Dating gives everyone anxiety, right?
|Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash|
A few weeks ago, I was bored. I claim to be an introvert, but I often feel the need to chat with people to occupy myself. I recently had a conversation about the possibility that I’m just a really shy and anxious extrovert. Is that a thing?
So, I was bored and decided I wanted to chat with some new people, so I activated my dormant OK Cupid account. I was sure to mention on my profile that I was primarily interested in conversation, but was open to that leading to more. I mentioned my love of Stephen King and Doctor Who, and that immediately asking for sex will get you blocked.
A handful of people messaged me (I hear the experience is quite different if you are male) and I responded to each of them, quickly weeding out those who immediately started asking for sex – did they not read the part about conversation, or do they just not care?! Probably both. People can be pigs.
This process brings out zero anxiety. I’m hiding safely behind the internet and have no problem telling people to fuck off if they’re too pushy, or showing interest if I have it. At this point in the game, I have nothing to lose. And if I end up getting nothing out of it except for a few okay-ish conversations, that’s fine. After all, I was just bored and filling time.
Then a guy messaged me talking about Stephen King. Excellent strategy, by the way. The “hi how are you” opener only goes so far. We had a great conversation about all things SK before moving on to talk about ourselves. After several days of this, I was ready to deactivate my OKC account – too many douchebags, man – so we moved to text. After I was sure I felt comfortable with him – and I really did, which isn’t a common occurrence for me – we discussed meeting in person.
The days leading up to the first date were full of anticipation and excitement. Of course the day of the date, it was Anxiety City. I was so sure that in-person me wouldn’t hold up to online me. I’m chubbier in person than I look in my pictures. I can talk easily through text, but in person I freeze up and have nothing to say. Then there’s always the possibility that in person, there’s just no chemistry.
These thoughts and many more occupied my thoughts that day. I was beyond hiding behind the internet and not caring if the person liked me. I really wanted him to like me. I ran through every possible “what if” scenario imaginable.
In the end, there was no need for the anxiety. I was incredibly comfortable with him, the date went great, he likes me as much as I like him, and we’ve talked every day since.
Yet again, Anxiety was wrong.