Play this as you read.
I haven’t ever gone out with anyone more than three years plus older than me; that alone made me feel scared of all the pre-built expectations in his mind – he’s in his early thirties. I tried to remind myself of all the good and funny chats we have had previously and to relax, and luckily two of my colleagues were there to remind that it’s just a date and the worst that could happen is me coming off like a total idiot and running away.
What in fact consumed my energy was the highly possible difference between him and I. I don’t know about him, but I definitely know about me. Why do those thoughts surface because of something as simple as a date? Because I liked him – even though I hadn’t met him yet – and wished he would stay for a while. I kept thinking about my anxiety and how hard it is for anyone to be with me given all what I go through, how many relationships, dates and outings it has accidentally ruined, how more did I have to endure because of it and whether I should start looking for serious ways to treat it.
Prior to the date, we had chatted a lot and both of us were very excited to meet. We did, and he wasn’t only charming, he was also someone who knew how to talk and what to say. Regardless, my anxiety kicked in, my palms got sweaty and I still had to focus as he was talking about something – I think it was related to Spain. I was so afraid to show this side of me that to me is now normal but to a stranger might seem like the least thing they need to deal with. That was the long story shortened.
What was really going on in my head was a mix of fear of how much we have discussed what we exactly wanted out of all of this, versus how emotional I know I am. This sentence was roaming around in my head “you cannot blame a wreck for being a wreck when it has known nothing but ruins its entire life.” This is hard to explain to him, so here it goes, I explain it to all of you instead:
I have daily highs and lows, and words get to me. I find letting go difficult. The sound of the fingers clacking on the keyboard makes me feel annoyed. The texture of foods between my fingers doesn’t put me at ease. The water droplets on a cold and sweaty cup irritate me. I don’t like people wearing the color red to go out with me. I feel scared whenever my phone rings regardless who’s calling. All the things I went through made me who I am, just like everybody else. All of those plus, I am very loving and emotionally generous, I can easily feel attached to words and hang on to dreams no one drew but me, I don’t like losing people over nonsense, I don’t like feeling smothered either, I find it difficult to be anything but me, I don’t know moderate loving, I can’t handle a heartbreak perfectly, I need time to get over a simple incident that happened to me, I stress over what seems to be meaningless for anyone.
Now reread this: What was really going on in my head was a mix of fear of how much we have discussed what we exactly wanted out of all of this, versus how emotional I know I am.
When I usually go out on first dates or meet someone alone for the first time – especially if we don’t have that much friends in common, I choose the place and I take someone with me or ask someone to join and sit on the other side of the café or pub; the last thing I need to add on my emotional wreck is a public humiliation or a situation I couldn’t escape because I was on my own with a somewhat stranger. Last night, I asked my colleagues to be there as well, and indeed they sat on the bar, with their back to us, not seeing or hearing a thing, but within a walking distance from me if I needed anything. I gave them the green lights to go and that I was feeling good, and they did, and I didn’t feel less safe after that.
His eyes had a small twinkle and his jokes were funny, he was not a complete mess but he sure showed how much he cannot handle mess. His was articulate, rarely falling short on adjectives. He was not like anyone I’ve gone out with before though he typically isn’t special – I’m sure people his age are similar. He’s not planning on staying for long, and it shows, and as long as I am fine with it, I cannot complain.
So now cheers to me, for being able to get along with the whole intensity of the situation – intensity being a very relative word please, and for the possibility of a second date.
At the end, first dates are supposed to be all about seeing whether you two get along.