1452 The Way It Is.

These two have got it bad.

I’ve been basically single for the entire run of this comic. A little longer than that actually. It gets to a person after a while. I keep thinking that I should do something about it, but I never do. What little security I have is founded on my ability to make this comic and in my experience relationships are time bombs waiting to go off. But still, being alone constantly has degraded me. My interest in life in general has decreased little by little. My hope in any sort of non tragic future is pretty low. At some point I’ll have to do something about it. I don’t know exactly what that would be. I’m in a situation similar to Mike’s. Living in America’s armpit is not conducive to dating success for someone like me. There is nothing, and no one, to do around here. As far as I know anyway. I haven’t really ever been anywhere around here except for stores. If there were anyplace else worth knowing about I feel like I would already. In any case the door to a happy future is creaking shut. I need to find something to wedge in there for a bit longer.

Tangentially related, the Teen has been bugging me for an Xmas list because she wants to get a jump on it this year and help out mom. The problem is that I don’t like things anymore. Not things that you can just send someone out after at any rate. I don’t really buy movies much anymore because I don’t want to see most of them more than once. Amiibo are hard enough for me to find, the last time she tried to buy me something along those lines she fell just shy of what I actually wanted. I buy most comics as downloads if I buy them at all. I preorder the physical copies to lock in the extra low prices at Amazon before the regular listing goes up. Basically everything I still like in the world is something you have to really know what you’re doing to procure. Except for Legos. You can pretty much buy the same sets over and over and it makes no difference. Especially with the Minecraft stuff. So that’s what my list is looking like at the moment. Sets with parts I like. I’m also throwing in ridiculously expensive transformers no one will ever by me. Even myself. I really like the Masterpiece ones, but they are too expensive for me to get them.

I don’t know though, I feel like I should like more things, or care about more stuff. Maybe I care about the right amount of things and I’m just too close to see it now.


I live with seven other dudes and I just made all of them read this comic. The half of the apartment who are in a happy relationship or indifferent to romance, enjoyed the strip- My half of the apartment, the guys who are neither, suddenly have to reflect on our circumstances.
I loved this, as I love the comic as a whole- How you manage to have any character exude such happiness is magical.
I wish you the best of luck in your search, and remember, Pandora’s box holds one last present- hope.

To follow on Rocky’s comment, may I suggest the Camino de Santiago de Compostella? It is a very long walk in Europe, and it can honestly change your life.

I was pretty well feeling as low and stuck and lonely as I had ever felt before I went on my walk, and it honestly helped. Not in a hippie jargon way either. It just gave me time to think about my life, and where I wanted to go, while giving me a grand vista of experience and beautiful settings to look at and explore. It’s a jump-starter for escaping ruts.

If you’re interested, check out the Martin Sheen movie The Way on Netflix sometime.

“A very long walk” is an understatement: it’s a pilgrimage :S

@Jacky, I sort of know how you feel: single for almost 2 years now.
My luck is my sports and my work, that has me coming out of the house a lot.
But as far as actually going out is concerned, I’m a hermit myself.
Maybe twice a year, to a party of my colleague and close friend. But I don’t see myself getting a girl there, as she mainly invites couples over. So yeah, I get the depressing part of being single for a longer period of time.

All I can say is “chin up” and “if you don’t feel good about yourself, you won’t make anyone else fall for you either.”
So I think your first step would have to be some soul searching. Good luck, dude.
Love the comic.

Ok cupid?

online dating? that’s like adding jet fuel to a bonfire…. might get lucky but alot of drama awaits.

buying stuff never really works either unless it’s in the course of learning a new skill. best feeling ever is when you start mastering it. a bonus is when you meet others with the same interest.

Dating sites can be rough, the mainstream sites don’t work well for people outside the mainstream idea of how a person should be as an adult and the interests they have. I would recommend looking at niche sites tailored to your interests. . I met my wife on a site called geek 2geek and we’re like today’s comic most of the time.
There’s always hope out there you just gotta push yourself out of your comfort zone to find it sometimes, take it from a former antisocial basement dweller turned semiantisosial married apartment dweller

the catch is location location location. in a major city i agree but anything less than that…. good luck. the pickens get slim and if your lucky a long distance relationship.

Hey, don’t knock long-distance. Me and my current partner (UK-America) have managed over two years thus far, I know an Ireland-Korea couple who have been going for five, and I know of a couple who were LD for five, lived together for two, then married.

That said, I didn’t meet on a dating site – met on an art site and just went on the similar interests.

In my experience, OKC is really only useful if you “fit the bill” before you even log on.

