Thoughts on trying to date again

Today is day 4 of avoiding tomatoes and I’m feeling a ton better. Not 100%, but much better than I was.

I think I might also be feeling a bit lonely for male companionship.

I saw Cookie last Thursday and his hugs may have triggered something. Some memory of how nice it is to feel a male body pressed against mine, perhaps. A reminder of the tenderness and intimacy that can be possible.

My OkCupid account has been disabled for what, two months now? Ever since Chris had to delay our second date and then, after it was rescheduled, canceled it suddenly. (“We’re out of romance, how about just the anxiety?”)

When Chris and I started communicating it had been many months since I had met someone I was even remotely interested in, and our first date was wonderful. The disappointment when there was no second date was crushing.

He apologized profusely. He stated how sorry he was, how much this sucks, and so on. Feeling as though he might actually be a nice guy who was really into me does nothing to make me feel better. I’d rather think of him as an asshole. It would make this easier.

A Twist On Life, “We’re out of romance, how about just the anxiety?

It was far more crushing than I deemed appropriate given the circumstances. I could tell I was feeling desperate about trying to meet someone.

Desperation is the opposite of what I think a person should feel while trying to date. It’s a recipe for disaster. It causes one to ignore red flags and give more chances than are earned.

It leads to bad decisions.

This is why I made a decision to step back from dating for a little while. (I break for joy)

Plus, even though it’s been over six months since it happened, I think I’m still working through the feelings of rejection about Goatee Guy abruptly ending things and, to a lesser extent, some disappointment about Cookie and I not being a good romantic fit.

All of this leads to the idea of dating continuing to sound horrible.

Dating brings anxiety and obsessive behavior. Not dating equates to an easy, calm, unruffled existence.

When I say “Next” this time, I don’t intend to look for another man to obsess and stress over. Instead, I’m going to look for activities and rituals I find fulfilling.

I’ll go back to dating again, I’m sure. It might be next week, it might be a few months from now. I know my frame of mind will change and I’ll get back out there and try again someday.

For right now, though, I will focus on my rituals for restoration and renewal.

A Twist On Life, “I break for joy

I’m enjoying how much control I have over my time right now. I’ve created activities and rituals I find fulfilling. I am in the process of renewing and it is feeling amazing.

A disruption to these rituals is unwelcome. My routines are making me happy.

When I imagine dating, I don’t picture happiness. I picture someone sneering at me, telling me the way I do things is weird or crazy, and wanting to change me.

I imagine being told the way I live my life and the rituals and routines I enjoy are unnatural, unwelcome, untenable.

Take my eating habits, for example. I plan my daily meals meticulously. I’ll happily indulge in deviations for social reasons here and there. More than once or twice per week would make me uncomfortable.

Of more concern, though, is when I make a recipe, I divide it into containers before I sit down to eat. That way I know the nutritional value of each serving. If my roommate is here and eating with me, he knows he’s welcome to have more than one serving. Diving into another container is fine; it doesn’t change the nutritional content of the other, untouched containers. He completely understands this peccadillo of mine and the rationale behind it.

But, well, he and I have known each other our whole lives and he knows about my battles with eating. If I tried to maintain this habit in a relationship I imagine being laughed at and dissuaded from this ritual I find so satisfying.

I fear I would be mocked, both privately and publicly, for needing to monitor my food intake in this way. I am not able to understand hunger or fullness cues, despite having worked on it for years, and controlling my food intake as I do removes a primary source of anxiety.

Imagining someone might understand, or even accept, this about me is beyond my comprehension.

The image of a happy, relaxed connection eludes me. I imagine having a romantic partner would mean having to deal with someone being constantly in my space, watching me, criticizing me, belittling me and ignoring my boundaries. When I imagine getting to know someone and allowing them into my life, I imagine having to fight to be able to be myself in all the ways I know I am most comfortable being me.

I try to imagine the first time this imaginary romantic partner and I drive somewhere together or the first time I introduce them to my friends, and I can’t picture a positive result. I see myself being disrespected, my boundaries ignored, my character assassinated, and then having to fight to get this person out of my car or my home or my life while they, frustrated, try to talk me into thinking I’m crazy for not accepting behavior I know is unacceptable to me.

I can’t imagine someone warm, nonjudgmental, loving and accepting being interested in me. I can’t imagine trying to date and meeting a person I find interesting who is both a kind person and who wants to date me.

All I can imagine, when I think about trying to date, is frustration and emotional despair.

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