Hi, my name is Page, and I’ve been addicted to dating losers.
I can’t pinpoint the precise moment it started, but it became a vital dating strategy of mine years ago, a result of beliefs I formed in junior high school.
There seemed to be a hierarchy to desirability, an invisible and complicated formula that described the natural order of things. Looks + personality + intelligence for boys and looks + personality – intelligence for girls (and oh, how that difference boiled my blood!), equaling one’s “score.” The criteria for looks and personality were hopelessly arbitrary to me, and to make matters worse, it seemed as though looks was raised to a power equal to the person’s weight. I found it rather baffling myself as I’m not terribly visual and find more physical attraction through touch, sound, and smell, but I was quite alone in this. The vast majority of others seemed fixated on appearance.
The notion that some people were objectively more sexually and romantically valuable than others, or better mates, was astonishingly prevalent. Still, it seemed inherently unfair, and I set out to rebel against this.
I sought out those who met my fancy, disregarding the rules, and I was met with ridicule, rejection. Told that my targets were “out of my league.”
I soon tired of that and limited my sights to those who approached me, no matter how underwhelmed I was by their character, their accomplishments, their insights. I based my level of interest on their level of interest and once in a relationship would work desperately to foster reciprocal emotions. I found the fact that I was “out of their league” an added bonus. After all, I reasoned, it would make them less likely to leave me. I tried to stack the deck against my lovers’ exits by lavishing attention upon them, sexual favors, gifts, kind words (I write a mean love poem). But time and time again, I’d end up so unhappy, ensconced in relationships so unfulfilling and toxic, that I’d be the one to leave.
I know I shouldn’t admit this.
Imagine how much it hurt, how confusing it was to me emotionally when I was treated horribly by those I was spoiling – exerting and degrading myself, making large sacrifices – all to be met with indifference or entitlement.
I did this until about a year and a half ago, when I fell in love with my best friend, someone with his shit together, and somehow we emotionally drifted together into what we are now. In response, I find myself trying to emotionally limbo under him. To drag myself to depths lower than the lowest so that I can find a way to “balance” things, to be a person who gives him such large gifts that I am irreplaceable, that he would never dare discard me.
My defenses have unraveled. Those depths do not exist. Being a slave is a blissful exalted state – I am beta to his alpha, Luna to his Terra.
I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m absolutely terrified.