I mean, it’s online shopping for dates. If you can’t present the perfect product, don’t even bother listing it. That’s been my experience anyway. It really wasn’t the best for me when I was feeling lonely and depressed.

On these sites, you’re not supposed to be the nth “perfect” lying product. You can find such a date on any hip disco. To use correctly these kind of sites, you need to now what you’re looking for: someone who will freely bear with you and your moods, so to present yourself falsely is the way to catastrophe. Better is to be as out of the norm of the site as possible, but not in a way that would attract persons would have problems to resolve before thinking of dating: focus on your real interest, especially the ones who makes you different and unique. That was my experience the one time I used this kind of site: women were so glad to find someone who could talk naturally, and I didn’t feared to be perceived as weird as my point was to not bore myself: those who were uninterested were at least untertained, the entertainment could be enough to interest some. I spend there 3 days with a free account without picture of me (well there were pictures, weird ones), and got a few dates, and I went as far as stay with one of these dates for two years – and I am far from being a womanizer.

Actually, theses sites ressemble discos and bars. You have first to have a good time with someone before thinking of something else.

My advice to dating has always been to find a place to practice what you like. There you can only find people with whom you have at least one thing in common. For me it’s music, so I tend meet people at concerts – at the bar of the venue, a mere disinterest for the third band of five is a solid subject. Again, the point is not to be focused on having a date, but rather to spent a good time. That way you can’t really lose your time and someone else’s, or be unwelcomed or creepy. Of course if you aren’t talkative, it’s harder, but remember that communication is a reaaaaally important thing in a relationship, so better learn to open yourself from the beginning.

To Jackie: This is the counterpoint of doing things from home, you don’t have so much people to meet. I couldn’t know if there’s some place you could visit regularily in your city. There may or may not be a place to practice your interest, be it drawing courses (not that you need them), collecting things, discussing videogames or such. But if there is, this is where you will find most surely someone to share something with. If not, then, it’s a damn good point to begin with: find people to create such a place, througout adds and placates. Either you will succeed into creating it or not, it will be a golden occasion to meet passionate people about what you are yourself passionate. Remember this: people like not only success and confidence but dare, and daring to invest time in things is sexy. Of course, it’s not as simple as I say it, it brings from time to time discouragement, exhaust, disgut for this one person who tries to take the collective project for him/herself… but in the times between failures, it’s a great thing to be lived, and leads to more contact to people who will see you as someone great enough to live with…

…or you could teach a drawing class at a local community college? If they have a program like Adult Education or Continuing Education then you can be a “part-time” teacher without a bunch of alphabet soup after your name. All you need is practical experience. I’ve been published only 4-5 times, and have taught several writing classes. You’ve got tons more experience than me. This way you not only get to meet people, but you get to display your confidence, success and power in your own unique way.

A lot of people are down on misanthropy, but I and my circle of acquaintances find it to be the best and safest way to negotiate the social morass which is modern life.

1) Consider moving somewhere else. But be aware you can be just as lonely in a metropolitan area as you can in very rural Kansas.
2) Wherever you go, find somewhere you can hangout and socialize with others. A bar, a church, a dance hall, or a college would work very nicely. And take the time to socialize. That’s the hardest thing for me, and I’m more of a loner.
3) Internet can really fill in the gaps. (Just don’t pun as much on Twitter, please?)

Excellent advice. Whenever I feel lonely I like to go to a Starbucks with my tablet, get a drink, sit and either talk, or just enjoy being around people. There’s a place over on the Ohio river across from Cincy, called simple Newport on the Levee, I go there too, as it’s almost assured to have a lot of people there, especially on the weekends.

I would also suggest a hobby, something to take your mind off of your problems. I’ve got an electric guitar that’s been sitting around for years, and I think in the newt week or so I’m gonna start taking lessons for it again.

I work as a janitor for a sign company, and while everyone there is friendly, the entire place just starts to crush into you after awhile, and the depression can be strangulating sometimes. But don’t let it get to you too much, stuff like I’ve listed above can help beat the Depression.

That’s why a great thing to do at depressing jobs is to organize and unionize. Not only it’s better for work, but it’s a positive way to do things with people you sympathize with. From my experience, joining forces can be a real boost.

Oh, we have a union, we’ve had one for a long time. We have a golf outing every October, and a company picnic in the Summer.

I always forgot unions work different way in the USA… I guess it’s a cultural difference and I can’t really explain what work an union do where I am but it’s more among the lines of protecting people and less into organizing free time.

