Toward Romance in 2004
Joe Clark ~~ Dec 31, 2003

As I was contemplating my New Year's resolutions over the past few weeks, I eventually added a fourth one. But then I decided that it didn't fit in with the style of the other three resolutions...the other three have to do with improving my personal quality of life -- they are self-focused primarily, although the benefits I think will benefit others as well. The fourth goal, however -- well, it's sorta self-focused too, but yet different. It's not a goal that I can meet with just more willpower and more tracking of my time or something. It's a mental debate and a bit of a social game that I'll have to play. So while it is not exactly a new year's resolution, here is another goal or at least a bit of stuff to think about during the next year:

Goal: get a girlfriend, and/or decide why as a rule I don't try harder than I do to find one. The problem with the goal of finding a girlfriend is that if I want it to be realized I have to *do* something about it -- something that is not just an intellectual exercise, but something that affects my mind and heart both. That's the hard part. I can dream all I want, or complain, or pine after, or be infatuated, or "observe the beauty around me", but if I never take action on it, nothing will happen. No one will up and ask *me* out. That is what life tells me. And the action taking is the hard part...I have to ask people to do things, and not just in groups, which is what I always do. I have to risk visiting the Land of Rejection if I want to not live my life in its shadows.

Maybe in the dark corners of reality there is something inside me that values my freedom above the work it takes to find love. Maybe I value my freedom above love itself. (I cannot convince myself that this is true of me, although I think some observers of my life think this about me.)

A corollary to this goal, and maybe the most important part, is to determine what exactly I *am* willing to do to make this goal a reality, and then do that.

Test Method: Keep close track of my willingness to ask people on dates, and spend some hard moments analyzing what that willingness (or lack thereof) implies. Also, if I have the time (aka priority), keep track of how many people I ask to do things (and for the sake of bitterness material, perhaps keep track of what the responses are).