I was 27 years old, living in New York City and I hadn’t kissed a girl in what seemed like forever.
It sucked, but it wasn’t a big deal, I told myself. It will happen for me. And I knew how.
I’m a rock star. Or at least I would be. Women are drawn to passion was my mantra. I was passionate about music. I loved what I was doing. It gave me pleasure. Follow your bliss.
I am an ambitious person. And there are some very important things to me. At the top of the list was music. But there was something else there, possibly even more important than music.
I want to have a family some day. I want to be with a wonderful woman and make babies.
It will happen, everyone told me. It’s one of those things that you want to believe. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and eventually you’ll run into her. By some random coincidence the stars will align and it will just happen.
There was somehow something evil about forcing it. It was the approach anxiety. Every time I took things into my own hands to approach a woman I didn’t know, it ended miserably. Horribly.
Believe me, I rarely did it. I had 50,000 excuses as to why I shouldn’t do it. So whenever I did, my body was a mess. I walked away feeling like the biggest jerk on the planet. Like I just did something nobody should ever do.
And they were everywhere around me. Just out of reach. Beautiful women.
I lived in New York City. Downtown. You couldn’t walk a block without seeing an attractive woman. I would look at the guys they were with and wonder what they had that I didn’t have.
Schmoozing, I called it. It’s just not my thing. Social situations just made me uncomfortable. I’d rather sit in my apartment and work on music.
Once in a while I would get introduced to a person I was attracted to through friends. Sometimes I would be able to make things happen. Other times, if I were particularly interested in her, things would fall apart instantly.
I was exceptionally adept at telling these women that I wasn’t up to the task of dating them. I didn’t know what it was that I was telling them, but I knew the message I was sending was loud and clear.
The relationships that I did get into just weren’t fulfilling to me. I wasn’t satisfied. It was what I could get, not what I wanted.
It will happen, the world was assuring me. You don’t need to do anything but what you’re doing. Don’t focus on women, because it will just push them away.
So I kept doing what I was doing. And the years started to pass.
I turned 28.
The same patterns. The same thing over and over again.
At a certain point, I realized that things weren’t going to change. It wasn’t just going to happen. I could go on indefinitely like this and not find that person. And even if I did, I strongly suspected I wouldn’t be ready for her. I would do something to screw it up.
I wanted to be a better musician and make amazing music. So I worked at it. There were a lot of things in my life that I wanted, and I worked for them too. I didn’t think I could improve myself in my relationships with women.
Before all of this, I suspected that if I could approach ten women every day, I would get over my fear.
And I set out to do it. I was motivated! When I want something, I’ll do it. I set my mind to it.
But when I stepped outside of my apartment, all of a sudden everything was different. I could picture it in my mind a thousand times. I could hear a great pickup line and think to myself, That will work! I can do that!
What was it? I didn’t care what these people thought! There were a million women in New York City. I’M A FUCKING PUNK. Fuck everyone. I don’t give a shit what anybody thinks.
But something huge was stopping me from doing it. This thing. It felt like fear. But it wasn’t rational.
I haven’t had a date in sixth months, I realized. And a huge part of me was okay with that. Why? It was better to be here and be miserable than to face that fear. It wouldn’t get me anywhere anyway.
Those social circles that I couldn’t be in? It doesn’t matter. I was a good friend to my friends and they loved me. My friends are important to me. There’s no way to get better at being social anyway, I thought to myself.
I’m 27 years old. I’ll just wait this out. See what happens.
I’ll indulge myself in self-pity every time I see a guy with an attractive woman. This is the body I was born with, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Maybe I’ll just meet that perfect person by chance one day and everything will be okay.
If the day ever comes…
If I’ve learned anything from living in New York City for the past 8 years, it’s that happiness doesn’t come to you. You need to go out and make it happen.
Perhaps I wasn’t born with the money, the looks, the social charm, but even those people that seem to have it all just aren’t that happy. Why?
That fear inside is a challenge. It’s message to you. It says live. It’s showing you where you can change and grow.
Hold onto it. Listen to it. Become intimate with it. It is your greatest friend and your greatest foe. Keep it close and it will provide you with the path to your greatest fulfillment.