Thursday, July 28, 2011

The match game

Since I’ve been writing this blog, one thing has been said to me repeatedly: you’re so open and honest.

But—to be honest—there’s one thing I’ve held out on discussing.


Even now, I’m cringing a bit to think of talking about it to you guys. Still, I think it’s something I need to talk about.

Dating totally freaks me out. Totally. How can I be in my mid- (OK, lateish) 30s and afraid to date? The answer, I think, is that I’m just out of practice. Which seems completely embarrassing.

For the past several years, food was my significant other. Who needs a boyfriend when you’re stuffing your face with mashed potatoes and frozen pizza? As I ate, I built a literal wall with my body that kept people out and kept me from getting hurt.

I’m one of the last of my friends to get married. I’m a professional bridesmaid. A committed godmother and a happy “aunt” to my friends’ kids. But I want that for myself. And I’m not getting any younger.

When I started losing weight, I told myself I would attempt dating when I got to a certain weight. Yeah, I passed that about 25 pounds ago. Tick tock.

With dating, much like my weight loss, I’ve spent most of my life waiting for something to happen to me, rather than trying to make it happen myself. Waiting for my weight to drop. Waiting for the perfect guy to sweep me off my feet.

I learned, though, that much like the Good Witch told Dorothy, I had the power to change my life all along. It has changed. But I’m not as confident about finding someone with whom to share it.

How do you explain to someone that the reason you haven’t dated in so long is because you were too busy wallowing in the middle of a food addiction? (Don’t worry, I wouldn’t actually say that.)

Then there are the normal fears. If I do the online dating thing and then meet people in person, will I be pretty enough? Good enough? I wish I could start thinking of this in terms of it being my choice. But I spent so much time in the depths of self-despair, it’s still hard for me to think of myself as worthy. I guess that’s where I need to start.

I may or may not keep you guys posted on this. This is a tough (REALLY) tough subject for me to tackle, but I am trying to work through it.

You guys just cross your fingers for me, OK?


Dinah said...

Erika, you are a catch. You are warm, funny, generous, smart, and where the phrase "beautiful inside and out" sounds trite when applied to most people, it happens to be the perfect way to describe you. While I can appreciate your nervousness and admire your bravery--for diving in and, once again, being honest about your experience with us, your friends and readers--I also want to shake you just a little.

Dating isn't about finding someone that you're good enough for. Dating is about finding someone who is a good fit for YOU. The You we all know and love, the You you are becoming, the You you have always been. Knowing that you are starting to love yourself enough to considering allowing someone else that privilege is a beautiful thing and makes me so happy for you! Just please remember, every time you get nervous, that these guys should be nervous, too. They have no idea what they are competing for, really. They should be so lucky to even be considered. Go get 'em, tiger.

LT said...

Ditto everything Dinah said. Right down to the Tiger! I'm so excited for you. This will be fun! Try not to take it too seriously. Just have fun with it and look at it as an opportunity to make new friends and experience new things. You're a complete JOY to be around and any guy should feel privileged to be graced with your presence.

Deutsch Lisa said...

Ditto and ditto! Listen to the blog.

I know it seems intimidating, but maybe it's a matter of perspective, too. You *are* good enough for the man you will share your life with, because he is someone that will know you are perfect for him and will love you for it. But he may be the 5th or the 50th guy you go out with. But have no doubt that he is out there, wanting the same things, wanting YOU. You won't meet him if you're avoiding him, though. Right?

Girl, think of all the great stories you'll have to share! You are so much fun to be with, there is definitely fun to be had. The poor guys who end up not being Mr. Right-for-You are sure to include some really good friends, too.

It's a journey, like anything. It's worth it. Practice being fearless, love yourself first, and go out and there and have fun with men! We got your back.

Anonymous said...

OMG totally right there with you lady. The topic makes me ill. Love that you are so honest, reading your blog helps me sort through so many of my own thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Attracting a guy is all about Self Confidence and very little about looks. It sounds trite, but any guy who would rule a woman out for not being a 10, is not worth going out with in the first place. So show self confidence even if you have to fake it at first and you will be surprised at how attractive you become to any man worth your time.

Anonymous said...

everyone has left such great thoughts for you here, and they are all right! i've never loved dating around, but if there's one thing i've learned it's that you absolutely have to love yourself first before dating someone will be any fun!

and i heard something great from a silly tv drama last weekend (don't judge;)...the character said that it's too daunting to look for love. instead, she looks for fun and lets love happen. thought it was pretty good for hollywood! are awesome, through and through

Barbara said...

My cousin's daughter started an awesome blog "Awful First Dates," which she is turning into a book!It'll give you some great perspective - anybody can have lousy dates! So... I hope you don't have any of those but, if you do, "turn that frown upside down" (I can't believe I just said that!) and turn it into a opportunity - think of your gift for writing!!!

Check it out, some of the posts are pretty funny!
Awful First Dates

Barbara said...