Yesterday I found this myTake: Types of Single People, which added a much-needed new word to my dating lexicon: The Fatalist. It is a personality type I can relate to, and so I am grateful to @MissNowhere for highlighting, if not creating it.
The Fatalist is completely done. The Fatalist has given up. The Fatalist tried out the whole relationship thing, got hurt really badly and now can't be bothered to get themselves into such disasters ever again. The Fatalist hates love (often even stops believing in it) and anything that has to do with it. This person sees themselves as a realist, they don't see the point if all relationships end up with a breakup or divorce anyways. The Fatalist just wants to protect their heart from all the potential heartache. A lot of them become very bitter. They will never want a relationship cause relationships suck, apparently.
Most of this I agree with. The Fatalist often does believe in love, perhaps even loves love. The Fatalist knows that other people can get love. The Fatalist is a realist, but doesn't see the point if all of his or her relationships end badly, but he recognizes others' success.
More than anything, a Fatalist is done with cheap hookups and settling for short-term anything.
The Internet and online dating has changed the dating world. Now there are almost unlimited options. People are in pursuit of the next shiny bauble dangling before them, forgetting that no one is perfect. We are in a time where everyone is hoping the profile they swiped right on is a true and accurate reflection of the person, that there is no adverse outstanding information, and that swipe will lead to a lifetime of love and devotion - or at least a hot hookup.
The Fatalist believes this culture has made dating an insurmountable challenge.
The Road To Fatalism
The Fatalist avoids discussing his/her situation with friends, because no one believes them, especially recent converts. They expect the Fatalist to abstain for a short period of time, maybe a month or two, then jump right back in to the dating world.
Like homelessness, Fatalism is a long and painful process that involves repeated failure. A homeless person might temporarily move in with a family member, for example, who eventually kicks them out and forces them into new accommodations. Eventually there is no place left to go. Likewise, a person on the road to Fatalism might enter into a brief dating spell that ends in heartbreak. On the MissNowhere list of single types, the Fatalist might have started out as The Soulmate Seeker, spent time as The Desperate One and eventually became The Reminiscer before becoming The Fatalist.
Eventually one must either drop their standards below palatable levels, or accept the prospect of a life and death alone. Once you see the objects of your pursuit dropping into territory where you swore never to go, you are in danger of becoming a Fatalist.
In my descent, I came to enjoy typical date activities alone - going to movies, plays, parties, watching TV, etc. I only dine out with friends and prefer eating alone. Being with another person at the movies, for example, means my attention is divided, and I don't enjoy either the movie or the person as much.
Fantasy also takes on greater importance. If we can't earn the love of someone we respect and admire, we can at least imagine someone admiring and loving us. Love and romance, even when successful, involves delusions and fantasy.
The pursuit of a real-life relationship risks fantasy; if the object of my fantasy rejects my affections in real life, which will almost certainly happen in either the long and short-term, the fantasy is destroyed. Thus there are very real stakes in the pursuit, and good reason to avoid it.
The last step on the road to Fatalism is realizing that there are other ways to make life meaningful and rewarding without a relationship. I detailed some of these in a previous myTake. Once the Fatalist finds other fulfillment, (s)he enters a new and brighter phase of his/her life. Things do start to look up.
Becoming happier and healthier makes one more sexually attractive, and the Fatalist's attitudes about relationships do not change. Since turning Fatalist, I have turned away women who showed enthused interest. At one time, I would have been happy to date them as they fell well within acceptable standards. Sadly, though, now the pursuit of any relationship is futile, and I do not reciporocate interest. These incidents can feed fantasy, but also remind us of our chronic aloneness.
Is there hope?
The answer to this question might vary from individual to individual.
While looks and appearance remain important, personality surges to the forefront. The object of my pursuit is someone whose company I would enjoy at those movies, plays and meals that I now prefer alone. They would have to have a killer personality that I would not want to be away from, ever.
I see the odds of this happening as extremely low. There are tons of nice, wonderful people out there with pleasant enough personalities. I have dated them, and the relationships invariably failed. It is one thing to recognize a good person, but another thing entirely to face the prospect of spending most of your non-work time with them and cohabitating with them.
As stated earlier, I am building my relationships with friends, and some of these friends are female. There is a remote possibility of something coming out of that. I am not pursuing those friendships with that as a goal, though. I am withholding romance from friends, too, because I will not pursue them romantically unless I am confident in that romance enduring, and that it is something they want.