Dating

It’s strange how dating works…I think I have just been out of the loop for so long, I had forgotten how strange and awkward the whole thing is. You are trying to get to know someone from scratch, from nothing. You are trying to hide all the things about yourself that are unpleasant, trying to only show the best parts.

That is why I found it so devastating when I realized it was just not going to work out with Mike, because with him, at the very least, everything was so EASY. We had known each other since we were teenagers, had grown up together, been through a whole lot. Had seen each other at our absolute worst and best. Knew everything about each other, had met each other’s friends and family, had lived together for a long time. We knew each other’s bodies and quirks. So hanging out or seeing him was never anxiety-inducing or stressful, because I KNEW I could just be myself, completely, without fear.

With dating it’s so unsure. Even once you figure out that you both like each other and it is mutual and you want to keep seeing each other, even when you get to know each other more, you still don’t really know them and you still don’t feel like you can actually be fully yourself.

Yesterday was kind of difficult and…emotionally confusing for me. Friday had been such a breakthrough, talking for so long, getting to know each other more, figuring out that he did like me after all and was attracted to me. It was all very exciting, super exciting. Then yesterday was just off somehow. He had offered to come over and help me put my bed frame together before going with me to karaoke. I spent all day anxiously cleaning, nervous because I never have people over to my dorm and it’s extremely sparse and just…not great for hosting or entertaining people. I have no TV, no couch, no anything really except a bed and a desk for furniture.

When he came over I was just so nervous and anxious and it felt awful. He makes me nervous and although sometimes I feel it as excitement, yesterday I just more and more felt it as anxiety. Like not being able to be comfortable. I remember that feeling all the time with Eric, where I always felt like I couldn’t be myself and I had to impress him.

It was just kind of awkward for some reason. He put the bed frame together and we laid in my bed for a little bit, kind of talking, but not really having too much to talk about, and then decided to go get food. The food we got was pretty bad…and once again it was pouring rain while we had to walk everywhere…both Friday night and Saturday were pouring rain while we were outside so that wasn’t fun and I was just freezing and feeling anxiety. To be fair, I had also gotten like zero sleep since Friday night I had gotten home at 1:30 AM and been freaking out with excitement, so this all could just be coming from a place of exhaustion and anxiety caused by my lack of sleep.

I had him drive us to Brad’s house for karaoke, which ended up being a mistake because there was no parking and I got us lost and then I felt really bad. We should have just taken an Uber like I normally do and it would have been less stressful. We got there and before we walked in Seth said, “Thank you for inviting me to this.” which I did think was really sweet, for him to actually be thankful I had invited him.

Overall I think karaoke at least went really well. Part of me felt weird because it was the first time I was bringing a guy, like a date, to this group of friends. I had wanted to bring Mike and have Mike meet all my friends and be a part of the group but I am excited that I had someone to bring anyway, a better guy.

Everyone there was super welcoming to Seth and really nice to him, which honestly just made me love this group of friends even more and feel really happy to have them in my life. It did feel a little bit awkward in terms of…normally maybe I would have drank a little more, gotten loose and sang a song, or socialized a bit more and tried talking more to different people in the group, but with Seth there it felt different, like I didn’t feel as comfortable overtly socializing for some reason. I had been sitting next to my friend Charlotte on the couch and when she got up to do something he came and took her spot in order to sit next to me, which I thought was sweet…but I also felt a lot of pressure kind of, like if he had been off talking to other people I would have felt better about doing my own thing, but it felt like he wanted to stay close to me and I understand that. Honestly though he was at least better than Mike, who when I brought him to meet my friend Karen when he visited, hardly said a fucking word and literally just had nothing to say and didn’t even try to have a good time or talk. This girl at the party though – who I had never met before and was not a part of my friend group kept fucking looking at Seth, with interest and it honestly was annoying the fuck out of me. I wanted to call her out and be like, “Hey is there a reason why you keep staring at the guy I BROUGHT WITH ME who is clearly sitting with me?” it was just weird and made me feel shitty. She sang twice and I felt bad for not singing. Seth had said it would be cool if I sang but I just really didn’t feel comfortable, and everyone drank the ciders I brought so I couldn’t even get buzzed enough to do it. I guess maybe next time.

