What an interesting week I’ve had. It started on a high with New Guy/Chicago reunion and has ultimately ended with the dude being replaced by a stomach flu. I don’t mean to wallow, that’s never my intention (seriously, if you assume that about me then I’m doing this wrong). I mean to talk about how very confusing dating is, and highlight the fact that, sometimes, emotions get the best of my immune system.
I really struggle when I don’t know what people are thinking. I don’t know if that’s normal; but, it’s how I am. So much of how I feel and act is determined by what the opposite person is exuding. Typing that felt repulsive, and I don’t want it to be the truth… but it is. Reading people is a strength of mine and when I don’t get that right, I become the most malleable version of me. I will ebb and flow in the least committed direction towards what best fits my interpretation of the situation.
Moreover, something interesting happens when my hopefulness is thrown in– it distorts any signals that I pick up. I lose sight of clarity and start understanding the vibes as something I hope they could be, not what they likely are. This is the reason I am such an advocate for open communication (it cuts out the possibility of misinterpreting behavior) and makes balancing my needs with another’s more attainable. In re-reading that, it seems so obvious that if we could all speak openly with one another so much of the hurt in our lives and world would be extinguished. Maybe one day.
Remember that I don’t like setting expectations? This is why. I think very highly of the guy I’m referring to, but there was a vast difference in our ideas of communication. I was spending too much time in my head trying to ascertain his thoughts in the absence of contact. Ultimately, we both agreed that this wasn’t going to work. If I didn’t already know that I was disappointed, my body wanted to reiterate it with the flu. So, I’m spending the day in bed, trying not to vom, and figuring out how to do better next time.
The thing is, what I thought I’ve been clear on, the only expectation I have of the men I’m meeting is to get to know them. I learned not to assume a dude immediately wants to be my boyfriend sophomore year of high school with Chase Bertrand. If you’re reading this Chase, I’m actually really grateful that you taught me that. Because it’s been a thing I’ve understood for about ten years, when I’m told that someone thinks I’m assuming boyfriend material, I feel slightly insulted by their assumption. When I’m introduced to men, my goal is to meet him, read my initial reaction, and then gauge his. If I don’t sense his clearly, I try to figure it out blindly. Perhaps I’m completely alone in this, or I’m missing an obvious skill, but it kind of seems like I’m set up to fail. Should I set clearer expectations for myself? Should I continue expectation-less but, develop a more fine-tuned method to read people?
How do I know what to expect out of any sort of relationship if the other person doesn’t share their thoughts with me? Is that something that most people ascertain through conversation? Is there something wrong with me? See— I’m conflicted on hypothetical questions because they’re too blatant; yet, I don’t know how else to write so honestly. That’s probably why I’m not yet professionally writing… and I feel by sharing this that I’m broadcasting my flaws and un-datability. But, this whole project is surviving on the notion that I’m meant to be this open. So, I’ll keep going.
I hear from many more and unexpected people than I ever intended through creating this blog. To put that in perspective for you, that’s about 2-3 people for every post (pretty wild, I know). I expected nothing; so, I’m quite thrilled with that. With this post, more than any other, I’m asking for input. What dating advice can you offer? How do I not let my feelings get the best of me and stay out of my head? How does everyone else figure out people? I have too many questions; so, if yours isn’t listed please know that I’m still wondering about it. Advise away– thank you!