A couple of things have happened recently, in the spirit of learning to connect I was told that someone was interested in me romantically, I sound like a bit of a maiden aunt, but at 52 I’m past the teenage vernacular that a guy “fancies me”(UK term).
Anyway I’ve known this guy for a few months, he’s a DJ well that’s his night job, he does have a grown up day job, I hadn’t had much conversation with him, mainly just pleasantries, so was very surprised to find out he was interested.
Now given my personal demons I’ve eschewed personal relationships preferring to keep a safe emotional distance my logic being if I don’t like myself who would, a bit pathetic, however I’ve been trying to like me, and find those qualities that might make me attractive to someone else.
You see how I’m not getting to the point, (avoidance is a hard habit to break) Ok to get to the point, we’ve had several phone conversations over the last month or so, culminating in a date last week!!!
I woke up that day feeling the anxiety bubbling up to a tidal wave of terror, also how could I get out of this…I didn’t dare eat, in the middle of this he called to say he was looking forward to the date, I just wanted to crawl away and hide.
I managed to pull myself together enough to try to decide on an outfit, and of course after pulling out every item of clothing, it wasn’t good enough or I didn’t have the right accessories to add I’m going through menopause and talk about hot flushes/flashes wearing a towel at one point seemed preferable, and hoping we were sitting by the door so I could benefit from the cold air coming in, either that or ask if they had room in the fridge.
I managed to leave on time knees knocking anxiety at an all time high, he was late, which is one of my biggest pet peeves anxiety now in total overdrive, trying to take in big gulps of calming air which almost induced a panic attack the phone rang, he’s arrived.
A tentative hello and we walked to the restaurant in silence, me seemingly lost the power of speech, we sat down he looked over and smiled and confessed he was really nervous, this seemed to calm me down, and we ordered and started talking.
We talked about anything and everything, though a couple of glasses of wine helped me to unwind, however he was easy to talk to, we have a lot in common, we were the last to leave and made our way slowly back to his car, we both agreed we had a lovely time, and we would like to meet again.
The next day we chatted a little about the night before, I did feel all warm and fuzzy then he said “he really wanted to get to know me” well that was like a punch to the stomach, he wasn’t to know, however the intrusive thoughts came crowding in:
- What does he want to know
- what should I tell him
- what do I say
- why would he want to get to know me
- if he does get to know me, would he like that person
- I don’t like that person
- would he notice behind the facade, there is nothing there
- was I going to have to put my mask on to appear normal.
I obsessed over these questions and more for about 2 days, finally I was able to get a grip on my runaway thoughts, this is where mindfulness helped to calm me, just remembering to be in the present, try not to predict future outcomes, let myself connect and enjoy, the more I practise the easier it will become and will form part of my new behaviours to better mental health.
He’s coming around for dinner tomorrow, wish me luck!