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I'm 29, a reasonably attractive, healthy white male, 5'10".
I grew up in Arizona, and moved to Las Vegas in 2005. I had a Christian upbringing, and two great, happy, loving parents who were married 33 years (before my mom passed).
I grew up homeschooled and was shy to the point of it being debilitatingly so. It's taken 29 years to gain some semblance of normalcy in the real world, where I can reasonably function. While I think public schools are crap, some form of socialization as a child is important, and I barely got it. Barely.
I've shared two decades-long friendships, that without, I would have completely lost my mind by now. Sadly, my friends live in other states and I don't see them often. I've found gaining true friends is hard, but I've found the biggest problem is that *I* rarely meet people *I* want to get to know (this being Vegas, it's harder).
The two relationships I've had (in my whole life) started here in Vegas. Both were, really, disasters, though I suppose the first one I shared some genuine feelings... at first. In retrospect, I place the central failure of the relationships upon the character flaws of the women I was with.
Let me repeat that: I place the blame for the failure of both relationships squarely on the character flaws and problems both women possessed.
That might sound narcissistic, but I'd always point out (at least to myself), that my girlfriends' only problems with me were the problems I had with them.
The first was a single mother, with raven black hair and pale, white skin. I thought she was beautiful. She was unique, wildly opinionated, but somewhat emasculating -- loud, didn't listen well, pummelled her opinions in your face, was never wrong. It was a rollercoaster -- some of it amusing, exciting, but not healthy. I spent the relationship feeling completely bulldozed by a histrionic drama queen. I cared about her, for a time I believed I loved her, but I always kept thinking, "This isn't how I imagined it." I told her she had things she needed to work on, she hated hearing it, but to her credit she did buy some books on relationships (that didn't seem to help). She made me feel as though I was stupid and wrong to try to "change" her, even though the things I was trying to change were BAD QUALITIES. I remember being in bed with her one night, terrified, "Oh god, what if I end up with this girl. It will be a nightmare." She was always pushing to get married, and when after a year I refused, saying it was too soon, she left town.
The next was an educated girl from San Francisco who worked in a law office -- cute, quirky, culturally aware, and sort of Jewish/observational in a way I really liked, like a character out of a Woody Allen movie. I wanted to be with someone I could make jokes about everything with, and she, to extent, had that potential. She was *interesting*, just like my pervious girlfriend, as I'm often completely BORED by most girls.
But the character issues were always a central problem. She had cheated on her ex, she had had a homosexual relationship that seemed so unbelievably shallow and stupid, she wanted to be a LAWYER and had a certain career-minded drive I found a bit off-putting (I'm not saying this, per se, is a character flaw), but ultimately the biggest issue was that over time I began to see her as exceedingly superficial emotionally. A person who could be so easily woo'ed and impressed by money and power. Sometimes she would drift into this Valley Girl California way of talking, saying "like" every word, after spending time with someone who talked the same way. Just like that, her personality would change. She would always talk about how she wanted to have a baby, but in the same sentence say she'd need someone to take care of her NEWBORN -- yes, newborn -- while she commuted to California for classes. I would think, "What the f**k?" I never felt any love from her, more like some initial infatuation, which eventually devolved into some awful fights and verbal exchanges I'd never want to re-live. I honestly didn't think the girl was capable of love, not for me, and I had seriously doubts about how she would raise children. "Unstable" was the word I'd always associate with her.
Aside from that, I've dated a bit here, more in the past. I've always believed a connection leads to sex, not the other way around, so I'm not an aggressive male. Lately I just don't try. I'm worn out. I think the BULLSHIT in American relationships eventually wears people down, wears 'em out. It's worn me out.
I NEVER imagined my life would end up like this. I never imagined I'd meet so few girls I'd have ANY connection with, and the ones I did have connections with would be marginally insane to begin with. I sure as hell never imagined I'd live in this hellhole.
My parents, coming from another generation, represented ANOTHER UNIVERSE in terms of how they conducted themselves as people, and as people in a relationship with each other. So that was the model I was raised on, and I go out into the real world -- after a sheltered upbriging -- and the real world is shocking. It's just sad. It's a mess. And I'm kind of a mess, because I don't have any footing. I'm here, in Vegas, what am I doing here? I hate it here. Yet, I don't move. I stay for a job. I'm kind of broken. Lonely. It gets to me.
