I touched on it briefly early on, but the question of why I've spent so much time as a solo player has come up a bit. It's a tough question for me to answer because I'm not actually in charge of this issue (much as I hate to admit that) so this is gonna be a speculat-a-thon, but here's what I think.
I should preface everything by saying first that I have a very, very healthy ego, 'kay? I don't think I suck. I honestly do think that I'm pretty impressive, and that there are things about me that rock. I feel the need to mention this because I'm now going to spend a bunch of time talking about what repels people from me, and that kind of focus will cause the average person to think "Wow, I wonder if she's loaded the entire gun or just the one bullet?" But you guys aren't the average person, so I know you won't be putting me on a necktie party watch list, right?
Why am I single, single, oh-so-single? Allow me to start with a funny story. I work in an office with 7 older men in professional roles and all supported by very capable, talented, intelligent women, including myself. Tonight was our holiday party (walked out w/ a book on how to do Yo-yo tricks -- not bad for the classic holiday "hey, take my bag of crap!" gift game!) At my table were 4 of the professional guys from the office and one of them starts the evening's conversation by announcing that I'm the only person in the entire office that scares him. And my reaction? "Cool!!"
I don't mean scary like I'm packing heat or have a reputation for throwing copy machines. What we're talking about here is that I'm no shrinking violet. I'm the person in the office who is most intimidating, whether it be my big personality, my absurd level of confidence, my mouth or my "jump in and fix it" ways... I've been taking care of my own crap for so long and I really hate being held hostage by the lack of a partner, so I've worked really, really hard to be able to solve any problem that comes my way. Like picture me carrying a TV up a ladder rather than ask for help, ok? That's how far I'll go to prove I don't need someone else to live my life.
Most guys don't want that in a mate. They want someone who needs them, and that's just not me. They want someone who will depend on them and that's probably not me either. They want someone for whom they can be the hero, and I'm my own hero. Cape, shiny boots, secret identity (true confession: I cried watching Moulan Rouge. But at the time I wasn't wearing the cape.), the whole shebang. I will happily be 1/2 of a team, but I'll never, ever take a back seat. (For one thing, it makes me carsick!)
All of this bravado has definite drawbacks, and I'm not even talking about being single here. I have a terrible time admitting when I've screwed up. I'm loud and I talk without thinking too often. I've made an olympic sport of speaking candidly; my friend's wife seriously doesn't like me; I am that person that some folks cringe at the very thought of.
But most of these same people would also come to me first if they needed help or saving or support. They know that when I tell someone that I've got their back it means something, and it's good to have. I'm loyal like a St. Bernard, fiercely protective and absolutely fearless when I think I'm in the right, even if on someone else's behalf. ESPECIALLY on someone else's behalf. I truly believe there's practically nothing I can't do (except cook.) For me to be able to proudly look myself in the eye each morning I have to be someone that I would be impressed with, and to me that's absolutely worth the trade-off.
So all of this is what some poor schmuck out there has to be able to deal with. I know such guys exist as many of my friends and family are such guys. They're a rare breed and often they're plucked fast, so I know how tall an order this is. But heck, I got time. For now I'll do the driving myself.