This is going to seem like a really odd thing for a relationship columnist to admit, but dating really sucks.
I know, I’m supposed to be the guy who talks about how wonderful love is and how great relationships can be, but I’ve never been one to BS my readers.
I would never lie to you.
I met a girl, Lara, at the bar a couple of weeks ago. We hit it off, so I took her out to dinner and a show. Actually, before the show we hung out at her place watching TV all afternoon. There was lots of hand-holding and cuddling, and I considered it a pretty darned good first date.
After the show, I walked her to her door and we talked for a few minutes. Then I decided to test the waters. I gave her a hug then looked into her eyes, to find that she was staring very intently at the floor.
Maybe this has happened to you? Your date has a nice, natural flow. Then, when it comes down to crunch time, a wall slams down between you.
That’s where I was. On the wrong side of the wall.
I’ve been around the block enough times to know what happened. She saw The Kiss barreling down the tracks at her like a runaway freight train and she got scared.
The only thing I wondered was what she was scared of. Was she not interested in me? Did she just want to take things slowly? Or maybe she had been hurt one too may times and was scared of caring again?
Lord knows, I’ve been in each of those places.
We talked every day after that, so I assumed it wasn’t the first. And from our conversations, I got the impression it wasn’t the second… At least, not entirely.
As I’d suspected, she’d been hurt a few too many times and was afraid of letting down her guard and getting hurt again. She was doubly scared because she felt so comfortable with me so quickly.
I really wanted to tell her how great I am and that I’m not like the other guys. I wanted her to know that I wouldn’t hurt her. And maybe that’s true, but anybody can tell you what you want to hear. You never know who someone really is until you give them a chance to show you.
Dating isn’t easy. Caring about people isn’t easy. You never know whether Prince Charming will turn out to be a mountain troll, or if he’s everything he seems.
You roll the dice and take your best guess, and every time you guess wrong it’s harder to muster up the courage to guess again.
I’m not going to tell you that dating is all rainbows and teddy bears, because it’s not. There’s no formula for success, and no guarantees that anything will turn out like you hope it will.
But I’ve also been around the block enough times to know that when it does, it makes all the crap you’ve put up with worthwhile. That one winning lottery ticket is worth all the wasted dollars in the world.
One thing is for sure, though. You won’t get anywhere if you’re blocked in by walls. You’ve gotta step out from behind those walls and take a chance, or you’ll never find what you’re looking for.
I would never lie to you.