Anxiety Dating

I want him to love me. I want him to be in love with me. And I’m probably willing to do anything to accomplish that. Fuck. As I’m sitting there in my gold teeth, Chanel chain, lavender Mongolian lamb coat, and pink velvet ankle boots, I realize: I’ve probably overshot the mark on this one. As usual. God, why am I such a fucking try-hard. I’m trying to be witty and winning and funny in this otherwise unremarkable sports bar on a Tuesday night, feeling slightly awkward and out of place. Kicking myself for shooting so low, yet again, with my romantic ambitions. Yes, his dick is huge, but woman cannot live on dick alone. I’m putting all this effort into appearing girlfriendly, but what the fuck is he doing for me? I’m desperately trying to seem lovable, but does he even want me to love him? Or just fuck him. Sigh. Eye roll. Whatever.

This is just who I am. Or, this is who I have become after being raised Catholic. I still can’t seem to separate myself from all that early childhood indoctrination I endured. I should be a good wife! I should cook! I should clean! I should bear children! All of which I rebelled against very thoroughly, but, in retrospect, it wasn’t a very effective rebellion because I just found myself in relationship after relationship with men who echoed those sentiments in post modern, pop culture iterations. Suck dick! Be obedient! Behave yourself! Do as you’re told!

God, I can’t stand this. This man is probably just like every other man I date: depressed, nonfunctional, brilliant but bogged down by the confines of society. They say that you date the parent that you had the most problems with, and as I look at the roster of exboyfriends and exlovers, I can’t help but realize: damn, I did not know my mom was that fucked up of a person. Poor girl.

I want something better than that. I want something that doesn’t require a bottomless pit of effort in order for me to feel like I deserve love. I just want to relax. To wear my ridiculous outfits and not feel like a fucking spectacle. To be witty and weird and not constantly feel like I’m saying the wrong thing. I just want to be myself and have that be okay. Instead of constantly trying to hide myself because that’s the only way anyone will ever love me.

I’m probably overthinking this. I mean – I’m definitely overthinking this. That’s just what I do. It’s why I’m dressed up like a cream puff in a sports bar talking too much about the long and rich history of Emeryville, yet again. Mulling over in my mind how can I use every day conversation to build rapport, to build trust, to demonstrate my character, to be vulnerable, to be strong, to build intimacy and generate attraction. All of these things should add up to this person liking me. But he’s here, so he must like me on some level, even if this entire process feels inscrutable, and there he is, a mystery laid before me that I must crack open and understand. God, it’s so much work. Why can’t I just find a cheat code and skip to the part where I get to find out if this is a good decision or not. Why do I have to put all my weeknights and weekends into discerning: who the fuck is this person? And do I like myself when I’m around him? What if the answer is no? What if this is a massive waste of time? Should I be playing the field more? Fucking a million other people? How the fuck do people even get into relationships?

Okay, okay, calm down, it’s not that difficult. People do it all the time. Maybe if I just relax my way into this, I’ll yield good results. Although, no, I don’t want to slip and fall into another relationship because that was horrible. Must set goals for myself. Which feels so transactional, but fuck it. If I don’t have a vision and I don’t have direction, then I’ll wind up falling off an emotional cliff just like I did last time. Focus. I need focus.

So I sip my gin and soda, smile, and see what the fuck happens. I’m having a good time. This is good. I like being out, so even if this turns out a total wash, at least I’m enjoying myself. Everything is going to be okay. I’ll be okay. Right?

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