Just Keep Swimming

I’ve been working on dating a lot lately.  Working on myself and getting myself to understand some things about myself that could be issues.  Right now though, I am at a complete and utter standstill.  Maybe I’m not at a standstill, but I feel like that is where I am when it comes to dating.  I’m at the part where I feel like I am just getting nowhere.  I am becoming a bit of a defeatist and I know that this is a very bad place to be.

So- I am writing this article as much for myself as for anyone else out there that is dealing with the frustrations of dating.  This is for you over-analyzers.  This is for all of us who want to throw in the dating towel, adopt a child and make a family that way.  This is for the late bloomers that feel that the will never get a chance to find a way to learn to date.  This is so that we do not give up on giving dating a chance.  This is for us to keep us looking forward to that marriage that is not in the near future- but that we know we will have one day.

In the past few months, I have stated that I want to learn how to date and in order to do this- I have been tackling dating like I do just about everything else in my life.  I am trying online dating.  I am keeping my eyes open for the people that are around me that I could possibly be interested in.  I am learning the things that I do and do not like in people and where exactly my limits really and truly are.  Throughout all this self discovery and self awareness- there has been one thing that is lacking in this dating thing and that is the dating itself.

How do you learn how to date without dating?  Quite frankly- I don’t believe that there is much of a way to do so and that is what is ultimately so frustrating.  The married men that I work with have given me some diamonds of relationship advice and they have allowed me to ask the questions that us single girls just need to ask sometimes- but we know better than to ask a single guy these questions.  (What girl wants a guy to misconstrue that her inquiries about what guys want or why guys don’t ask girls out means that she likes him?) Some of the things they have told me though- frustrate me to no end. I have been encouraged to just ask the guy out and told that if I were to ask ten guys out- at least one of them would be willing to go on a date.  I don’t know about you- but being told that I could expect a 10% success rate is not exactly welcome news. What person wants to put themselves out there 100 times just to get 10 dates out of it (and that’s assuming that you meet the critical 10% success rate).

So what do I do with this wealth of knowledge?  I keep pursuing the online spectrum- sending messages to guys that I find interesting and hoping to get some results.  The number I have heard back from is in a piddly range that I am sure meets the 10% quota, but it is ultimately frustrating.  For those guys that I am interested in that I actually see on a regular basis- not a single one has asked me out.  This is the part where we are going to get into some grizzly details and explore the things that I could be doing wrong to sabotage myself.  I’m sure that I could probably make this a several post thing- but goodness knows that I can only go through the emotional craziness once before I lose gumption to actually go through with it.

In this whole relationship thing- there is one constant and that is me.  So- what has ‘me’ done in all of this that is making me such an utter failure?  It is hard to admit, but I have to fake a lot of the self confidence that I feel and when I really like someone- I usually internalize it and run away.  I sabotage myself and knowing that I have done this just as recently as a couple of weeks ago makes me sick to my stomach.  My goodness- I know that people can only take rejection so many times before they walk away from someone.  The question that I really have to ask is why do I do this to myself?  Why must I force away people that I see as possible relationships?

Ultimately- I don’t think that I’m worthy of it.  That’s a hard pill to swallow isn’t it?  To know that you won’t even allow yourself the chance at being loved, because you are far too scared and far too worried about what could happen.  I’ve had some bad experiences with guys- but not nearly enough that I should feel this way about myself.  It’s more than just a couple of guys telling me that I wasn’t pretty or that I wasn’t good enough.  It goes back to when I was really little and the first time I heard the words ‘overweight’.  I didn’t really know what it meant, but the negative connotation that went along with it was enough for my child’s mind.  It meant that I was not right.  It meant that I wasn’t good enough.

Did my parents ever tell me that?  No, they were wonderful about all of it.  It was the other little kids that got to me the worst.  The kids who ridiculed me for being smart, for not wearing the right clothes, for being too quiet, for being chubby, and for being a person who hates confrontation.  It’s pain that I have carried around for my entire life- pain that I have tried to deal with, but every time I try to let people get close to me, I feel the little scared school girl come out in me.  The one who says that I need to hide what I really feel- because I am going to get hurt again.  The little girl that still cries for all the things that I felt but I never really talked about.  The little girl that wants to be loved, but she doesn’t know how to let herself be loved.

How do you even begin to explain that kind of baggage to someone?  It’s not exactly something that you can say on a first date.  It’s not something that you can talk to with friends that have only been around for a few months.  I barely talk about it with my closest confidants.  Is it even possible to tell someone that you are interested something like that?  Is it possible to just tell them that you know that you are messing things up and you’re sorry, you don’t want to mess it up, but it is the only way that you know how act- that you, quite frankly, do not have the experience to be able to push yourself past all of it and just feel.  If I could turn off my thinking receptors sometimes and just feel- I would.  Because for all the brains that I have- it hasn’t really helped me here.

I keep telling myself- just to work on me.  To learn how to accept all of the things that I think are flaws- to learn to love those things about myself.  I keep saying to myself that things will work out when they are supposed to and that I need to enjoy the life that I have now without letting it pass me by.  Most days these things are enough to keep me from going into an emotional tirade.  Notice that I said most and not all, as this post attests- I most definitely have emotional issues to still work on.

I have things that I have to let go and I have things that I have to deal with.  Maybe that means that I won’t exactly be dateable for awhile- maybe that means that I just need to find that one person that can deal with me as I come.  Maybe I just need to take my friends advice and ask the guys out that I am interested and hope for the best.  Frankly though- those are a lot of maybes, a lot of what ifs, and a lot of I hopes.  Ultimately- I have to trust that there is some plan for me- some plan that I can’t even begin to understand or comprehend- some plan that will make everything I have gone through make sense.  That’s a lot of trust and a lot of faith- but without those two things- were is hope?  In order to hope for tomorrow, you have to have faith and trust that things will work out.   No one can live a life without hope- so I’ll hold out for my hopes and dreams, knowing that they are somewhere around the corner- just out of sight and reach.

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