I recently broke things off with a girl I’d been seeing for the past few weeks, and I’m faced with having to get out there and meet people again. This is a terrifying concept because I still haven’t figured out how to do it. I know that the movies make it out to be either a simple thing, with beautiful interesting women everywhere … or like a tiny hurdle that, once crossed, falls behind you never to be seen or heard from again. This is not true. For some people, their lives naturally bring them into contact with people their own age in social situations where it’s acceptable to meet and interact with strangers. My life does not afford me these luxuries, either by design or by circumstance. Either way, I am where I am and nothing’s going to change anytime soon due to a distinct lack of time and general moxie.
I’ve mentioned my thoughts on approaching strangers before (The Beef), and it holds true here. Everyone has all the same advice to give me, “Join a club, maybe a biking group, what about Meetup? You can pick any hobby and there’s probably a Meetup with people who share that interest!” (internet savvy people who also are socially awkward like me … perhaps not the best pairing) What these people don’t understand is that I would very much like to meet people organically. The only relationships I’ve had that really meant anything to me were ones with people I’d met and gotten to know (at work or in a circle of friends) before actually dating. I don’t know how everyone else does it, but apparently I’m supposed to be comfortable enough and attracted to someone enough after knowing them for a matter of 1-3 hours to kiss them, and potentially make out or have happy fun time with them. I have friends that judge my dates based on how far I got, when really all I wanted was to have a nice time and actually want to see and talk with them again.
How does one do that?! Without knowing someone beforehand, how do you know any of the signals? How do you get comfortable with them or know if they’re comfortable with you? I find attractive those little intimate interactions where you know someone better than other people, and you pick up on subtle little cues they give off. But how do you get there without putting in the time?
So this is what I’m facing. Again. And Again.
Does this make me a socially awkward individual? Maybe. Does it make the idea of finding a meaningful relationship seem like a far off and remote possibility? Definitely.