Years ago I learned that, out of loneliness and habit, I will easily end up in social situations in which I am banging my head against a wall. My remedy for that has been the “cold turkey” approach. For a period of time, I will simply stop calling a certain person or stop showing up at certain events. It’s always painful at first, but eventually I will feel relieved to have left the situation behind and will no longer miss it. By that point I can encounter the person or persons with a neutral emotional response.
These past few months I’ve been going through all that again. I decided to take a break from one scene and immerse myself in a completely new one, if for nothing else to be around new people with new passions and new perspectives. I felt lonely, bored, and disconnected for a while, but now I feel re-centered.
I re-encountered some of the old acquaintances this past weekend. One of them, a man who had flirted with me while involved with a woman he ended up marrying, went into effusive praise over his wife.
I felt nothing.