I cannot get a date at all. I’ve been trying since June 2004, when I ended my last one. So far I’m still lonely and still quite single. Now I’m straight, but I don’t frequent bars and clubs and I’m not much of a drinker. I’m not religious either, but I believe in a higher power, that’s all. I just don’t go to Church. And since I’m joining the military, should I even continue to search for a date at all?
Sincerely, Lonely for too damn long.
When you say, “Now I’m straight,” does that mean you were previously gay or bisexual? If this is the case, I might wonder if you have made a decision based on a desire for a certain social norm and not what you feel. This could complicate your search for a date and relationship. At the same time, you might very well be only interested in a heterosexual relationship, but finding that person after previously dating people of the same sex can be difficult. It is no different than someone coming out of the closet and having a difficult time navigating the gay dating scene. It can be both confusing and intimidating. Talking to a counselor about this type of shift in your sexual identification may help you sort out some of the roadblocks you have been experiencing. While there, you might do a baggage check from this last relationship. Are you ignoring any unresolved issues? Remember, it is easier to lie to yourself than to anyone else. You know exactly what to say and just how gullible you really are.
I also realize that you may just be making a statement to clarify your preference since I am gay and so are many of the people who write to me with questions. I’d like to think that most of the advice I give can be applied universally, so if you have read past columns with advice you found interesting, just change the pronouns to fit your situation and go with it.
Bars and booze can make for great social lubrication, but since it’s not your cup of tea, no reason to go there; there are plenty of other social outlets. Coffee shops, game rooms, art openings, dog parks, and gun ranges, for example. I’m not vouching for that last one, but I keep an open mind.
Churches are like bars with longer skirts and less booze, but if God isn’t your scene, then meeting a girl with an eye for Jesus doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense. Unitarian churches, e.g., are a little less biblical and more in tune with your generalized “higher power” concept. You mentioned the belief, so I figure it still holds some importance even though it isn’t based in an overtly dogmatic system. Try a more spiritual path and let go of that which you want and let it come to you.
When do you leave for the military? Is there time for a class at the local community college? You can even take a gym class. I took a physical-training class at SAC several years ago and the hot girls totally outnumbered the one hot guy, who I think was on his way out of the closet anyway. You could also just join a gym. Many athletic clubs are waiving joining fees and contracts due to the economy. You can get or keep fit, which the military will appreciate, and meet ladies. Definitely check out some of the group exercise classes, too. Again, more women then men in these, and women find a guy who does pilates to be a bigger turn-on on than one who reads feminist literature. (Sorry, ladies, but it’s true. I listen at happy hour. Don’t blame me. I didn’t watch Sex and the City.)
Joining the military is not joining the seminary. It’s kind of similar in the homoerotic shower-scene sense, but the military does allow girls and girlfriends. Just be honest about your impending departure with any woman you go out with. I would recommend not chasing after anything serious, as falling love before deployment is romantic in films, but kind of tough in real life. Besides, the military might introduce you to the Private Benjamin of your dreams. Many people meet love on the job; it could happen to you, too.
Stop looking, get a hobby and before you know it, it’s raining women.
Much luck and happiness,
Your Uncle Mat
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.