Ok so I just sent the last post to the two guys who asked me out last year IRL, and my mood is somewhere between feeling cray cray and empowered. The truth is that I should feel neither. I just wrote about what happened; so what.
To finish off this word triptych, I must reflect on the extreme vulnerability a person feels when dating, and how not feeling that cloud of vulnerability is key to being able to be yourself and breathe and have a good life as a single person.
When you are one hundred percent real, you can easily come off as crazy and you can scare off perfectly suitable suitors. I’m a pro at being just too damn much to handle – especially via the text. (IRL I am actually somewhat mild) I know this because I am a Matthew Hussey (the dating guru) addict. The guy makes some sense. Only, if we need coaching then is it really authentic? No I am NOT going to send the perfect text. I’m going to bleed all over the place and if you are ghosting me you will probably have to be willing to get buried under a small pile of word salad before I just go the hell away so you’d might aswell just man-up and say you’re not interested – though who does THAT anymore when everyone still wants you in their book.
Truth is that if you want to date successfully then most of the time you must mind your dating manners, which is something I have always refused to do. I really don’t care that I have scared off a few guys, because the ones that have mattered have been chill and the others I just got rid of before too much damage could occur. So, yay.
But just writing about dating and sending off those missiles brought back the feeling of dating and being judged that I had when I started this blog. And I hate it.
It may seem extreme to give up dating altogether, but it seems like a pretty sane decision to me. It didn’t happen as a choice though really. I just lost interest. First went the profiles and next went any wish to connect with anyone romantically, period.
I am vulnerable with my patients, with my family and with my friends, but I will never again be vulnerable on a date, or with a man I barely know – not ever again.
You might be thinking that of course one shouldn’t be vulnerable out of the gate. Easy to say that but just getting dressed for a date was an act of vulnerability for me. Just showing up meant that I took off my doctor mask and showed my true self. And I have to admit that the reason that these two dates affected me at all is that a little part of me had felt chosen in a special way by a man I felt was compelling. Even with my big girl panties on, there was a tiny spark of optimism that there could be a little love sonnet beginning to bloom. Even when I played it off as nothing at all I was a little bit excited.
Of course, I’ve been on dozens of first dates that were nothing at all, because they were internet dates and no one gets all vulnerable for those, not really. Easy come, easy go.
But there is that moment when a terrific guy is smiling and waving at you and you go “who me ?” and they go “yeah, you” and then you realize that they were smiling at the girl behind you. Yeah, I’m not doing that again. That’s where shame lives and I can not bear it.
There is a really good reason to stay away from dating, and it is that there is no way for me, personally, to not be vulnerable, and there is no reason to go through it when there are so many other guaranteed good times. Maybe I am too cray cray but I actually think that I’m pretty much just admitting what most people feel but don’t want to admit for fear of looking like the crazy girl.
Sure, if you want to feel on edge and electrified – go for it. But if you wanna just do life, then take a pass.
I don’t think that love will be so elusive as to give up on me forever just because I won’t ever go on another date in my life. Men are very crafty and anyone really interested will find their way in somehow – besides dinner and candlelight. Meantime, I’m hugging my inner little girl and saving her from all that.
Even if George Clooney mixed with Matthew Broderick and this British dude with freckles that I always swoon over who turns out isn’t gay…even if that amalgam of hunky smartmanhood asked me out I would say no. That’s how serious I am.