That’s one possible future, if you let it happen that way. I can tell you, though, that I’ve broken out of that vicious circle. Twice.
The first time, I broke out because someone actually said “yes” for once. That was enough to keep me out of that circle for a long time, even though it was years between that “yes” and the next.
The second time, I broke out of the circle before the next “yes.” How I did that: I sat down and looked at the person who I wanted to be, and compared it to the person that I was. I have to admit, the comparison wasn’t flattering, but I could see that, without really trying, the core of that person who I wanted to be was there. I was mostly kind, pretty smart, had a few talents, a decent job, and was saving up to buy a house. Imagine what I could do if I did put in a little work.
I then tried to quantify who I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do. As to the “who,” I used to be a Boy Scout, and while I had fallen pretty far from where I was since I was last a Scout, I remembered the Law: “A Scout is helpful and trustworthy, kind and cheerful, considerate and clean, and wise in the use of all resources.” That’s who I wanted to be, and while I was managing the first three, but the others all needed work, so I endeavoured to work on them.
As for what I wanted to do: I love singing, reading, writing, and skiing, above all other things, so I decided to cut the stuff I didn’t like and devote more of my free time to those.
As I started to grow towards the kind of person I wanted to be, and to do the things I enjoyed doing, I felt myself, every way (okay, most days) becoming better. I wasn’t growing closer to someone else’s version of a perfect person, but I was becoming, slowly, a better version of myself. Maybe one day, I’ll be the best possible version of myself; until then, I’ll have to keep striving.
That was what pulled me out of the vicious circle the second time.
And, you know what? After my last relationship, I fell into a rut for the third time. Or maybe I was in that rut while I was still in that relationship. I don’t know. However, I followed the same philosophy when that relationship was over, becoming a better version of myself again, and sure enough, I found myself hauling my own ass out of that rut and back on track again.
So, three weeks ago, I meet another girl, and ask her out. She says, “No, I have a boyfriend.” It hurts, sure, but you know what? I’m awesome. I’m a fantastic singer, a decent actor, a Ski Patroller, a Scouter, (almost) a novelist, I’ve cleaned up my appearance so I look great, and, by all accounts, people think I’m a great guy. She’s missing out. There’s someone out there just as great for me, or better, and I’ll find her, because I’m awesome in most of the ways that I want to be awesome, and I’m working on the others, and that’s all that really matters.
So, if you want to get out of the rut, decide, if you were to be the most awesome version of yourself, who would that be? Then, tomorrow, be more like that person than you are today. And the next day, do the same thing. There will be backslides, but just the effort and the slow progress will be enough to get you out of the rut, and then the vicious circle of habit won’t be working against you, it’ll be working for you.
It worked for me. And, worst case scenario: you’ll still be lonely, but you’ll have better company in your solitude.