Thank you, Robyn.
I’ve already directly asked my therapist if there is a chance I am doing exactly what you shared. In the end, the assessment is: Austin is such a hook-up culture that my old-fashioned approach to dating (ie, getting to know a person first, then adding sex in later) is leading to one dead end after another.
Dating is hard everywhere. I don’t delude myself. But here in Austin there are so many more 20- and 30-something women who will sleep with a guy on the first or second date, there really isn’t much incentive for guys to date someone like me. (There are more women than men in Austin at least in this age bracket.) The poly/kink-friendly/BDSM community here is one of the largest in the US, so that limits the dating pool for me as well.
Furthermore, my therapist has shared that the pattern she sees with men in Austin is: date/sleep with a women for a few weeks, break-up as soon as it becomes challenging, find another woman and repeat the cycle. Not many men here are actually looking for anything resembling a true relationship.
To give you a sense of how bad it is: She has even recommended that I move back to the Deep South. I may. (As you know, therapists don’t typically make recommendations that clearly. It really is THAT bad here.)
I am constantly evaluating my role in why dating has been so hard for me. But I think my therapist is probably right given her specialty and the number of people she sees.
Thank you very much for your response and the well wishes!