The anxiety is crippling. Like I’m being choked. Disappointment is palpable. And it’s all I can do to not fall into a rabbit hole of my own making. Of my sadness. Even now, just the thought takes over my body.
It. Is. Exhausting.
Where did he go? Where did I go?
I can’t exactly pinpoint when I started fearing the disappearance of men. Or the disappearance of me. Or really when [casual] dating started to take such a heavy toll on me. If you saw me in the first few weeks of dating someone, I am for the most part, one cool and easy breezy kickass lady.
When I start to actually like someone (which is kind of rare for the number of dates I go on), I can’t help but picture them in my life. I mean. That seems fairly natural. And at this point, well, I am 36 (although despite the societal assumptions of that number, I am still unsure on marriage and children).
At that moment, when I realize this may really have some sort of something to it, I start to fall into a self-created emotional tailspin. And the questions start. Could he tell I started caring? Does he see I’m vulnerable? Will he be in touch? Should I reach out? When will I see him again? Should I tell people about him? And if I do, will I have jinxed it? How exactly should I do this? What did I do wrong? Why not me? And if I have all of these questions, it probably isn’t right, right? And on. And on. And on. Goodness, it’s dizzying reading just a small percentage of them. Can’t someone please tell me how it all works out?
I’ve tried activities and techniques to quiet my mind as the anxiety builds. Some work more than others. But more often than not, the frenzy wins out. And with that, comes a huge disappointment in myself. Like I should be stronger. Like if I was, this wouldn’t be happening. Like I can control any of this.
I despise this me. Or at least this child-like sobbing version of me. And that self-hate only makes it worse.
It’s often impossible for me to explain to even close friends how someone who seems to have everything so together, can fall apart after just a few dates with someone. Imagine if I actually had to deal with real heartbreak? Pull it together.
But I do fall apart. And it’s terrifying. And it feels like I’m watching some version of myself through this terribly pathetic rearview mirror.
I don’t want this to be a part of me. I don’t want to have this version of me hiding inside. But it is. And I do. And it has much less to do with the suitor than with me as it turns out. Which is so much more heartbreaking.
My fear. My anxiety. I guess we don’t get to choose them. But maybe just recognizing their existence is a start.