Rethink your gift lists. You don’t want stuff, you want experiences. Ask for gift certificates to get out of the house, restaurants, movie theatres, or one for electronics to keep in reserve when your equipment fails. Do you have uber or lyft in your area? You probably could use that as a gc for the times you aren’t well enough to drive. Stuff is just stuff.

This is going to be long. I apologize up front for that.

I have a similar problem, with some major differences though. I haven’t gone as long as you have (though I am still going through a long stint at the moment), and I think I have a lot of other things to dump my energy into that you may not have available. I live in an interesting area which I’ve learned to get entertainment from occasionally.

The biggest thing for me that helped though was an experience with pain (my teeth coupled with a neck/shoulder injury) and a sort of fever dream in which I felt like the whole world was a lie. I dreamed I had made the whole thing up just to keep myself from feeling lonely or crazy, and the truth of the world was laid bare to me in the dream. I was a being tearing myself apart, unable to stop existing, but unable to make existence anything but pain. In my dream I was constantly tearing myself apart and reforming myself, and my left arm started burning while I was tearing that side of myself apart in the dream.

I woke up, and the feeling was still there. I felt like I was still dreaming, and the burning pain I felt was still there too. I turned on all my lights, tried to calm down… but I couldn’t (and still haven’t entirely) shaken the feeling that everything around me was, at least to some extent, illusion. That the reality was I was in pain, in hell maybe, and that there was no way to escape. The reason it was terrifying to me is while I was dreaming I felt like I was connected to… well, everything. All life, all existence. Like a veil had been pulled back, and I was showing myself a truth I was afraid of. For a second, I felt like I was touching the universe itself, all of it. The endlessness of it, the pain, the entropy, the immensity of it… and I stress this, the endlessness of it. The fact that death wasn’t going to solve a thing for me REALLY is what sunk in for me. And if that was true, according to the dream, I’d ALWAYS be in pain.

Scared the hell out of me. On a deep, mental and spiritual level, it terrified me because I couldn’t argue against it. At least at first.

I wanted to go call my parents, or wake up a friend, but they were (in my mind then) just aspects of the same thing I was; it would be like talking to myself. I needed someone else, something else, to find comfort in, but all I had in my room was me, the pain in my right side, and the burning on my left arm (from the dream). I don’t think I’ve ever felt as alone as that, honestly.

Then it struck me that if I am an aspect of a great being (the universe) that is never ending, all powerful, and everywhere… if I can do anything BUT destroy myself (thanks to conservation of matter), then it stands to reason that the way out of this isn’t trying to tear myself apart (like I was in the dream) but to build… something. To have an effect. To invest your energy, your power, your interest into something else, even if it’s “just an illusion.” There is no argument which says that a thing must be given worth from an outside source to be valuable; if I think a thing is important, it is. To me.

I figure that works for the universe too. It worked for me. If you’re an all-powerful, eternal thing that can’t stop existing, I figure you have two options; tear youself apart endlessly (unsuccessfully) constantly building up rage and pain in the vain hope that it’ll just END at some point… or give up that anger and create something bigger, better, and more powerful than yourself. Invest in it, change it, but let it grow beyond yourself. Let go of control without letting go of interest. The instant I had that thought, I was no longer afraid of leaving my room, and the pain faded away.

I’m sorry if that was too much proselytizing, but… that’s what got me out of my depression. A fever dream probably affected by the pain medication I was taking at the time. Go figure.

Any port in a storm, I guess. I hope you feel better soon man.

I remember you said you liked curvier women and I’ve seen an App called Feabie which might just meet that requirement. No idea what it’s actually like though.

Christmas: Maybe one of those walking treadmills? Or a nose irrigator for your sinuses? Or that Manga paint program you mentioned a while back?

Meeting women: OK, you need to socialize more. Try to find an activity that women are drawn to, to lower the difficulty level. What would that be you ask? Um …

Also, maybe you could dip your toes in the water by doing something like being a guest teacher at art school (just a lecture or so, the paid teachers love that sort of thing) or having some sort of gallery show. Hey, why not? You’ve been doing this for 7-8 years now.

As far as meeting people, have you given thought to seeking a relationship with a fellow artist/writer/comic enthusiast? She would hopefully respect your work on your comic and give you the freedom to pursue that, and it would be something you two have in common to talk about.

As far as not having an interest in material things, why not ask her to donate to a charity or cause that you support in your name? Or you could ask for a published copy of a webcomic that you enjoy, so that you can support your fellow webcomic artists, with the added bonus of getting to look into some publishing alternatives for Between Failures Book #2.

