You Can Never Win or Lose if You Don’t Run the (Singles) Race

Five bonus points to anyone who knows what song my title parodies. HINT: It’s not the title of the song, but rather a particular line of lyrics.

My wife and I have been separated since last summer. Not long after the split occurred, a friend encouraged me to put myself right back out on the singles scene via websites like OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish. For a while I was trying to make it work, but it was rough. It got so bad that even the friend who TOLD me to get out there said, “Maybe you need to give it a rest…be alone for a while.”

I did not heed his warning. Kept chugging along, getting my ego handed back to me in pieces for one reason or another. After a while, Sifu Russ Cichon also chimed in on this topic. He told me to make wing chun my “girlfriend” and ignore everyone else for at least a year. He said, “You’ll be amazed at what a difference it will make.”

I still didn’t listen. Then, finally, something made me slam on the brakes. This deal sealer was unlike anything I’d faced before. It was not a woman who flat out said she felt no chemistry, nor was it one who said “we will go out again,” then never called back. Quite the opposite. THIS woman said, “I feel very comfortable talking to you. I feel like I can tell you anything, and you won’t judge me. Don’t get me wrong: I’m still cautious, but I am VERY optimistic.”

She said this to me on a Friday night. I can still remember falling asleep with a grin on my face.

The next day was an unusually hectic Saturday. I was rushing around nonstop with my kids. It wasn’t until around 2:00PM that I finally had the chance to sit down and text her: “Hey lady, been on the go all day here. Hope you’re enjoying your Saturday!”

The rest of the day went by without a word from her. On Sunday night, I decided to drop another quick note: “Hello there! Never got to touch base with you yesterday. Hope you had an awesome weekend!”

Another day of no reply. I could not understand it. Normally I can let go of rejection, but not in a situation like this where the sudden brush-off made no sense.

I knew that my next move was going to come off as obsessive, but I said “fuck it.” I NEEDED to know what happened. If she blew me off again, then I’d be done. But I had to make one last effort.

What was my plan? I decided to message her on OK Cupid, which is where I had met her. This was a better option than texting because I could tell when she had read my message. If she didn’t reply, then I would give up. So all I said to her through the site was, “What happened to you???”

Then I stepped away from the computer. Did some writing. Played some guitar. Practiced my wing chun forms. Exercised. Come back an hour later. And what did I find?

She read the message maybe five minutes after I sent it.

There was no reply.

I was not surprised, but I was not okay with it either. This made no sense! (I realized people rarely do, but that was no comfort.) The last conversation with her had ended so well. What happened? It was obvious I wouldn’t get an answer, so I had to let it go. No point in staying angry about it, right? Her choice was made. Whether it made any sense or not was irrelevant.

And that was it, ladies and gentlemen: the moment when I decided it was time to withdraw from the “singles” race. The rules of this game make no sense to me. Even when I won, I lost.

So I’m pleased to announce that I have been much happier ever since I let it go. It’s so refreshing to no longer deal with having my hopes lifted so high…only to be dropped to their doom. When a woman said we had no chemistry, I could accept that. But this? No, it was beyond my comprehension.

Another thing this last interaction made me reflect on was how hopeless it is for me. I mean, I’m 38 with four kids by three women. Anyone who dives into a romantic relationship with me has to accept the fact that they will automatically be a stepmom. And not for nothing, but if they have no kids of their own and want any, then they are also SOL with me because I got myself “fixed,” and I don’t plan on reversing that EVER. Four kids (two boys, two girls) is enough for me.

Like Sifu and my friend said, it’s better for me to take some time and be by myself. I am diving head first into wing chun again. Maybe when I examined things a year from now, I’ll find I AM in a better place. Here’s to hoping Sifu was right.


About Steve Grogan

I am 40 years old, divorced, and a father of four kids. I am a practitioner of a self-defense system called wing chun kung fu. My other hobbies include writing, playing guitar, reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Recently I have gotten back into fitness, and this time I am DETERMINED to get the washboard abs...whether my metabolism will cooperate with me or not! The purpose of this blog is to write not only about my hobbies, but also about whatever crosses my mind, whether it is something I don't understand or something that aggravates me. So join me as I indulge my tendency to think too much about topics that don't usually cross anyone else's mind!
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