Each one of us has our own preferences on many different things, life would be boring otherwise. Take food. If you like mushrooms, what the hell are you thinking? Tinned sweetcorn, there are no words, put the can opener away and donate those vegetables to a food bank. Smoked fish of any kind, have you lost your mind?
It’s the same when you choose to be with someone new, what’s your criteria? Finding out about someone’s personality can be a slow burner whereas looks are more immediate. What you find attractive though is going to be different from what someone else does. It can be a minefield because how we view ourselves is often different from how others see us. You look in the mirror every day and perhaps tell yourself that you’re a solid 6, but everyone you interact with might see you as an 8 or a 9. Clearly, we’re all our own worst critics and with that comes insecurity. It’s a reasonable reaction to think that people who are ridiculously attractive are out of your league, there will always be someone you like who’s a tiny bit intimidating. Are you just talking your way out of rejection though by not answering or asking the question? No one likes to hear the word no.
The liking of someone starts with the little things and then you start to realise that those qualities you’re looking for are right there. You’re falling but the penny drops, she’s way out of your league. Insecurity. You make me sick to my stomach, I wish that I wasn’t me.
An invite for dinner from a couple of friends comes via text. ‘Dinner on Saturday at 8pm, bring wine and don’t dare say no. My sister is in town, we think you’ll get on well.’ There is zero amount of money that could persuade me to say yes to a blind date, there’s as much chance of that happening as me becoming the starting QB for the Jets. Curiosity gets the better of me though and I check out her Twitter. Uh oh, looks like I’m going. Put me in, coach.
I rock up and get introduced. ‘Hey’, she said as I tried to fold my tongue back into my mouth and tried not to stare. Her smile holds my gaze, it’s kind of like that part of the FedEx logo, once you see it, you can never unsee it. Now is definitely not the time to be awkward or shy. The conversation flows as easily as the wine, the night goes better than expected and numbers are exchanged. Maybe this could be something, more likely it’ll be nothing. Insecurity. Before I’m even home though a message arrives asking when we can meet up again. The three day rule is obviously bullshit, right? There are some people you meet and you’re pleased to leave their company, she wasn’t one of them.
We hang out every day for the last two weeks of her trip, the personality is there to match the looks, she’s pretty cool.
Is it any surprise that book smart people sometimes act like complete idiots? Of course I messed up on her last day when she tried to kiss me and I put my hand out to stop it happening, the first time I’ve ever done that to a girl. I didn’t enjoy the look of confusion on her face, the tears on her cheeks, far less the sight of her walking away. It feels too quick but that’s where most men want to get to with someone like her, me included. I just don’t want to be hurt again, the i word.
A message comes from her sister. ‘Looks like you might’ve fucked that up?’ That’s like saying that the Titanic encountered an issue or two. Maybe her attitude softens when another one comes a while later asking if I’m okay. I’m miles away from being okay, I couldn’t see okay through binoculars right now.
You need to take a chance now and again, don’t you? Is it natural to want to try and stop your world from turning so you can figure shit out? It’s rare in life when everything you want lines up just right, but isn’t it true that the worst set of circumstances is always what your brain conjures up? Never mind what the reality is, the fiction always seems more real. Maybe you don’t get through discomfort or pain easily. Sometimes life throws you a curveball, a little roadblock on the place you need to get to. We might always have that tiny bit of self doubt, but perhaps you have to go with what you know in your heart and trust yourself. No one is out of anyone’s league, you might think that you don’t have a chance but how would you know if you haven’t even asked?
After being alone for a while, it’s strange when your thoughts start to include another person. A message is sent with an explanation, hoping for a reply. Time to wait.
Take a breath.