Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Clear Brain is a Dangerous Thing

A four-day weekend. Amazing. Actually, it was five days without kids. Thursday was full of planning and working, only in a coffee shop. With no kids. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were productive on a variety of levels. I finally started dealing with issues in my life and rooms in my house that have been often talked about, but rarely dealt with. Steps to change my financial future and employment situation were taken. Big steps. Brain-clearing steps. My office is at a point that I could sit at my desk almost all day Monday and grade until I was almost caught up. Good stuff. Brain-clearing stuff.

So brain-clearing that other issues moved up in line like they had been sitting in the waiting room, listening for their number for years. One of them must have cut in line, because I didn't even know it existed.

It's Saturday night. I'm on a date with a very nice guy. We have a lot to talk about, he has a great smile, and is employed. See? My expectations are not that high. Throw in a love of yard work and we're good to go. The conversation is moving a long nicely and we've moved into the past relationship topic. I'm silent, just listening to him talk. As he describes some of his past long-term relationships, I am suddenly disinterested, distracted and anxious to leave. I chalk it up to being tired from such a productive three days. A nice hug good night and I am off to my bed.

Sometime on Sunday or Monday, while still being hyper-productive in my office, I am struck by a realization. The guy from Saturday has texted me about going out on Wednesday. My anxiety levels skyrockets and I throw my phone on the newly cleared off arm chair. A strange fear creeps from my toes all the way to that dangerously clear space in my brain. Could the disinterest and anxiety have to do with a fear? Perhaps a fear of commitment? The more I thought about it, the more I recognized how my thoughts and comfort level changed with the change in conversation on Saturday. What was going on?

I'm the single girl who wants to be in a relationship. I'm the single girl who wants to find someone to share my life with. I'm the single girl who is terrified of being hurt again. That's what it comes down to. My most significant relationships, or the only guys I have ever called "boyfriend" have all ended up moving on for another girl. Whether it was a new person or left over feelings for an ex, all three have been for another girl. They weren't meant to be, time has taught me that. But it is still not a good feeling. And while those were years ago, many years ago, that  feeling or rejection hasn't been alleviated with time. In this brain of mine, a lasting relationship now seems to equal fear. How long have I had this phobia? Has it played a subconscious role in how I have dealt with other guys that I've dated? Who knew getting your office organized could lead to questions like this? Where is the off-switch?

Last night I dropped a friend off and was telling her all about this. She is getting ready for a very big weekend and I let her know that if she needed anything this week, to give me a call. I specifically mentioned today, Wednesday, the night I'm supposed to go out on date #2 with the guy from Saturday. Wouldn't that be a convenient excuse to get out of a date? My friend needs help, sorry. Crap. Clear brain space can be a dangerous thing.

So now what? How do you deal with this sort of fear? It's not one that you can easily face head-on if you don't happen to be in the right situation. Perhaps I can arrange for another four-day weekend to deal with this and clear some more brain space.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thanks, Cupid, but your arrow missed.

I think I've sworn off on-line dating at least four times. When I get bored, I go back on and if I see someone interesting I might repost my profile. Might. Okay, I usually do. This just happened recently and I'm already considering taking my profile back down. I tried a new site this time, mostly because it was free. My initial searches found quite the variety of guys. This, I suppose could be a good thing, though it depends on the variety. There were enough guys, including two that I've dated (one of which I adore), that it kept my interest for longer than five minutes, and so I continue. I even go so far as to set up a profile, complete with picture and two of the seventeen questions answered. 

For the first couple of days, it's fun. Emails arrive letting you know that someone is "checking you out," or that someone has "chosen you" (Does this sound sacrificial to anyone else?), or the big one -- so-and-so has messaged you. I get the "message" email and check it out. There are a few. The first couple don't look too interesting. The third I respond to. His profile comments are clever and interesting, he's good looking, and single. My standards have really sky-rocketed, haven't they? Here is a brief overview of the "conversation" that took place over a couple of days. 

Boy: "Hi, I like your smile. It looks like we have some things in common. Want to hang out sometime?"

Me: "Hi there, Thanks! I like your picture of you in (insert vacation destination here). I would definitely be up for meeting. What do you like to do?"

Boy: "Great! How about we (activity), (activity), (activity), or (activity)? Does Friday around 7PM work?" (This is all taking place on Thursday, by the way.)

Boy: "Or Saturday works too."

Boy: "What do you think?"

Yes, this is a series of three separate emails from a guy I don't know. 

Me: "Sorry! (Lame, but valid, apology) This weekend is already kind of packed. I have blah, blah, blah, blah. What does next week look like for you?"

Boy: "No problem. I understand. Good luck and have a good weekend."

Well, I guess that's the end of that. Activate messages, goodie! Open next message. Slam computer screen after screaming in surprise. Ron Jeremy would have been proud of this guy's profile picture. Message deleted. Next, guy old enough to be my father. Thanks, but I don't have daddy issues. Delete. Next, face tattoos. Log-off.

You can't say I didn't try. You can say my heart wasn't in it, it wasn't. Looks like it's back to set-ups by family and friends and getting hit on in the check out line at Fred Meyer. Maybe I take up the bar scene again. Yes, I was laughing as I wrote that. Or maybe I just go get some cats and start smudging red lipstick on one of my front teeth. On-line dating, we're through.