me, if you knew me IRL this would all be very shocking. Anyway, I drove down to pick her up, we went out to dinner and a movie, we had a nice (though tense) date and that was that. Great, right?

Not so much... we both noticed how tense things had been and decided that maybe we should try a little alcohol to smooth things over. It only took about a half hour (it was hard liquor) before we were all over each other and making our way for the bedroom. A couple minutes into this intense makeout session she called for me to stop... she couldn't do it, it was too weird. It was, she said, like kissing her brother.


My first thought was that was it. Everything had gone my way, I had had every opportunity, it just wasn't meant to be. I left her for a while to take some time to think and to let her think as well. It had only been a month prior that I hadn't even considered her a serious part of my life, but now I couldn't even see how I could keep going without her. I thought about all the time we had spent together and all the other girls I had been with. Nothing else seemed right, but I knew it was never going to work out with her. Never before had my future looked so dim.

But for some reason, I was optimistic. No, I didn't find God. No, I didn't begin to appreciate the other things I had. I just decided that I was stronger than that, that I didn't need her or anyone else to be happy. A day later, I called her and told her that I wasn't going to give up. I told her that I was going to keep living as I had been, including dating other girls, but I was never going to stop wanting to be with her. If the same situation came up again in the future, I would ask her out again. She didn't have to say yes and I wouldn't ask if she didn't want me to, but I would never stop wanting to be with her.

Now, six months later, we're celebrating our six-month anniversary. We talk about the future as if we can't see it with anyone else and we use the 'l' word with impunity. Even if, god forbid, this doesn't work out in the long run, we're both happy and will never regret this time together.

So why am I saying all this? Am I trying to shut down or discredit coolie? Definitely not. Am I trying to show how I did the impossible? Nope. Am I gloating? Maybe a little, but mainly I want to suggest a small change to Lobster Cowboy's Guide to Dating:

To pine after a woman is a zero-sum game. You can never win. It's a waste of your short life.
You can win, so long as you believe that you can't lose, whatever the outcome. If you really believe that, she will too.


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