About the Experiment

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flirting and Other Fine Arts - Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

The intense nervousness is sort of adorable, but also frustrating.  At the start of his last day Boyfriend told me that he was leaving and why.  My friend had been pointing out for weeks how he was telling me personal information that he wasn't telling other people (you don't discuss anything meaningful/personal in Work Flirting, in my book).  On my 30 Before 30 List is "Ask a guy out on a date," and it seemed like a good opportunity.  At the end of our conversation, as we're walking away from each other (but were still facing each other, I don't remember why) I said, "We should get drinks!"  He gave me an inscrutable eyebrow raise, and I kept walking away because the only thing in my brain was, "OMG OMG OMG."  We were both very busy that day, and though he held direct eye contact with me whenever we would see each other, we didn't talk again until the end of the night.  He gave me a hug, said it was great to meet me and he'd see me on the next one.  I probably said something like, "Yeah, you too," but I don't remember because my thoughts = "WHAT?????"

I've had a few days off and spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to understand what had happened.  Was he just Work Flirting with me?  But then why did he tell me so much personal stuff?  And why did he seek me out so often?  Work Flirting is casual, usually with people you have to interact with often for work, but he and I didn't have to interact for our jobs.  But if he was Real Flirting with me, then why didn't he say something about getting drinks??  And unfortunately, my brain's normal response is that I messed it up somehow so I was replaying everything trying to figure out what I did wrong.  Ugh.  My friends said everything from, "He probably didn't mean to be flirting with you," to "Maybe he's out of practice dating, you should text him!"  I tried to stop thinking about it by throwing myself into work and then drinking.  My therapist said I needed to deal with it (not just try to work or drink my way out of my feelings).  Yeah.  So I journaled, painted, and gave myself time to think.

And then he texted me today.  Out of the blue, seemingly just to say hi.  It made me excited and happy, but also really really really really nervous.  Again.

Why am I sharing this?  I would love to hear that other people also get super nervous around people they like, and if anyone has ways that they deal with it (other than running away).  Also, I think it's funny when weird/awkward things happen to me, and sharing it makes me feel better.  In movies/tv/etc. we see guys getting very nervous around women but less often women getting very nervous around men (or those women are written as socially inept in general).  If anyone thinks that only guys get nervous around people they like, *ahem* women sometimes do too!

I'm also sharing because turned on myself like a Mean Girl, and it's something I'm working on.  I see it in how I write/talk about it, the amount of times I use words like "dumb" and "idiot."  I like to stay cool, calm and collected, and when there's someone I can't keep my cool around, I freak out even more.  People have always told me I'm hard on myself, I used to think it was a compliment, but I'm trying to be kinder to myself.  To the other perfectionists/overthinkers out there, I get you.  Give yourself a break.

There's a lyric from "Spiralling" by Keane: "When we fall in love/ We're just falling/ In love with ourselves."  I think the song as a whole is about how love can be narcissistic, but that lyric has always fascinated me.  When I fall in love, I'm not falling in love with myself, I'm looking for whatever parts of myself I need to hide or kill off in order for the person to like me.  I'm trying to hide the skeletons in my closet and/or choreographing their entrances. I think this is common to some extent, but recently it's concerned me. I'm looking for a way that falling in love can be falling in love with myself too, instead of tearing myself to pieces.  I know that it can be attractive when people are authentically themselves, but as Brene Brown says, "Vulnerability is the last thing I want you to see in me, but the first thing I look for in you."   Change isn't easy, but I think it's worth it.

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