Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dating is hard.

I've never done much of it, myself. Maybe that's why I find it so hard now. Or is it so hard because I've never really done it? Ah, paradox.

I've dated boys, kind of. Flirted, gone to dinner, called boys my "boyfriend." Or, sometimes, my "non-boyfriend." That one stuck around for a long time. But none of these things were ever real relationships, you know? There was always something off about them.

And then. Oooh, and then. When you find the man you plan on spending the rest of your life with, it's... I can't even tell you. It's the most incredible feeling.

You start planning things. Your wedding, your life. You see things unfolding before you in such a glorious way. You're secure. You know where you're going, where your life is going. You're happy. Happy.

But then. When, in the space of five minutes, your entire world gets turned upside down and ripped apart and the love of your life has broken you, it's... I can't even tell you. It's the most devastating thing.

You sit on your sister's couch and cry for weeks. You shower, occasionally, and then put your pajamas back on. You eat, when you feel you must. You stare, sometimes at the television, sometimes at nothing in particular, sometimes at words, empty words on a computer screen.

It changes you. So deeply, so completely.

You start to get over it. You put on real clothes and go outside. You go on a vacation (the wrong vacation, as it turns out - more on that later). You get cards and words of support and comfort. You put on a smile. You get a job, you move out of your high school bedroom (and into the basement, alas), and you just... try. You try to move on, to get on with things, to keep living.

I've done pretty well, I think. I love my job (most of the time), I've become even better friends with some fantastic people, I've realized how strong I can be, or apparently was all along. In some ways, I've really come into my own.

In a lot of ways, though, it's like I'm starting back from the beginning. I'm learning how to breathe, how to walk, how to move through life successfully.

Dating is not something I really excelled at in the first place, and now, now it terrifies me. Not that I've had a whole lot of opportunity to be actively afraid, until recently. I rebounded, I tried to put myself out there, kind of. With a safety net. A big huge safety net, and really no worries about my emotions at all. Things were going to happen, or they weren't, and either way, I was okay with it. Was I really just that laid-back about it, though, or had I sheltered myself? Have I built an insurmountable wall?

I met someone. Kind of. A passenger on my plane, who I had some really great conversation with. He waited for me to get off the plane at the end of the flight. We walked together. He asked for my number, and I gave it to him with a smile. As we walked away, he called out to me, "I promise I'll call!" And he did, within 12 hours. He left a very sweet message. I did not call him back. Yesterday, my phone rang. I picked it up to see who it was, and dropped it like a hot potato when I saw it was him.

Why am I so fucked up? Why can't I just take this opportunity and see what happens? Why can't I even let myself try to be happy?

I'm already finding things wrong with him, wrong with the situation, and I don't even know him. I don't even know him, it hasn't even started, and it's ruined in my head. I want to call him. Or, at the very least, I'm aware that I should want to call him. But the thought of picking up that phone... it sends me into a mild panic attack. So what do I do?

So far, nothing. I just do nothing. Because I'm paralyzed with fear, and doubt, and an inability to open myself to any possibility of good things because of the possibility of being hurt again. I cannot be hurt again. Not yet.

There are things that I want. Things I long for. But I think that I only let myself want things that, really, I know I can't have (or, deep down, don't really want, in the end). There's no fear of getting hurt that way.

I need some momentum. To break down these walls, that I've built around myself.


  1. Although I only know bits and pieces of your story, I think you should go for it. You see, I was in the exact same situation as you. I was hurt and it was incredibly painful ordeal.

    However, I put myself out there, I took risks and the payoff is now insurmountable. Trust me, I know.

    Pick up the phone and give him a call. You might be surprised about what is yet to come. Life is an adventure, you have to take those risks in order to live fully. Call him, at the very least, you'll get a good friend out of the deal.

    The benefits outweigh the costs!

    A fan

  2. The life so short, the crafts so long to learn.

  3. I'm from RSFO, and want to give plus points to what the first Anonymous commenter said!! :)

    I cannot imagine your situation, but I have a feeling I'd be just as awkward if thrown back into the dating scene when I wasn't planning on it. I'm a terrible dater! I generally dislike movies--and that's classic first date activities!

    Anyway, just wanted to say good luck and hope you went for it!!