[written March 2018, but buried here]
I got cocky (excuse the pun). After more than a year as someone's first choice, I was stupid to forget that I am, and forever will be, "backup dick" for everyone I fall for.
I suspect there are several reasons for this. First and foremost, I tend to give freely of my attention. That is to say I let others - specifically those who I want to date - know that I'm interested in being with them. I feel this attenuates any desire on their part to pursue me and rather encourages women to seek someone they have (or are perceived to have) a harder time securing attention (and affection) from. This puts me in a difficult situation, however, as I'm not attractive enough to cause women I'm attracted to to seek me out of their own accord.
Second, but close behind, is my appearance. Probably also my demeanor. I can't pretend I've taken care of my body. I'd also admit I'm moody and demanding. Hell, my father called me "fat, lazy, and whiny" to my face in the house I bought.
With these (and other factors, surely) combined, I am someone women seek out for attention (and therefore lead me on to lesser and greater extents) until they find someone who has a better balance of attractive to attention, at which point I'm given the boot.
Knowing all this, and knowing nearly a decade's worth of this pattern, I should be more numb to the most recent demonstrations of proof that I am, and will forever be,