2022.01.05. Toxic Attachment I. “Daydreams” of the One.
Coequal with my goal of eliminating my social anxiety is eliminating toxic attachments. In many ways it is the same thing: disordered human bonding and interaction due to toxic shame. I define toxic attachment as the impulse to make an improper emotional investment in another person.
For someone like me who deals with childhood abandonment, this is mostly the impulse to attach too quickly to someone for fear of them abandoning me.
I will check on my toxic attachment every so often as it plays out.
I do not have feelings for anyone in my orbit. But I am unplugging from a horrific social contract which played me for a fool. I believed in the One. That special woman I was to love for eternity. She never arrived.
I’ll spare you my deep toxic history with this misguided notion. Once I heard the argument against seeking the One, I immediately realized I had fallen for a false idol. The One that remained eternally absent from my life.
I’m a recovering One-aholic.
Perhaps one day a woman will give me love. But in the mean time, I accept that no woman who I attempt to love will do so (and never has). That is not how at works. Sorry, Culture. You took 40+ years of my life on this. All I got in return was six blissful weeks before a brutal affection rug pull. A rug pull that I caused. But that my One-itis malware couldn’t comprehend.
I still have flare-ups of the One in my imagination. I call this daydreaming: tender, wishful, loving, toxic, idealized thoughts of a woman … that are never reciprocated. These expressions are dangerous. This hypnotic quality begs a man to rest in his neediness with or without the woman present. Tragic.
Current flare-ups. Very mild inflammation.
My curiosity about her goes back a couple years. I’ve wondered about her a lot. Recent warm interactions with her triggered daydreaming. Warmth is too close to the heart of what I’ve experienced from her. It gets to me.
It is fueled by sympathy too. My suspicion that her height has caused her to lose out on affection from intimidated men. Makes her “easier to love.”
Why is this toxic? I know nothing about her. I’ve had one brief conversation with her. That’s no reason to daydream. Should I be at all surprised to find out she’s happily married? No. She could be married and still ignored by most of the men she encounters, because her height scares them off.
Suppose Tall Girl is married. My daydream is a waste. Suppose Tall Girl is available. My daydream is unattractive to her. Lose. Lose.
Suppose I seduce Tall Girl. I coldly calculate and adjust my style to meet her expectations of a man (leading, framing, flirting, body language). If it works, this is attractive to her as it increases her desire for me.
Whether or not she’s the One, seducing her is allocating my attention to being the kind of man that attracts her. And pining for her as the One allocates my attention to the one thing guaranteed to send her running in the opposite direction.
A young, married coworker. Very reserved. Demure. An antiquated word that fits her perfectly. We’ve worked in the same building for five years. Our work doesn’t overlap, so I’ve rarely spoken with her. I found her nominally attractive. Not my type.
Last September, I started my proto game, mostly trying to make eye contact with others. She was the first pretty girl to reciprocate. She suddenly became more attractive. I remember well the first time I caught her gaze. I immediately recognized her femininity. Her most attractive quality.
At work our eyes catch each other a couple times a week. Other fleeting moments pass between us. It is naturally shocking to discover I was ignorant of this latent attraction for five years. If she was single, I’d have approached (Tortoise refers to the slow pace of our connection).
I daydream because of the spark in our silent flirtation. But I go out of my way to not speak to her. There’s something fun about an unspoken mystery. Little gestures packed with silent drama.
I want to keep it this way. A little laboratory for signaling desire without using words. I love these exchanges. But should I invest in her because of them?
The sentimentality attached to the dream of the One is debilitating. It is a dream someone else gets to define. And its festering idealism causes men to want to exit the competition. Competing is part of what attracts the woman. Suppose one day I get a real chance with either. They will despise me if I idealize them.
The One. A dream defined by another.
Chasing Excellence. A dream defined by oneself.
These are mutually exclusive dreams. The One doesn’t want me to chase excellence. The actual woman does.
Worse, the One sentiment masks my own vice. Whenever I came close to getting her (a couple chances), always below the surface was a craven pride in my ability to seduce. Was I any better than the guy who openly embraces the seduction?
By giving up the One, I give up the fake virtue of idealized love. I admit that my “vice” (the desire to seduce, which is no vice at all) is the actual truthful behavior.
With both girls, my impulse to daydream is blissfully unaware of reality and wants to remain so. Despite not even being faithful within my daydream, I run this default mental script in the background, at the base layer of my psychology.
The One is self-limiting mental malware. By its operation, it moves the target of its affection further and further away. It inserts a woman (cherry picks tender thoughts of her, ignoring all else)… and dreams. How is that healthy?