This post should probably be about South Carolina and the date I had there. In fact, I’ve been noodling around with drafts of that post for longer than most people spend doing their taxes and making fun of lumberjacks. But the truth is, I have other fish frying up in my head at the moment, about the breeding nature of insecurity.
A friend of mine recently sashayed into the online datingverse and we’ve started the process of talking online-dating with one another, which in girl-land means we forward weird messages we receive in hopes of landing clarification and moral support.* Which led me to think about the first truly bizarre message I got online back in 2007. I had a photo of myself leaping through ocean waves on my favorite holiday, Martin Luther King’s birthday, in a bikini. The guy wrote a note about how he enjoyed my profile, I had a great smile, and “what appears to be a pot-belly, too!”
In retrospect, it was easy to see the biggest issue was the man’s bad judgement, and he probably meant it in a sweet way because had just listed two compliments. Insecurity is a trickster though, clouding judgement and rational thought. I know I’m not bad to look at, but trust me…even pondering wearing a bikini has been less fun ever since.
Insecurity has other games to play these days, since she knows I’m confident in how I look (two piece suits aside). She’s a siren-tongued, smooth operator whose voice rises at the most inconvenient times. Like when I start to think about life and dating after Fifty/Fifty.
What if no one wants to date the girl who went on fifty dates? she whispers knowingly, as though she herself has experienced fifty first dates and lived to tell the after-tale. Or what if all you’re good at are first dates? You just might not be relationship material. Can you accept who someone actually is rather than who they seem to be? Can they accept the real you vs their fantasy of who you appear to be?
Insecurity seems to know which buttons to push in my brain that will keep me awake at night when all I meant to do was get up for a drink of water. She’s a good snuggler, so talking her down means feeling lonesome for a spell. Except…I know that by bitch-smacking her away from me, what I’m actually doing is making room for an actual person to be my companion rather than an inanimate, manipulator who exists only in my mind.
She does have one thing worth thinking about, though: what if fifty first dates was really a way to escape having to let someone actually know me (and thus potentially face an even more heart-breaking rejection)…or what if fifty first dates was really a way to escape having to actually know someone else?**
*By sashayed I actually mean went in kind of unwillingly but also open to the possibilities.
**At moments like this, I kind of preferred being nineteen and under-experienced with dating and relationships. The worries felt simpler and though they felt far more profound, they were actually far less.