Society beats into us our entire life that we are simply not complete until we have a spouse. So 4 years after my divorce I decided to fully put myself out there, I met a nice guy we had alot in common... etc etc. So we made a date.. a full week in advance. Sounds great in theory right? 3 or 4 days prior to the date I even took myself shopping so the "what do i wear?" question was answered. we picked a restaurant in advance to avoid the 'what do you wanna do? i don't know what do you wanna do?'. I was excited this was a real grown up date with a plan!! 2 days before the date we had a series of arguments (the origin of which are under debate) and suddenly every lifetime movie, crime drama, after school special started to spin in my head. I didn't really know this guy, what if he was a serial killer or a rapist? Of course none of these thoughts were rational but by the time the day of the date rolled around i was on the verge of a panic attack even as I was getting ready and almost called it off several times during the day.
Logically my panic and fear response had almost nothing to do with the person I was going out with but with the social implications of a date... the millions of What Ifs. What if he doesn't like me? Or possibly even more terrifying, what if he does? For two years I have had a can of pepper spray in the console of my car and had practically forgotten about it, in my insane paranoia on the way to the restaurant I dug it out, read the directions and put it in my purse. The date went wonderfully, he was smart, funny, polite, just like i rationally knew that he would be. So the panic response wasn't really about him as much as dating in general, there is just too much pressure involved, especially after 30. It's like before you even go on a date people ask you if you ever want to get married again or if you think you would like to have more children and if you give the wrong answers they delete you from their phone book and move on to someone else hoping to complete their 'checklist' before they reach 40. This race to the finish leaves no real time to get to know one another, no mystery to dating (because they ask you every imaginable question in the first week and by the time of the date you have nothing left to talk about).
So even though I had a good time and he is a great guy. I wonder if I am truly ready for this? At least being single I feel secure enough to not carry my pepper spray! So here's to adventures in dating... hopefully more to come!