So, What's My Problem?

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You might be saying to yourself: "Wait a second. If she's well past 30, and still single—and she's never been married—and she's never been in love before—there's probably something seriously wrong with her!"

Believe me, I've thought the very same thing many times.

And I'll admit that—to paraphrase Woody Allen's favorite Groucho Marx quote—I used to be the type of person who didn't want to be participate in any romantic relationship that would have me as a participant. A few guys who may very well have been princes crossed my path, but I couldn't see them all that well because I was wearing frog-colored glasses. In other words, I was a walking cliche: always pining for the bad boys who showed no interest or treated me like a piece of gum that had gotten stuck on the bottom of their sneakers. And the few men who acted like I was the most compelling thing since The Mona Lisa? I found them irritating. I was sure they weren't right for me. (These symptoms, as I probably don't have to tell you, are indicators of one strain especially sneaky strain of that dread disease commitmentitis phobius. Since it's too scary to actually get close to someone who might end up hurting you or rejecting you eventually, the sick person avoids it by ignoring serious romantic candidates and running after douchebags.)

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Luckily, all that began to change in my late twenties. After a few years of trying to figure out what the hell my problem was, with the help of my shrink, Dr. H. I started giving guys who actually liked me a shot. Though I knew from the get-go that I'd never end up spending the rest of my life with any of them, getting in a little practice at being in relationships seemed like a good idea.

Anyway, the point is, I think we can cross blatant self-handicapping off the list of possible reasons why I might still be single.

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But surely, there must be SOME other big thing wrong with me, right? Otherwise, how to explain the fact that my longest relationship, to date, has been four months long? And yet, as far as I can tell, I'm reasonably attractive, reasonably intelligent, reasonably successful, with a pretty good sense of humor and a decent heart. I also wear clean underwear, have a full set of teeth, and my nose is free of warts. I have been assured many times that I do not have chronic halitosis. People do not turn to stone when they look at me.

So what the hell is my problem?

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