It was a tad awkward being around Brad, since he had propositioned me and tried to have sex with me long ago. His wife was around the whole time too and…it just felt a little weird, like here he was seeing me bring someone else, and I had to see him with his wife. At one point Brad was trying to get Seth to sing and said, “Come on, impress her” indicating me. It felt like everyone sang but me and Seth and I was kind of afraid that I was being boring…but I just felt so out of place and awkward and I can’t even really explain why. Part of me was having a good time, but then part of me was feeling really bored and like…not a part of the group somehow. Maybe just because it had been so long since I had seen everyone – I had to stop going to movie nights because of my school schedule.

Seth was being kind of touchy-feely on the couch which surprised me. I was still in the mindset that he wanted to take things slow and still just be friends, so I didn’t think he would want to overly portray that we were together or anything. But he occasionally would touch my hand, running his fingers over my hand and lightly hold it, or rub my back a little, have his arm around me. It definitely was a good sign, and it felt nice that he wanted to publicly display his affection for me.

We were the first ones to leave, which I felt kind of lame about…but it was 11:00 PM which seemed late, even though the party was still very much going on. Most people were getting pretty drunk, but the only thing left to drink was beer and I don’t drink beer so it seemed really pointless to stay if I wasn’t going to sing and didn’t feel like talking to anyone really. I asked Seth if he just wanted to go watch a movie with me or something to end the night and he agreed.

I’m not sure what I really wanted. I think I kind of felt obligated to invite him back to my place since he had driven us to karaoke and it just seemed like maybe we could talk more. We went back to my dorm and tried to find something to watch but it was kind of awkward on my laptop in my bed, with nothing to set it on…it was just not great. I got my pajamas on, and we were kind of cuddling and stuff watching a show I didn’t really want to watch (I’m just REALLY not a TV person, I kind of hate watching most TV, it’s boring to me)…then he asked if it would be okay if he took his jeans off so he could get more comfortable.

I thought it was a little…forward and maybe moving too fast – since we hadn’t even had our first kiss yet or anything, but I guess I literally made my own bed with this one because I did invite him over, when I don’t have any other furniture except my fucking bed…which isn’t ideal for “hanging out” unless you want things to get physical. I said it was fine though, feeling like cuddling with less clothes might seem like a bad idea, but I felt safe enough to know he wouldn’t push things if I said no.

Eventually he did FINALLY kiss me…but again…the key word in this whole night is awkward, which I know all first kisses are. The movies portray the first kiss as being something so magical and amazing…and it just isn’t. It’s nerve-wracking and scary, and you don’t know how to fit your mouth with a new person’s mouth all that well so it feels weird and not right. There was no sparks, no magical feeling…just…nerves.

The kissing was weird, and then he like moved to lay on top of me while kissing me, and I could feel his boner poking me through his boxers. It just felt…like…too much. I had only just figured out he was attracted to me the previous day, and now he was laying on top of me half naked, with an erection. He was kissing my neck and it was kind of awkward because I didn’t know what he was doing, and it was just all over the place. I said, “I thought you said you wanted to still take things slow?” and he stopped and asked, “Oh…is this not okay?” but the way he said it was kind of…I don’t know…it struck me the wrong way. He said it in a way that was almost confused like he couldn’t understand why I had said that.

But he got off me then and we just cuddled and kissed a little bit more, but it didn’t go further except him taking his shirt off, so now he was just in my bed in literally only his boxers.

For me it was just too much and I felt weird about it honestly. Today I have been really feeling a rollercoaster of emotions.

He cuddled with me basically until 4 AM when he finally left because he needed to get his mouth guard in order to sleep. I felt a little sad when he left just because cuddling with another human being in my bed had felt really nice, but then today I felt so conflicted and weird about everything.

It just hadn’t been that great of a night, and I don’t know why I feel like this. I just don’t know what the problem is, or why I am feeling all these warning signals in my head.

Part of it is lack of sleep over the weekend making me feel irritable anyway and run down, but I think it’s also just feeling overly anxious constantly, trying to impress this person but not even knowing if I am that into him anymore. I just don’t know. I felt red flags…like when he was telling me a story and was saying how he was one of the best artists in his class at school…or how he seems to mention the things he doesn’t like about his ex too much…or the awkward way we misunderstand each other sometimes because we just don’t know each other yet!!!! It’s just uncomfortable and I don’t know if it’s because that is how dating is until you know the person more, or if it’s because something isn’t right about it. Maybe we just moved too fast and I need to pump the brakes for my own sanity. We jumped straight from finding out we are attracted to each other to getting in bed together. Even if nothing really happened except kissing and cuddling, it’s still too much for me right now. I don’t want it to become that too soon. Part of me loves having someone to cuddle with, but I also just really want to figure out if we actually are good together, if we have enough to talk about…what is he really like now that I know he is into me.

