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A somewhat delayed insight from a comment Naomi made to me in IM when I told her that I didn't have a social life in high school: all this time I've been defining "social life" in a way that focussed on dating and other activities where the point was to have or find a romantic partner.

I've also been very shy, for as long as I can remember, so of course I didn't have one, by that definition. I did have some fairly close (male) friends. But that didn't count, by that definition.

Even now, what I've been calling my "social life" (what there is of it) consists mostly of the handful of parties I go to, and things I do with Colleen. I don't think of conventions, late-night conversations, song-swapping sessions and filk circles as part of a "social life".

Silly old Bear.

Fortunately, my background in science and software makes me familiar with the idea that changing the way you describe a problem can drastically simplify it or even make it go away. It's never too late for a paradigm shift.

Not that knowing that I had a social life after all would have helped me get dates...

Date: 2009-11-18 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think of you as having a very active social life, perhaps because you invite people over to your house on a regular basis. Much more than I do, though I think of myself as being fairly social.

And I invite people to my house much more than I get invited to houses, which I've been interpreting as me being more social than average, though I suppose it could be that people don't seek my company :-)

Date: 2009-11-18 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Could just mean that you're more decisive/organized than most. I tend to invite more than I get invited, partly because people are -- sometimes accurately -- afraid that I won't have the physical energy to come to their places, but partly because I can get my act together to decide who I want to invite, when, and for what, and go make it happen, and a lot of people just sort of sit there vaguely thinking it'd be nice if they had more people over sometime.

That's a pretty common pattern ...

Date: 2009-11-18 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
for a married man to "delegate" all the social stuff to his wife.

Date: 2009-11-18 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It might have -- after all, it would have changed your image of yourself, made you see yourself as capable of social things. Since dating is a social thing, even a small amount of self-confidence in the umbrella area "social things" might have made a difference back then in your willingness to attempt to get a date.

Date: 2009-11-18 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, since we can't rewrite the past, now is what matters!

Date: 2009-11-18 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've always been a social bird, but it didn't get me a date in high school - you know being a geek was a contagious disease the average guys didn't want to get, and the geek guys? I thought they weren't interested in me because they didn't pick up on my heavy-handed flirting!

"Do you want to go out with me?"
"Sure! Let's go to the game store and get that new module for D&D! It'll go over great with the guys for Saturday's game!"
"What about dating?"
"I'm pretty sure we can get all of our character's timelines in sync with just a couple of hours with the DM, to start it."

Well, at least I had a social life, hanging out with the gaming geeks! (And, years later, my geeky friends told me they *thought* that I might be flirting, but thought that they must be mistaken, because no one would seriously consider dating anyone as socially geeky as them...)

Have fun socializing!

Date: 2009-11-18 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sure the combination of mutual insecurity and mutual cluelessness has foiled many a potential romance!

Date: 2009-11-18 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
May I snag your next-to-last paragraph to send to my very own Rather Large Bear? I think it might help him. I'll also link to the post so he can have context, should he wish.

Fortunately, both of us no-social-life folks managed to get together. At an orgy, no less. But a social life? oh, no...

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