I looked into PUA, found it interesting, but I've concluded, like many others here, it's not the answer. I don't even want to be That Guy, some dude rattling off pre-packaged crap. I'd rather develop my own personality, but I've found my personality has a lot to do with feeling good inside, feeling some sense of hope, and after being here for years, suffering from addiction that has nearly destroyed me, bad relationships, and realizing I'm somewhat stuck in my career choice, it's hard to wake up the next day feeling bright and sunny and go out there and win the world over. It's hard to maintain. It's pretty damn rare these days I'm even in a good mood.
I've tried dating on Okcupid, and it seemed last year I got a date or two, but lately... nothing. Zilch. I've been told that my profile is a bit harsh-sounding and angry, but I barely get any hits anyway. I get the feeling there's really no intellectual pulse out there. My previous girlfriends, albeit nuts, at least had SOMETHING TO SAY. I find girls, despite the stereotype that they "never stop talking", may make a lot of noise, but rarely say anything. I'm just plain bored.
I don't get the feeling women here are interested in men in a reasonable way. It's either some asshole whho's been in and out of their lives and fathered their kids, or some douchebag, or that's...it. You don't see flirtation. You don't see people connecting
In conclusion, there is DEFINITELY a cultural problem here in the US. No question. It's funny, someone posted something about Toronto, and I got that impression from something I had seen on TV about it. Similar to San Francisco. These places are cultural death-zones of complete morons. I've also heard that in Omaha, Nebraska, girls are open and nice, and they'll use the "love" word after a month of dating. So who knows? (Of course, that presupposes that using the "L" word after a month is a GOOD THING, and I'm not saying that, but it would be a nice change after years of this crap). I think we're victims of our environment to a very large extent, and yes, MOST of America really does share the same problems. It's not much better in Arizona, I know that. A little, but not much. I've considered Utah, maybe it's better there? Who knows.
The biggest, overriding, shockingly depressing facet of my life thus far is the LACK OF CONNECTION, real connection, with other people. Meaningful, emotional connection. Am I the problem? Maybe to extent. I don't reach out. I'm stubborn. But I don't see a lot I want to reach out to, either. It's scary. I hate it. I've always hated it. I've always known this False Culture wasn't for me.
Also, kudos to Winston, without him, we wouldn't have anywhere to go. There are other sites about expatriating, but they're, as has been mentioned before, somewhat shallow. This isn't.
I also really envy the men who have moved and live abroad. To me, that's a hell of an accomplishment, something I see as out of reach... but maybe not as out of reach as I think.
Welcome to our forum.
What type of education do you have? Education is generally the key to moving abroad. It can also be done with less education, but the choices are fewer and it's tougher.
You seem to describe yourself as a very shy person. Do you think you could teach English to a classroom full of foreign students? Or would that make you too nervous?
Teaching English is one of the most common ways to work abroad.
Sadly, I have three years of my four year Bachelor's -- International Affairs -- finished. I'm not sure if I could get away with saying I have a degree, as I imagine most jobs would check up on it.
I could teach a classroom, surely. Despite being shy, my shyness is intrapersonally related, mostly just to being around idiotic Americans. I'm not shy around people who are at least friendly. I also have worked over two years as a list person at two of Las Vegas' busiest poker rooms, using a microphone to direct human traffic, talk to thousands of people, etc. I'm in public all day at work, around hundreds of people. I also have supervisory/management experience.
I would take any job. I worked on a farm in Hawaii and a couple of wineries doing cellar work in California, so I can do agricultural work. I live a pauper's life in Vegas, a very humble existence, I'm totally out of place here. I've no need for American accoutrement, aside from the basics. What I need is to feel like the people I'm talking to have souls behind their eyes.
I was thinking if I were to homeschool kids, I'd also have them in some sort of soccer team or perhaps martial arts. Or maybe even Cub scouts. Just for socialization. It would help if there were a few families to hook up with who also homeschool their kids.
As for American women, they only qualify as women biologically. Most of them. They take their cues on how to behave from soap operas, not from real or genuine interactions between their parents. So they dont know how to behave like human beings or how to fulfill the role nature intended for them (that is if they wanted to). They dont consider men to be worthy of respect. The treatment you receive from them will be as if you are an object, not a person. And they are mostly interested in getting their attention fixes or money from a man, never the man for himself.
They have deep seated emotional and psychological issues that are barriers for any true and loving relationship. Generally they would only be good for having sex with, but even that would be a chore, since you'd actually have to give chase, which means there will be mindgames involved.
If you have a passion for wine & working on vineyards, you're in the right "time" but not the right "place'.
Stop dating single mothers with young children, and make a plan to get out of being poor. As the man, your women will expect you to build a strong house and bring home the bacon, no matter where you reside.
