Saturday, March 7, 2009

Unpacking the Insecurities

Sometimes I think you just need to rant and get it all out, tonight is one of those nights. So here goes. Saying it's scary to have this out there is the understatement of the year...

I'm usually at least outwardly confident in regards to my relationship status. I joke with my family about my plans to be a crazy cat lady, an old maid. I groan that there may in fact be cobwebs filling up my lady parts. When someone asks, I say I just haven't met anyone I'm interested in being with, nobody I like enough to spend large amounts of time with. I shrug and mutter that I'm sure he'll show up someday.
When it's just me, though, and I get to thinking about it, the insecurities take over.
I mean, I'm 23 years old. I've only ever had one official boyfriend... and that was almost 5 years ago. 5 years. Even I know that's not normal. 5 years and not even the slightest hint of interest or action... well, other than creepers in the alley, which does not count.
Not normal at all. Those insecurities start to tug at me, what's so wrong with me that only alley creepers are interested in me? I mean, I'm not completely repulsive, I'm generally a nice person too, am I emitting some sort of "men, stay the hell away" signal?!?
I am introverted. I know that. I generally like spending time alone, so being single isn't completely terrible. I like being able to come home at night to the cat waiting for me in a quiet apartment.
Just me, and that's okay.
But it's not always okay.
I'm tired of being the odd one out. I'm tired of always being second choice. I want to be somebody's number one for once, the first one they call, the one they would rather be with. I don't think I've ever been somebody's number one.
I want a partner in crime, someone to have adventures with, someone to share my day with.
Unfortunately (or, maybe fortunately) the cat doesn't respond when I talk to him.
I wonder if part of the problem is the fear. The fear of taking a risk, of trusting someone, of new things, of new people, of communicating with someone on a real deep level, of being hurt again. I don't like uncertainties, and it takes me a long time to even build friendships with new people. I clam up. Don't tell them the stuff inside of you because they're going to judge you. I am very rarely uncensored, even around my closest friends.
And I'm picky. I've always maintained that it is a good thing to be picky. You should NOT lower your standards for anyone, I've proclaimed. But maybe my pickiness holds me back. That's what my Mom always says when I am too picky to eat foods. "Try it, you'll like it." She's been crooning that statement to me in a singsongy voice for as long as I can remember.
I am so worried about people judging me too quickly, yet I am fast to judge others.
But I suppose that pickiness has really only been applied recently to online dating. You can't be picky when there's nothing in real life to be picky about.
And so, for now, I guess I'll just pack up the insecurities, suck it up, and be happy with being second choice. He'll come along someday, right? Good thing cats have relatively long life expectancies.


Meri said...

Finding someone with whom you actually connect can be difficult can't it? And often more than a little frustrating. My best bud was in a similar situation. She was wonderful, amazing, and beautiful, but she just didn't meet someone with whom she had a genuine spark. Eventually she did and is now happy, but that doesn't take away from the fact that she had a hard time through her 20's. Good luck with the online dating, I've heard good and bad things, hoepfully you can have more of the former!

Lily said...

I also agree that cats can be lifesavers.

And then I wonder about the cat-lady thing myself. ALL of my friends are coupled. ALL of them. My last real relationship ended... 3 years ago and while yes, I've serial dated and slept with a number of men since, it does not fill that void of having what you described - being someone's number one. I barely remember what that feels like. Even with JR, finding out I wasn't really his #1... talk about devastating when you think you are. It's like starting at square one all over again.

I hear you. And hope that being open to this online dating thing opens new doors for me. And you too :)

You're beautiful and smart and YES, will find someone who will connect with you. We both will.

Carmen said...

I haven't officially been in a relationship for almost three years - and honestly - I don't even know if you can count the last three years of my relationship an actual relationship. So I know where you are coming from...

That said, you are right not to settle. The right guy will come around, and when he does, you will be glad you waited.

PS... I hope your mom's surgery goes well on Monday - I'll be thinking of your family.

Amy said...

I think being picky is a good thing! You don't want to settle. That being said, at least in my case, I've found that when I'm making the least effort to connect with someone, that's when good things tend to happen.

For example two and a half years ago, I was doing online dating too, just because I found it SO difficult to meet people in real life. I'm totally not the type of person to approach someone, say, in a store or a bar. I met a few people from online. Some were cool and some were complete wankers but I didn't click with any of them. I was pretty worried about not being able to connect with anybody and afraid I was being too picky.
One of my guy friends invited me to go out with him and a couple of his friends from university. I agreed, not thinking anything would come of it, just a couple of hours hanging out with a group. I ended up hitting it off really well with one of his friends. Fast forward to now...we are engaged and getting married October 17 :) I guess my point is, the less you worry about it and bank on something happening, the more likely it is that it will happen naturally. As long as you're somewhat open to meeting people, it's just a matter of time. But yeah...when it comes to online, you HAVE to be particular, there are many douchebags lurking there :D

Jaye said...

I've said for years now that if I hadn't found my husband, I would have done the whole online thing. It's a great way to (hopefully) weed out the creeps! Good luck!! :O)

Cheryl said...

One thing to remember is to always trust your gut, which seems to be telling you, correctly, not to settle. Why should you? You're young enough to wait for the prefect guy. And, of course, enjoy yourself. Whether you're alone or with someone else, enjoy your life. Good luck

ria said...

i think it's great that you are picky. you don't want to settle. life is too short for settling. i hope it helped to get that off your chest. you are a beautiful, smart chick and you will find your match! until then enjoy that your cat doesn't talk back :)

EP said...

A few years ago, I could have written this post. Word for word, I swear. There is NOTHING wrong with being picky. Because, as Ria already said, life is too short for settling.

In all due time, your guy will come along, and it will be wonderful.