It’s a week later, and things are going well with the Architect. Like, really well. Tuesday, we went to a gallery followed by an evening of drinks and epic conversation at my favorite dive bar. Heck, I even loved the songs he picked on the jukebox. Last night, we went for Thai food and ended up back at my place, rolling around on my bed naked, until 3 a.m. I just got a text message from him asking if I’m free tomorrow. I’m learning so much about him, and I’m liking all I’m finding out. So far there’s been nothing to send me running in the opposite direction—no incurable STD or ex-girlfriends with histories of assault.
And this all has me … freaking the f**k out.
Seriously, I am keeping it under wraps and trying to play it cool, but I’m kind of a wreck. I’ve thought a lot this week about what is making me so uncomfortable—because if it’s something about him that my subconscious is recognizing while the actual me is oblivious, I don’t want to figure that out a year from now. But the more I think about it, the issues are mine.
I think what’s going on is twofold. First, I’ve been single for a long time. And as much as I think and complain to my friends about how there are no good ones left and how dating is misery, the truth is that I like being single. I like having loads of time after work to go out with friends. I like being able to pick how to spend my lazy weekend days. I like not being responsible to anyone. I like the feeling of possibility that happens when you go out to a bar and lock eyes with a hot guy or brush against one on the subway. As much as I’ve wanted to find love, all of a sudden I’m nervous about all the doors it closes.
The second issue is a little harder to fess up to. Being single has been rough. Over the past few years, I’ve haven’t been treated so well by dudes. There have been dozens whom I went out with once or hooked up with at a bar or party, who disappeared into oblivion, never to return a phone call or email again. Not to say that they owe me anything more—but somehow the repetition has sent the message, “You’re disposable.”
Then there are the handful who pursued me hardcore and stuck around until I f**ked them, at which point they abruptly gave me the “I’m not ready for a relationship” speech, which will never fail to annoy me because who said I was? And there have been the two that hurt the most—both guys I got to the stage where I’m at with the Architect now. The ones who I adored and could have seen myself with long-term, and who seemed to feel the same way. Until they decided they just weren’t feeling it and quickly retreated. Over the past few years, I’ve dealt with a lot of rejection. I like to think that I’ve come through it unscathed, but I’m seeing now how deeply I’ve internalized the feeling that I’m not good enough. That no one will love me and choose me, the way I see them choosing my friends and co-workers. I’m so, so terrified that this person I’m growing to rely on will suddenly discover whatever it is all these guys before him have realized. And that he’ll reject me, too.
So there it is. Now, how do I push past all this crap?
Original by: Dater X