Why do you say "sadly"? Your degree is 3/4 complete! What's stopping you from finishing it?
My advice would be to find a way to finish your degree and then get TEFL or CELTA certificate. This would give you the most options.
Hello Justin, were your parents Christian fundlementalists? As a former fundie, I know there is degree of cult like and isolationist behavior in that religion.
There are two web-sites I like to visit, Jesus needs new PR and Stuff Fundies Like.
To make more friends in LV, I would try the web site meetup.com There are groups for every interest. They have some singles groups. I had some good friends there, (but no women I would ever marry) including a female friend (she is 60) who works for the college in South America. She is helping me get my TEFL certificate and she supports my search for a foriegn wife. I also took a part time job at the book store in order to network.
Make friends and network, It has improved my life.
Next plan your trip to meet foriegn women. Latin America is in your backyard. Costa Rica might be a good start. But there are plenty Americans there. When I was in Bogota, for some Colombian women I met, I was the first American they ever dated.
I used LatinAmericanCupid.com to meet women, added them to my facebook friends list and chatted with them on MSN.
Or you good to a Spanish school (about $300/wk, room, food, classes) learn some Spanish and date some locals
Thanks for the advice. They weren't Christian fundies, but they were Christian. Not very open-minded.
I'll check out those sites.
You need to get out of the US; forget the mid-west.
Your story is but a variation of all of ours. Congrats for realizing what most American men never do.
Yeah, yours is a typical story. We can just write a similar title and leave the city name blank. As Jackal is saying, you need to get out. And do not get caught up in the ranting and whining. It has its place to help you determine the problem and assess the situation but you now need to concentrate on the solution. For now, you need to be patient for a while and spend the next year getting ready. Remember that frustration can be easily re-cast into determination and used as fuel for action.
Here is the fastest as the crow flies solution for you:
1) Get your BA/BS. International Affairs is a good BA/BS to help you become a language teacher- this is the fastest way out.
2) Since you are in Vegas, you are a skip and jump from Mexico. Go there over the weekends and hang out to get the feel of abroad and to recharge your emotional/spiritual batteries.
3) DELTA/CELTA certificates are fine but for now you may want to get some simple $200-300 TEFL certificate online. Google "TEFL certificate". And while you are in Vegas, volunteer at some refugee or immigrant program where you have to tutor English- you can do it once/twice a week. Do it for several months to a year. Try at two places even. Good for the resume. You can also teach ESL online - google language exchange and get a language partner- someone who will teach you some other language in exchange for English or google online English teacher/native speaker wanted. Even if you get one online student per month, it is something to put on your resume.
After one year you have your BA, have online and real world teaching experience and a "small" TEFL certificate. You also speak some foreign language.
This is it- you are employable now. Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan are yours now and so are many countries in Latin America. Go and teach in Asia for one full year, and visit the Philippines while there. Have a blast.
Then get your DELTA/CELTA certificate when you save up some money.
Now, you have two years of experience and a CELTA/DELTA. And you can now move up to better paying jobs in places like Kuwait, Oman and even Saudi. These offer long vacations and good money to save.
This is the fastest and the surest plan to get out. Everything else is iffy and not guaranteed.
And it is no good for your mental health and well being to be worrying the US for relationship and friendship satisfaction. The country is now mentally ill/ It was good in the past but it sucks now. It just can't give you what you want just like turnip can't give you blood. Expecting things to change in the now very perverse, over the hill US society is an exercise in futility. It will only leave you more frustrated.
Here is my poem on the matter- so you can read between the lines. Sung to the tune of :"I'd like to teach the world to sing"
Teaching Pigs to Fly
You want to teach your pigs to fly
But they just won't learn-
No matter how hard you try
Those wings they just can't earn!
You'd like to teach your pigs to sing
And play the violin,
But they just wouldn't do those things
So much to your chagrin.
You thought it might be your technique-
The lack of teaching skills
Could be the reason that a pig
Won't answer to your drills.
You went to teaching seminars
And bought some training books
To make your hoggies movie stars
And engineers and cooks.
You try to make them eat with fork
And say: "Good morning", too,
But it just looks that only pork
They can produce for you.
Don't blame yourself if oinking pigs
Don't want to learn to fly,
As all day long in slop they dig
While you still edify.
But on the other hand, you are
The one who must be blamed,
For you will never get too far,
And only be ashamed
If you attempt to educate
An animal whose lot
Is to be served upon a plate
Or boiled inside a pot.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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