I have gotten a college diploma, but no first date. Is that strange?
Some of my friends in college certainly thought so. Usually, they were just surprised by the fact. Others tried to make me feel bad about it. While that effort more or less spectacularly failed, I definitely felt different than my peers.
But the truth is, I can’t date.
I wasn’t meant for the too much , too quick or is it love or is it lust kind of relationship I watched blossom and die all around me in highschool and college.
Growing up, I never knew love could be casual. I went to school with Christians, predominantly Catholics, who spoke of love as being holy, always culminating in a marriage that was a thousand times more than just a piece of paper and (possibly temporary) exchanging of some rings. Love meant unconditional, and marriage meant forever.
And for many people, that was all just words. But, almost accidentally, I took that kind of message to heart. I gave myself the mostly arbitrary limit of sixteen years old- I would not date until I was at least sixteen- and by that time had seen enough of my friends’ and family’s relationship to have a better understanding of what this whole “dating” thing meant to me.
So therefore f I date, I want to date someone I truly like, and I refuse to settle.
I want someone who is my best friend.
I want someone who I can see a future with.
I want someone who is independent. I want someone who will live their life, and I will live mine, and when we’re together it’ll be fantastic and when we’re apart, we’ll know we’re still okay.
And, most importantly to me right now, I want to be someone worthy of dating this type of person.
While I can’t control the person I end up with, if I end up dating someone, I can control what kind of person I am, right here, right now. And I think I still have some kinks to work out, as the saying goes.
I want to be a fit person, with a fit body. What does that mean?
I know I struggle to interact with people, and I think that has to change. A lot of people it’s just hard to be around. They scare me. I wonder constantly what they are thinking. More than anything, I don’t want to be a burden to them.
And then other times, I don’t care, I really don’t care at all. Sometimes I feel these ways about the same person, just different days. It’s confusing. Sometimes I can hear the angry voices of my parents or the sound of depression coming out of my mouth, targeting innocents.
Sometimes caring just gets too much. I bounce between the extremes of caring too much or too little, rarely settling into that sweet spot where I am free to be myself but embrace others for who they are at the same time.
Even when I can admit I care about someone, I have difficulty believing those that seem to- or say- they care about me as well I have trusted before, and been led on and lied to because of it.
But I don’t want to not have faith in those I care about. I don’t want to be the jealous type. I don’t want to have to wonder. In any kind of loving relationship (be it dating or friendship, etc) I want to be able to accept that they love me. I want to be comfortable spending time with people I care about.
A lot of this applies to friendships, as well as dating. But where friendships and romantic attachment diverge is when it comes to physical acts- the things I least talk about, but will attempt to in the briefest of words here.
In a relationship, and yes this is almost my version of what the Church says, you are to give yourself to someone completely and strive for their happiness, and develop a spiritual bond through physical means. So if you are overweight, like myself… that causes problems in your capability to do that. That’s why I wait as well.
To put it plainly, I won’t date until I am fit and healthy again. I think it’s the least I could do, for myself, for my partner, for what I want out of our relationship.
Not dating is definitely a choice. It’s not always an easy choice, but it’s one that allows me to confidently say now, I am so happy I did not end up with anyone I used to like. I am not ready to be anyone else moving forward yet either.
It’s a matter of knowing myself, and knowing what I want. It’s a matter of becoming me, before I search for my “one true love”. And in the end, the wait will be worth it.