It was last night, and I was driving. The rain was pouring down heavier than I was used too. My wipers were in badly need of replacement. Each swipe would temporarily clear my view before the return swipe would blur it again. I got onto the freeway worried if I would be able to see well enough to avoid an accident. I was halfway to my destination when I realized: I was far more worried about driving in the rain than I was about meeting a complete stranger for dinner.
We had matched a few days earlier, and hit it off immediately. We made plans to meet up. I was excited to meet her. She was attractive and seemed silly and awkward in an endearing way. I thought of fun conversations I wanted to have with her. At no point did I feel the pit in my stomach. The anxiety didn’t rise up and paralyze me. I felt completely myself. I think this was the first time.
The date went horribly. There was nothing there, she had no affect. I could catch no emotion out of her at all. She could have been high on something, I wouldn’t have been surprised. After an hour we went back to our cars. I felt amazing. Again, this was probably the first time after a bad date where I wasn’t obsessively analyzing everything. I wasn’t going back through our conversations trying to decode what I could have done differently to make her like me. I didn’t care. She wasn’t who I was looking for. Now I know and I’m one step closer to finding someone who is.
I wonder what brought me to this point? I think it is a combinations of several factors. I’ve been more outgoing. I have been talking to strangers on the street and have been less fearful of them. I’ve gone on quite a few first dates the past couple weeks, all of which I am very unlikely to ever hear from again. I’ve been experimenting with some anxiety improving supplements. And I’ve had some pretty good meditations as well. I may discuss some of these tactics more in depth later.
I think the takeaway from this experience is something simple I’ve never been able to accept before: It’s not my fault. I was myself, I was interested, I was outgoing, I wasn’t afraid. That’s everything I wanted to be, and if that’s not enough… It’s not my problem.
I’ve done it, I can keep doing it. I can keep being myself when I’m alone or with others.
And now the quarantines might start.