I feel like such an idiot. I have just been conned. I spent half the day chatting on Facebook and then via text to a ‘gorgeous Harvard graduate’. Even after all the bad spelling and shocking grammar, I still tried to convince myself he really was a doctor. Not just any doctor; a doctor who has lived and travelled around the world and saved many lives whilst maintaining an exquisite physique. And, what’s more, he seemed interested in me.
I am so naÃ¯ve. Very few of his pictures are even of the same person and they are all presumably stolen from other sites and profiles. He probably didn’t even finish high school and judging by his need for forgery is – I would guess – an unfortunate looking chap. I was lonely and hopeful. I was the perfect prey.
There are rumours of a serial killer (or killers) preying on single gay men in Gauteng. Six men have already been found murdered (some in their beds). There is no evidence of forced entry and speculation of a ‘date’ having taken place is assumed due to evidence of wine having been consumed on site before the murder in at least one of the cases. Gossip via the gay-grapevine has it that the victims were on dating websites.
It appears they willingly gave entry to the murderer or murderers as they had presumably arranged a date or get-together with the life-snatcher/s. The murderer may very well be a charming and attractive man. I could very easily have been a victim too if I had been unlucky (as could many of my friends and acquaintances). I am also single, warm-blooded and looking for love. It could’ve been me.
Just the other day I met the loveliest man (also via the internet) and shamelessly proceeded to throw myself and my projections at him until he ran away in self-defence. We had a tiny whirlwind romance (more like a mini dust storm, actually). I watched myself in horror as I became all clingy and desperate for his approval and acceptance.
“There are dozens of us parading around with ‘false profiles’ hoping to pull the pink wool over everyone else’s eyes…”
I wanted him to see me. I realised how invisible I felt when I met him and I wanted him to verify my existence and scoop me up out of my isolation. I wanted him to help me prove that I was “a real boy,” like Pinocchio. Because I had stopped believing that I was. But it wasn’t in his job description and that kind of intensity is admittedly quite repulsive.
In the aftermath I have had a ‘light bulb’ moment and realised that I have self-esteem as low as an Amy Winehouse joke. And it was low even before my little romance storm arrived and then blew over. I don’t feel rich, famous, sexy, talented or muscular enough. I am not “man” enough, for me.
I have become my own worst critic. I am not fishing for compliments or hoping for a wave of praise and reassurance from friends and family who read this. I appreciate all the constant love and support but it’s not what you think that’s the problem. I have been measuring myself and found myself wanting.
I have been judging and sentencing myself. Bringing the hammer down on my long awkward arms and legs and less-than-flat stomach. Slamming my inadequate and erratic income, criticising my unpredictable and inconsistent career and knocking my inability to find and maintain a meaningful intimate relationship with a significant other.
I know I have achieved a lot, that I am loved and have great potential. But I am stifled under the weight of my own ambitions and shattered illusions. I look around me and I see that I am not the only one. There are dozens of us parading around with ‘false profiles’ hoping to pull the pink wool over everyone else’s eyes but, more than anything, trying to convince ourselves that we are worthy of our own merciless approval.
Self-help books have made self-love into a running joke. I don’t know what to believe any more. Yet I know that self-love is the key to end all my woes. I wonder how I should go about building myself up. How does one fall for oneself?
Perhaps I should go meditate and chant in India, pig-out in Italy, fall in love in Bali and discover that elusive “secret” – and then come home and publish an international bestseller called “Eat, Gay, Love”.