If you’re looking for advice on this topic, best you move along – you won’t find any here (perhaps you can point me in the right direction?). This is a kind of confession, I guess…
You’ll be excused if, judging from my online interaction, you were under the impression that I’m a confident and social person. Because I am that on-screen. In real life, however, I’m the poster child for social awkwardness and shyness, unless I know the people in whose company I am fairly well.
So the whole meeting new people (offline), getting to know them better (offline), and possibly building a relationship (offline) is pretty difficult for me. It’s compounded by the fact that I over-think everything. EVERYTHING! In my limited experience, dating is just plain awkward – where do you meet people (don’t tell me the grocery store, church, or through friends, and definitely not “on the internet”); where do you go on a date? There’s no point going to the movies because you can’t talk. Dinner dates have a similar problem, with the added pressure of what to order: if you order salad he thinks you’re a health-nut, if you order steak he might be intimidated, if you order sushi you could be considered a hipster or something, and pasta (spaghetti isn’t even an option!)… okay, pasta might be acceptable. I think. Actually, don’t let me think.
Even if you do meet someone you think you might like, and you go on a date somewhere you can talk and not have to worry about parsley in your teeth, I’m convinced that most of the time at least one person goes home disappointed. There are subconscious expectations about stuff – mutual interests, morals, physical appearance, etc.
And before you think about introducing me to your brother, friend, cousin, I’m in a complicated mindset about my relationship status. Strictly speaking, I’m single. I haven’t been on a date in years. I haven’t been wooed, sent flowers, been on the receiving end of a
mixed tape playlist, or any such thing in longer than what I’d care to think about right now (oh look, I’ve found something I won’t over-think, hurrah! :P). But I love my best friend. Very much. It’s not completely one-sided, but he won’t ever get to where I am emotionally, and to his credit, he told me exactly how he feels about relationships the first day we had something resembling a date (incidentally we ended up sharing a few starters at Spur after we couldn’t agree on a movie to watch. And we met at work, in case you were wondering).
This is my problem. Sort of. I’m not sure I have a problem, but some of those close to me think I do; they all feel I deserve better. Better than what though? I’m curious about giving myself a chance to be loved by someone who might consider marrying me (and not just agree to be my absent-minded neighbour when we’re old and shaky). But my best friend will always be my friend – after everything we’ve been through, we’ll always be there for each other. He encourages me to find someone special that isn’t him, and I don’t know if I can.
And the fact that I’ll rather stick bamboo shoots under my nails than try the whole dating thing, is not helping the situation. So tell me about your love story; your happily so far… Where’d you meet? What did you do on your first date – and your last one? How long have you been together?