There's no getting around the initial awkwardness of a first date with a person you've never met before. No matter how much "e-chemistry" you might think you have with an online match, it may or may not be there when you meet in person. Yesterday I had a date with Mr. Civics Teacher, who had made me laugh like a maniac on e-mail and even on the phone. But in person, there was really nothing there. Thankfully we were able to cut it short, using my truly sore throat as an excuse to head home before it got dark.
All of this sitting in awkwardness (and with Dr. Nutrition at least, feeling some butterflies and giddiness, too) has got me thinking a lot about the comfort I had with SCL. Sometimes I think I want him back--but what I really want is familiarity. With familiarity, there's less vulnerability, less fear, and less unknown. There is less risk involved. I think in my mini-freak-out on Monday, that's what was going on. I didn't know this man next to me. What is lurking under his positive exterior? What secrets is he keeping? What will the process of getting to know him be like?
The truth is yes, SCL and I did have familiarity. We did know one another. But, oh yeah, I was miserable. And that familiarity had nothing to do with him in particular. It had to do with the time we'd spent together, memories we made, life lived over time. I can and will have that again with someone else.
When I let myself feel what I'm feeling, I realize that despite the unknown, I want to keep doing this--keep meeting new people, have some so-so dates, have some potentially awesome ones, but regardless, I want to keep putting myself out there. It is risky and scary, but I also have already met some great people--and Dr. Nutrition and I are scheduling our third date! I'm glad I don't have the option of staying in that miserable familiarity. I'm glad that I've found the strength to put myself out there, to give myself another chance to connect with another person.
A little awkwardness never killed anyone, right?