Projecting

You join a dating site because you don’t go out to bars anymore, or at least not under the circumstances that would allow a stranger to approach you.

Art by Aurelius Battaglia

You go on a lot of dates; over drinks, over dinner, during the days of summer, dates that amount to little more than walking and talking in the presence of another.

A month passes, then two, then three. Your excitement about the possibilities wane; it turns out they do not know familiarity breeds contempt, or that desire requires distance. Nothing gripping happens because you know better than to expect people to ignite the burning flame within you at this age. These suitors are all real people, as it turns out — as are you.

So you disable, or delete, the accounts in question and keep the steadies on long leashes, allowing them to make infrequent rotations through your orbit, all the while wondering why these attempts at interpersonal normalcy never work out.