Enjoying the Awkwardness...Er, Newness

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?


  1. I know EXACTLY what you mean with the comfort of familiarity. It is something you miss, and cannot have with someone else. It is a comfort and a niceness.....knowing how he will react, how he thinks. Having shared things together, expressions, is hard to give up for the unknown and there is a security in having it.
    But you are right about the risks we must take in order to find someone else. And it is not easy to start the whole thing over again....have him meet the family, explain about your upbringing. And it takes time to have a relationship that gives you those NEW memories and expriences together. Yes, it's starting all over again! But it is nice to enjoy the journey, esp if you meet someone who gives you the "flutters" all over again! Not easy, but so worth it, especially if it is lasting and growing.
    I miss that a lot with my ex BF, but I too hope to find it again with someone else!

  2. Like we were talking about, remember that at one point you had that awkward newness with SCL also and eventually you got to comfortable. It'll happen again.

    And comfort isn't always a good thing. Sometimes it can keep you from experiencing something great. I found that out when I lost my job in January. I stayed there mostly because I was comfortable there and I know it was holding me back. Now I'm back in school, working at a fun job and I don't feel STUCK.

    Just remember, this is happening for a reason.

  3. Good for you for recognizing that the familiarity grows over time and knowing that you will develop it again! Stick with it, girl!

  4. Hey, there has been something I've been wondering for a while now. Does SCL know about the blog? If so, have you asked him not to read it? I have not told my bf about my blog (or anyone IRL for that matter) because I want to be able to write freely about issues. But I suppose there is the risk that someday he might find out and be upset.

    Glad to hear you're enjoying dating! I think I know what you mean for the familiarity. Sometimes I miss my ex like crazy, until I remember that I was miserable with him. Mostly I just miss the good times we had together, not him specifically.

  5. I remember missing that feeling of familiarity after a big break up, but these things take time. SCL is your person to look back on and compare right. Sooner or later there will be a new guy and the familiarity will return even more so than before!

  6. You will get comfortable with someone again. But for now...along with the awkwardness and the the excitement and the possibility of greatness. Savor it and enjoy all of your "firsts"...even the uncomfortable ones.

  7. Wow... I'm new to the blog....actually found it having googled the quote "Life is good. Life is hard. These two truths are unrelated."

    At the bright young age I managed to acquire a divorce. I find this quite the feat seeing as most 22 years have yet to be married.

    I wasnt happy... honestly, I'm not even sure I was happy before the marriage, but much like you I saw a time line and I wanted things to fall into place.... I actually thought somehow marriage would make things work. Boy, was I wrong on that one!

    I remember all of the horrible first dates. Just wait until you have a creepy man lie about his age and then slickly slide his hand down your dress to ask if you are wearing a thong! -something to look forward to haha. But I have actually managed to find something real.

    I have no idea what will come of this relationship... But I know I am happy and I refuse to fall into the same traps again. Slow and steady wins the race and this time I'm not in a rush.

    Newness is scary. Nevertheless, newness brings about wonderful and amazing changes! You will meet someone and find yourself laughing and leaning into him...the sweet pet names... Don't give up hope....but don't attempt to rush this dating process either!

    Rooting for you and for me!

  8. I love this line...
    "I'm glad that I've found the strength to put myself out there, to give myself another chance to connect with another person."
    So inspiring!

  9. Welcome new readers! It's so exciting when new people comment, though of course I love comments in general. Well, at least the ones that Comment Bouncer deems appropriate.

    @Sparkle Magic--I just wrote up a FAQ with the answer. I get the question about SCL a lot.

    Re: FAQ, let me know what I should add.

  10. I have been reading your blog for a while and have never commented.

    I just wanted to say thank you for being so open and honest. Without going into to much info, im a 21 year old girl from Australia and I have had a really similar situation (boyfriend for 2 years.. he cheated so I ended it.. he wanted me back.. got back together.. but after 2 months he stopped making effort again so I had to end it) only to add to it he is in a band that is semi well known in Australia so now I have to read about him in magazines whilst getting my hair done haha..

    Anyway the point is that I am so glad there is somebody else out there who goes on dates and only thinks of their ex. It makes me feel like it's normal and that I will move on and forget about him and that one day somebody new will feel familiar again.

    Your honesty has helped me so much so thank you for being so transparent. I just thought you'd like to know your writing is affecting people, even in Australia

  11. Anon--Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story. It's hard for me to believe that telling my story has helped others, but it makes it all worthwhile and motivates me to keep on writing.

    I have to say that dating has been a great distraction and I do find that SCL is no longer at the forefront of my mind all day.

    But there are times in the middle of dates when thoughts of him come flooding in--and I just have to take a deep breath and wait it out. Eventually the thoughts leave and I feel normal again. The most important thing is just to let yourself feel what you feel, knowing you won't feel it forever.

    Much love and hugs to you all the way in Austrailia.