I would recommend some form of online dating but those are not as successful as advertised. If anything maybe just make friends through online sources such as steam or maybe a social media outlet of some kind where you can talk to people one on one in some way shape or form. They internet is a vast sea for finding friends and significant others. That and you don’t really need to be looking. Just playing some sort of game with a friend or maybe looking at funny jokes and just run into them through that outlet.

I hate Christmas lists (and Christmas in general). Gifts are supposed to be little signs to show how you feel about someone, not endless stuff from lists that you give to someone because only because you’re socially obligated to give gifts on certain days.

This is why I give gifts sporadically whenever the mood strikes me and the gift is always either something that I handmade specifically for the recipient or something that I randomly saw while I was out doing errands (or window shopping for fun) that made me think of the recipient.

I don’t have much brilliance to add to this conversation but look at all these people who are supporting you. We all wanna help you be a better you.
Keep up the great work with the comic.

Oh, gross, Thomas.

And by that, I mean awwwwwwwwww.

Hey Crave, you’ll find yours. You’re smart, you’re funny, and you’ve got hella artistic skills. Online dating can be great for those of us with massive social anxiety, to be entirely fair. Yeah, it’s all hit-or-miss, but so is in-person dating. Just a different platform.

Wow. Go Thomas! :)

I am sorry things are tough Crave. Sending good vibes, prayers, rainbows, minions, unicorns, jedis, whatever works to brighten your world a bit. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with the rest of us.

Similar situation here. Rest assured, you’re a regular Casanova compared to me. I couldn’t get the time of day in a clock shop. I once hung out with Rodney Dangerfield in a bar till he said,”Man, go away kid-you’re cramping my style!”
They say there’s someone for everyone. I hope this is true for both our sakes, though I’ve no evidence to support it. It’ possible”they” are sadistic liars and laughing gleefully at our failings. But maybe not. In any event, cheer up! We need you in a mood conducive to more comics(and especially more Carol!).

Completely different comment I wanted to go with than the rest of the folks. Seriously pick yourself up a Masterpiece Transformer it two. There are a few around the $70 range that are fantastic and don’t fear the Takara stuff, they’re all very well made.

I got myself a Prowl last Christmas and he sits happily on my shelf with my other Transformers looking exquisitely awesome.

I am going to suggest the following as general advice for finding someone to date. Join a club or group that does something you like. Look for stuff at your local library or game store or what ever group activity you enjoy doing. (this is much like the old advice of go to your church plenty of fish there) If you meet someone that is doing one thing you enjoy you can find out if there is more to it as you interact in a non date environment. Heck you have your characters do that sort of thing and just like it started stuff for them that evolved it can do the same for you. And if you don’t meet anyone that trips your fancy you at least got to enjoy an activity you like anyway.

Check out peaugh’s or EmGo’s YouTube channels if you want to see some pretty spiffy (and even more expensive) third party transformers. Prices vary from company to company and based on the size.

I understand your situation a lot more than I’d like to admit I do. And I simply /love/ this comic of yours- in no small part because of the lack of painful artificial drama, which is a pleasant change from a lot of the other things I’ve read.

A lot of folks here have suggested travel. It’s a damned strong tonic for making yourself feel less lonely, being part of a military family I’ve traveled half the world- especially back during the Cold War days. It’s a great thing.

But, as I’ve gotten old, I’ve become something more of a hermit. No where to really go, few people to really hang out with, and definitely no money to spare for roaming. Grodd willing that may well change once I manage to work my way to California, but anyway I’m getting far from the idea I wanted to proffer-

If you’re something of a hermit like me, Jackie? Try an MU* of some sort. I hang on several. MUSH, MUCK, MUD, whichever- larger ones are a great place to socialize and get that fix of human contact (however distant) one needs to continue surviving without going mad, it’s kept me going for over ten years now.

Maybe that could help you meet some people and get some contacts and expand your options in life. Maybe not. I dunno. But it’s kept me sane and willing to get out of bed in the morning, so maybe it can help you too.

On the vein of finding like minded people to interact with, how about art or webcomic related online groups, maybe something like Brad Guigar’s group (although that is subscription based). I am sure there are others. You could talk to people with similar interests, and who knows, maybe you will click with someone. I don’t know how big your city is, but maybe community based groups, perhaps based at the local library?

Not sure how much it means, but if you ever want someone to just rant to or a type of pen pal, feel free to send me an email. Loved the comic since I was introduced to it and I’d love to help in any way that I can.

The only advice I’ll give you, Jackie, is that procrastination is just like masturbation: in the end you’re only screwing yourself.

I’m far too jaded and bitter from my own personal experiences to offer anything more positive.

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