I seem to attract attention from what I consider the wrong sort of woman and always have since my earliest impressionable teenage years. When in high school there were few female classmate peers I was ever attracted to, but I seemed to gain unwanted attentions on occasion from older girls (some with the misguided notion to "make a man of me" by deflowering a naive youth before he was ready). More attracted to young ladies a few years my junior, I could never gain their romantic interest in high school or college.
Now in my mid-40s and still unattached to any woman romantically, partially due to undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome I now realize, as I've gotten older the feedback/opinions from others on the subject of the mating game always has the same underlying hidden message in each effort or promise to "hook me up" or arrange a date - settle for whoever you can get or remain alone the rest of your life. Needless to say, I'm a stubborn son-of-a-gun who doesn't listen to things I refuse to accept from conventional wisdom.
Sure, I've got nothing big or great going for me in life at the moment (working in a last chance sort of job with few employment prospects otherwise) and have had trouble getting any writing project finished in the last 2 & 1/2 months (I'm close to finishing one longer short story for an anthology being opened in the near future). But when I hear I should "take whoever I can get" it always brings back memories of my horrible and practically nonexistent dating record from high school. I refused to attend my school's Junior Prom for a number of reasons - I'm not an outgoing socially skilled man, I didn't know who I even wanted to go with as a date and the most important reason being other students were trying to shoehorn the fat teenager I was into a couple with any lonely fat girl available (junior or senior). As to that last factor, the stubborn streak in my soul digs in harder and shines more brilliantly when I feel as though I'm being pushed by social pressure to do something I'm not certain I even want to do in the first place. By the time of my school's senior prom, after I asked a very few peers (one of whom would be considered a big heavy but not obese girl) and got rejected, about ready to boycott another prom, I was asked by and accepted our yearbook editor's request to attend with her (she was going to be there taking photos whether she had a date or not). I often regretted that evening, mainly because I was not there with someone I chose to be with as a date wholeheartedly (surrendering to the reality of the event when I should've stayed away). When it comes to romantic matters, I cannot stand half-ass compromises just because the world says I must.
Maybe I'm just no fun by nature (I suppose women can sense this in men) or don't know how to relax and have what others consider or call a good time in social situations. All I know every time it's suggested by someone I try dating a woman who either has children from any previous relationship, is divorced or widowed, I feel society pressuring me to accepting someone I consider (pulling no punches with this label) "damaged goods" - some woman who already had her first choice in the love of her life that didn't work out for whatever reason - whether being left pregnant by the jerk, divorced by or divorcing the earlier husband or fate taking that man from her life by death. I refuse to compete with another man's memory in any woman's heart, or deal with what is called the "baby daddy drama" in these complicated relationships. I don't care how nice, good or basically decent the woman in question. She already had her first choice for a man to wed or just being impregnated by - and it wasn't ME. One old friend remarked about my attitude I was "keeping score." He might be right, but I refuse to compromise on such an important decision. I could never be happy with any woman in a close personal romantic manner so long as I knew she already had her first choice in the love of her life and that man is no longer around for whatever reason or cause.
So, to all the well-meaning folks I know who are planning fixing me up with some lady who's got kids and/or has been married and is no longer (regardless of the reason - death or divorce), stop right now. I'm not going for the date with damaged goods. This effort will not end well for you or me. To any lady in these circumstances interested in me romantically for whatever reason, please find someone else to get close with. I'm not the right man for you and can never be