I also feel like the whole thing is bringing out all of my issues with abandonment and anxious attachment…with feeling depressed when the person isn’t texting back right away or talking a lot, or feeling the highs and lows. I don’t want to jump into it and ruin things with my abandonment issues and jealousy issues.

My planter faciitis is also flaring up so my feet hurt so badly when I stand up or walk. It had gone away for awhile but it’s flared up again and I was in so much pain walking yesterday, on top of being really tired. Something you can’t really explain to a person you are trying to date and impress, “Sorry I’m not talking much, but I am in a lot of pain and exhausted.”

It might just have been my state of mind, and nothing to do with Seth really. Another thing is that I need to get some fucking furniture for my dorm if he is going to be coming over to hang out more often. If we had an actual place to sit and talk and drink tea or something without having to be in my bed it would be better.

We just need to take it slow. I also maybe wish our first kiss could have been better.

I had been so excited…that someone as attractive as him would even think I was attractive. He said he likes my body, and my hair smelled “intoxicating” and that I have such beautiful eyes and a beautiful face. That really did make me feel nice obviously…to get that reassurance that just because 98% of the men I encounter don’t seem to find me attractive, or at least not enough to give me the time of day because of my weight, there are still good looking men out there who do find me attractive, that I AM BEAUTIFUL. Which honestly, no I did not NEED a man to tell me. I have always thought I was beautiful and someone deserving of love and attention, but it’s still nice to have that validated by another human.

His voice sounds like Eric’s voice. Which attracts me sooooo much, and he almost looks like Eric too. Maybe that is where these nervous feelings are coming from. It’s like triggering maybe…bringing back ptsd almost and I am afraid to trust him because physically he is so much like Eric. I am attracted but also scared.

It’s also like…we haven’t established anything. Only Friday did we get on the same page with attraction, but we BOTH are still on OKCupid…we haven’t talked about being exclusive, or being a couple, or only dating each other. I don’t want to be that physical with someone unless I know it is just me. I’m not going on dates with other people, mostly because there is nothing but trash on that site and it’s kind of crazy I even met Seth at all on there since it’s seriously a joke on there, no one good or willing to have a real conversation.

I’m just scared, and I hate feeling anxious every time we hang out. I just want to get over that and be comfortable with each other but it takes time. I also feel like I can’t tell him about my chronic pain issues or what happened to me last year that caused this chronic pain. But I am going to have to tell him someday and especially if we ever want to have sex I am going to have to tell him about that and why it’s so scary for me to have sex now. But I am afraid to tell him that stuff.

I feel like he would be understanding of my health and pain issues, especially since he has experienced his own health problems, having had cancer, and also having surgery on one of his eyes which makes it so he can’t move one of his eyes. He has experienced the horrors of the body failing in different ways, he would understand I think. But it’s still something really…personal to share and I am not ready to do that.

Anyway…hoping this feeling will pass. Today he texted me to say that last night was great and he also offered to come bring me food which I thought was actually really sweet but I declined as I was hanging out with Kelley today doing homework.

I am glad that he got to meet my friends and see that window into my life. Maybe he can start coming with me to cult movie nights. Finally I will have someone to be touchy feely with like Vince and Charlotte are. It would be nice to have him around my friends more, an integral part, in a way that I had wanted and hoped Mike would be. It would give us something else to do together. Maybe I can eventually meet his friends too.

The good news is that soon it will be Spring, and there will be a lot more to do and enjoy outside, we won’t be stuck indoors at each other’s houses or in restaurants spending money, we will be able to go to parks and stuff for free. Having a guy actually want to be outdoors with me and go to parks and do fun outdoorsy things??? I have never experienced that, and if anything I am excited to finally have that.

Also if anything, this whole experience has really helped me get over Mike. I might miss the aspect of being comfortable with him, but overall…this dating experience has been so much more satisfying at least in terms of actually feeling respected and wanted and having a guy be so impressed and into my intelligence. Talking to a guy who actually responds with more than just a one word answer. I just have to work through my complicated feelings.

One thought on “Dating

  1. When is your next therapy appointment? This might be something good to talk with your therapist about to get some insight about how you’re feeling. I mean, other than Mike – this is the first person you’ve been sort of intimate with since the whole thing with Eric. That on a mental level is going to be difficult until you’re more comfortable with the situation.

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