(For the whole series of A Date in the Life find it here http://w.tt/1NFwDbg )
If you don’t have any insecurities in your journey of online dating you’re doing it wrong.
Face it. The fact alone that the person you’re getting to know has probably matched online with 2-250 other potential daters should raise some insecurities.
But here’s the good news. It is literally impossible to get to know 250 people in any depth imaginable without burning your Tinder self out. The fact is, if they are talking to you, there are plenty of other matches they are choosing to ignore to spend time in private messages with you. (Now this is only good news if you actually WANT to be talking with them and don’t suffer from the “nice” disease like I do and feel bad unmatching them once they start texting you a shitload of typos and run on sentences without punctuation; or are just plain douchebags.)
Yes, that was a run on sentence. I am completely aware, but I am the youngest of three and am also aware the rules don’t always apply to me.
The bad news is, that knowing they have matched with other potentials you wonder where you really fit in, in the scheme of things. My girlfriend noticed for instance, that the closer it gets to the weekend, the more likely you are to get asked out. So, Joe, has matched with plenty of girls, but he’s itching to go out and has run through a few of the girls and they’re all busy. Or maybe you were the first to be asked. This is my point. You are left to think any number of things, and whether it is a product of getting to know someone online, or my own quirks, the fact is you may never know.
I have a feeling that dating in of itself is where many of our insecurities can rear their ugly heads; seven days of radio silence after a few incredible dates will do that to you. It stirs all sorts of dialogues, whether with your inner critic or your besties.
Did I say something rude?
Did my breath stink?
Do I talk too much?
Laugh too loud?
Are they married already????
Are they dead?????
Yes, I have seriously wondered all of these…but I get carried away sometimes can you tell?
In particular I suffer from radio silencitis. Sound it out, it’ll make better sense out loud. The fact is radio silence after a good date makes me itch worse than the god damn chicken pox. I can honestly say, I was born to connect, we all were. I have friends whom I say good morning to, and good night to every single day. So, it’s pretty natural for me to want to reach out if I feel like a guy and I are connecting. (Cue insecurities.) Go ahead and Google “should I text first after a date,” and then see the insecurities that arise in us.
“Will I look too eager If I text first?”
“Will I look like I am not interested if I don’t text?”
“How long should I wait to text?”
“Should I text at all?”
“Should I ask about a second date or should I wait for him to ask?”
Lord knows that if dating hasn’t put me over the edge yet, there’s got to be some case where it has, in someone.
I honestly feel and Google (the new benchmark for societies thoughts) has confirmed it, that building new relationships is dangerous emotional territory; it makes you take a look at yourself. For good or for bad. What your needs are or aren’t, what you bring to the table, and if you are willing to be utterly reflective about it, your beliefs about feeling worthy of love and belonging can surface.
This is where my brain gets all backed up. Another person loving you does not determine if you are lovable. But you can see how it would reinforce your belief that you are lovable. On the same note, another person rejecting you does not determine your lovability, but you can see how someone struggling with feeling worthy of love would take being turned down.
I swear to god I better not be the only one who thinks about these things as they approach dating. I mean, men are always touting their desire for a confident woman, and as you can see I may not exactly fit the bill. Us women can put on our mascara, and stockings (if you wear them that is) and bat our eyelashes over a Shiraz, but that doesn’t mean deep down inside we’re not worried about how we sound, look, or come across. And dammit. I’m going out on a limb to say the men that actually give a shit about more than getting laid have similar thoughts or insecurities. But that’s if we’re all digging deep down to take a look, and honestly we’re not all ready to do that. Oh the horror if we all became emotional introspectives all at once. Kleenex stock would go up and psychologists would be running their practices 24/7.
Almost two years ago I wrote a piece on Twitter. I used Twitlonger because this piece was definetly longer than 140 characters. It was a vignette, a small picture of a morning I had gotten off my night shift, showered and climbed into bed naked next to my husband. (No, not a mommy porn piece.)
Basically, it was about how I tried to make a move and felt tremendous rejection when I did. I published it on Twitter and got an overwhelming response from women. Saying they had felt similar things, in similar circumstance, some moved to tears remembering. But can I tell you the response I will never forget? It came in a direct message from a writer I was getting to know. He said, “men feel rejection too.”
We all do. Whether in friendship, dating or marriage we are opening ourselves up to rejection. Whether you are getting to know someone over Tinder, text, Twitter or coffee for that matter, putting yourself out there means you are risking your heart.
Risk can breed insecurities, and insecurities can lead you down a path of building walls. But risk can also breed gain if you let it. Gain in self knowledge, gain in empowerment, and maybe (I’ll keep you posted) a gain in love.