Thursday, July 28, 2011

Adventures in Online Dating - Part 2

If I hide my head, you can't see me.

I’ve definitely slowed down the pace at which I am communicating with people, over email as well as texting and meeting in person. It became such a time-consuming prospect, and work has been absolutely nuts…  I found myself spending a long day at work and then coming home to sit on the computer and attempt to reply to messages that I’d gotten.

Something had to give.

And, in the grand scheme of things, while I am looking to meet someone amazing at some point—I’m not in a rush. I have a feeling it’s going to take a long time to find, and in the mean time, I can only hope to meet some truly interesting, engaging people.

What I’m finding so far, though, is that some people really don’t want to be seen. Some just don’t want to be known… don’t want to be felt… don’t want to be heard.

Growing up, I had a cat named Smudge who would constantly poke his head into a bag, or under a couch cushion, or into the mail slot in the desk by the phone.

His head was hidden, but the rest of his body was quite visible.

We always thought he did this as a way of saying, “If I hide my head, you can’t see me.”

We got lots of laughs from this as a family, but I really think this notion applies to dating, as well.

We humans work so hard to hide certain parts of ourselves, unaware that the rest of us is hanging out, in clear view. We try so hard to keep Pandora's box tightly shut. It takes a lot of effort, doesn't it? And how well does keeping that box closed really work, in the first place? 

I would go so far as to say that we work so hard to hide our faults, our deep inner secrets, our hearts, our souls… unaware that the harder we work to hide—the more visible we actually become.

People claim they want to be open and not be judged.

And yet, when they experience my openness and my willingness to listen, and when they find themselves confessing things to me that normally they wouldn’t say, it’s apparently unnerving and downright disarming.

I can’t tell you just how many times I’ve heard these words: “I’ve never told anyone that before.”

Or, “I don’t usually talk about this stuff. Ever.”

Thus, the unnerving, disarming part…

These are the things worth sharing, though. Those secret things are what makes someone worth knowing. It's how intimacy is nurtured.

And that’s what the men I’ve met actually don’t like—to be that exposed, that vulnerable…

That could explain why I’ve experienced the same multiple times now… when I put myself out there, and when I am simply me… it’s just a little more than they’re used to. It throws them for a loop and at first, they aren’t sure what to do with it. And in the end, it’s easier to walk away early on than to risk.

What exactly is the risk, though?

My opinion is that if someone truly sees a person for who he or she really is, that person is in danger of being discovered, judged, and ultimately rejected.

In other words… reject first. Get them before they get you.

(Because then, I won’t be able to see that he’s really not good enough.)

Yes. I do think it boils down to the “not good enough” tape.

When I say that I am open, I mean it. I really am. And I not only hope for that in return, I have come to just “be” in such a way that I am non-verbally asking the person I’m connecting with to be open, as well.

It’s amazing to me just how many folks want no part of that.

I get why. I used to be there myself.

And it's hard to be open. It means you could get hurt, which as you know, I have very recently experienced. (Thus, the other reason why I'm taking a bit of a breather.)

People don’t typically interact that openly on a daily basis. It’s easier to make jokes, tell funny stories, talk about how hot it is (I mean, it’s Texas in July, do you expect anything other than, "It's damn hot!"?), TV shows, the latest sports team debacle, or useless trivia, etc.

It seems that some people live their whole lives in small talk. 

I used to be the same—closed up, sputtering out the headlines of my stories a bunch at a time so that I was just interesting enough to keep people around me, but not threatening, and certainly with absolutely no clue as to what intimacy really is.

These days, however… intimacy is not only something I want—it’s something I am willing to take a risk and be vulnerable for. It’s something I strive to nurture in the close relationships in my life. In other words, for me, intimacy has become a necessity.

Even if it hurts.

I spoke of living the alternative for so long... of being disconnected, out of touch, and even numb. I make different choices now, and while that means I do feel pain on a deeper level, it also means I relish happiness and pure joy when I feel it.

So if I go on a couple of dates with someone, and we never get past the banter, the light talk, the joking around, and the general awkwardness, then chances are, we aren’t ever going to get very far... period.

I suppose that’s all just part of this dating game, isn’t it?

1 comment:

  1. My friend bought a necklace from you in the shape of a dogbone (hope you don't mind my calling it that)in green and pink. It was $69.00 and she bought it at the Frito Lay show. I had a booth there too. I make metal clay jewelry and now after about 2 years, I'm making lampwork beads.

    I have watched your YouTube video that you made at Wired Up Beads several times. I knew that was where you made it by the big stainless steel round pan. I love the bead that my friend bought so much that I'm trying to make something similar - so I guess the bottom line is - I really love your lampwork beads.

    Perhaps someday you'd want to get together and we can make some beads in my Studio. I'm not one of those weird people out there. I'm a 66 year old grandmom of 6. You can learn more about me at I don't have any lampwork posted there though . One of those things I need to do. I have some on my FBook page. OK, that's it.... yes, I read your blog every so often and I think your such a great lampwork artist. I wish you well!