OK, here's another mistake that I can wallow in self-pity and beat myself up over: if there's a girl at work I'm attracted to and have a fair amount in common with, and one day she's all depressed because her boyfriend left her, and after 10 that night she calls me to say thanks for cheering her up earlier and she's feeling much better now and she's confident she'll find someone else eventually, and we get to talking and it turns out that hey, she kinda had a minor crush on me too, and whaddaya know, I'm single, and she asks if she can come over... If all that happens, I should say yes.
This is not what I did. Instead, I said I wanted to get a good night's sleep, but we could definitely get together later in the week.
All that was Monday. By the time I spoke to her Tuesday night, she had got back together with her boyfriend. I reacted by telling myself that this is what happens when I let myself get optimistic, and by drinking the last of the beer in my apartment. (Which was only two bottles. Don't worry too much.) This morning, though, I figured out that, ya know, maybe there's something I should have done a little differently Monday night. Hell, the absolute worst-case scenario would have been we spend hours talking until one of us learns something repulsive about the other or she decides she was meant for him after all. But some kind of better result would have been much more likely, and as for the best-case scenario, who knows?
So why didn't I invite her over? Looking back, there were three reasons: partly because I genuinely did want to get a good night's sleep, partly because I was afraid she would think less of me because of the mess of my apartment, and partly because I didn't want to rush things, either in appearance or in actual fact.
Yes, I realize there's no end to the list of reasons those concerns are very, very stupid.
It's things like this that sometimes make me think I really do have no chance at all of a happy relationship. It took me more than a day to figure out where I screwed up and exactly how bad the reasons for it were. Why should I expect to be any quicker on the uptake next time? Hell, this is at most the second time something like this has happened in my life, so what makes me think there will be a next time?
And yeah, I know this is an unhealthy attitude. Blah blah selfish manipulative arguably sexist blah. But given that it is my attitude, I should at least learn the rules of it and how to function socially with it, and I can't even manage that.