I joined the site, I paid my dues, I kissed some frogs and I met a truly great guy; a truly great guy with whom I have a truly great date planned for this evening. For all intents and purposes, my “out there” efforts have paid off. However, I’m truly freaking out.
Last evening, I discussed this seemingly nonsensical anxiety with Dr. J.
“Why should a mutual, genuine interest with this man be so frightening? We talk every night! We get along really well. He likes me a lot…what’s wrong with me?”
But as it often does in therapy---it turns out to stretch a lot more deeply than that.
“What is it about this situation that’s scaring you?” asked Dr. J.
“I just… I feel like I don’t have my footing… you know? Like… all this stuff has happened and I’m not done figuring it out. And this guy---he’s so eager! He’s so sure! He’s got our next twelve dates planned… and that’s only a slight exaggeration!!”
Dr. J nodded as if to say “go on.”
“I mean, yeah… I believe I’m datable. But… sometimes I feel like people are taking score, you know? ‘Oops… Alex was engaged. And woops, there goes yet another relationship.’ I just want to get it right! I want to have some realistic expectation for how it’s all going to go.”
I could feel it. It was coming: the big, devastating question of the session.
“Why is it so important to know how it’s all going to go?”
… Because if 2010 were a book, I’d entitle it “ClusterFuck.” In an insanely short amount of time, I experienced a heart-crushing break-up, the death of a very close friend and a completely illegal eviction from my apartment. All the while, another important, sub-conscious adjustment was taking place: I was asserting myself as a post-grad woman living on her own for the very first time.
As these thoughts flooded my brain, I replied “I don’t know… I’m just overwhelmed!”
“So…” Dr. J interjected “why can’t you just tell him you need to take this slow?”
A loud plop suddenly resounded in my head. I knew it could only be the sound of Nice Alex falling out of her chair. We know she always defers to the other person; she’s terrified of leading people on; she worries day and night about everyone else’s feelings... and now, in one fell swoop she was knocked unconscious.
Slowly… I sounded it out.
“I… I can just tell him I n-neeeed…….to take this slow? I can just tell him I need to take it slow! Well… but wait… I mean… what if it scares him away?”
“If it does,” she said “what would that say about him?”
How had this not occurred to me? This was brilliant! Genius! Of course! I’ll tell him that I need to take this slow! One date at a time! And then… then we’ll just… take it slow…see where it goes!
So Readers, this evening may or may not be something I can write a pithy, humorous blog about. Sure, it’s early; Mr. Wonderful still has plenty of time to morph into a mutant. But for the first time in a LONG time, I feel like I’m looking at something that could actually be SOMETHING.
Maybe we’ll get to the meat and cheese, maybe we won’t. Either way…I'm going to take life one date a time.