I Met a Guy I Really Like and it Freaks Me Out

dating vulnerability after divorce new newly date like giddy butterflies hope

Hello! First, I’m sorry I have been so absent. I know you’re all as busy as I am, if not busier, so I won’t even try to pretend that’s the issue. I apologize for not commenting on all of your blogs, as well – I’m going to catch up with those of you I’m following this weekend.

Second, this blog is about to get uncharacteristically sappy – you’ve been forewarned.

Back to the lack of updating in here – I got a little burnt out on the dating thing, I’ll be honest. Started to feel like every guy I went out with I was trying to talk myself into liking each time I agreed to go out with him. No man instilled in me a, “Yes, I definitely want to see him again,” type of reaction. My feelings were more lukewarm, more like, “Eh, he’s kind of cute and sometimes funny, I guess I’ll see if the next date is any better.” Not realizing that lukewarm temps in the beginning stages of dating are pretty indicative of a cold future.

The “several dates” man I mentioned in my last post turned out to be a similar situation to Tiger, sadly. I went out with him more times than I should have, even realizing we didn’t have much of a connection. Let me tell you – I don’t think the man is capable of a connection to anyone but himself. Once I told him I didn’t think we should see each other and I took a step back to look objectively at our (brief) dating history it was like, whoa, what on earth was I thinking with that one? My friends really should have been harder on me about him, but, alas, I need to learn these things on my own.

Lessons learned, people. Lessons learned. Each and every guy means another lesson learned.

Another man, the one who brushed snow off my car, the man whom I can only describe as turning out be be namby-pamby (look it up), was more interested in me after our four dates than I was in him, and seeing how hopeful he was on our last date made me realize I had to end things with him, too. So far my method of telling men I don’t feel a spark has been to email them, which I feel is acceptable considering we weren’t dating very long and never spoke on the phone. Meeting in person to tell a guy you’ve barely dated seems like overkill, don’t you think? Then again, I am just fumbling along here. I am quite possibly just one gigantic dating faux pas.

With nothing but ho-hum dates behind me I started to think I was either attracting the wrong types of men or I was being too picky. And as dating blogs would remind me, I’m no prize, since I’m a mother who’s average looking and nearing 40. I can’t afford to be picky.

Mid-February I decided I’d take a break from dating. Become a gym rat, read more, stop eating out as much, sleep more than six hours a night, redefine what I was hoping to get out of a relationship (if I ever decided to date again) and enjoy some down time on my kid-free weekends in place of mediocre conversations with guys I wasn’t sure I liked.

Then someone asked me out and he seemed nice and thoughtful and smart so I went out with him and we had a great first date and an even better second and now that we’ve gone out, like, eight times or so I really like him and it’s freaking me straight the hell out.

I don’t even know if that sentence makes any sense but that’s kind of how I feel.

Feelings. Ugh. Feeling a connection with someone when I haven’t experienced that sensation in a while – let’s just say it makes me realize why I felt lukewarm about all the dates leading up to this man who makes me all bubbly and happy inside for NO GOOD REASON. With my nearly complete lack of dating experience, I guess I just didn’t know, or I didn’t remember, what it felt like to truly LIKE someone. With this man, there was no hesitation – after I met him, I definitely wanted to go out with him again. And again, and again.

I’m not breaking my rule – I won’t be spilling any details about him because I kind of want to keep these delicious, ridiculous-smile creating feelings to myself for a while. It’s still so early, things are tenuous and I realize they could fall apart at any minute. In some ways I fear that just admitting, without reservation, that I enjoy him is to invite heartbreak into my life. And that just sounds dumb. Why do we do this to ourselves?

For the first time since my divorce I have met someone I know for certain I want to know more about. I may feel that way for another few days, several more weeks, two or three months, or – who knows? – even longer. But feeling this way scares me to the point of near calamity if I let myself envision the potential fall. Which, of course I do, because I like to control things and I try to keep my heart safe by reminding myself that this fledgling romance may not lead to a lasting relationship. In other words, I’m trying to guard my heart because I realize getting dumped in the future is a real possibility. Not a fake possibility like with the other guys I realize now I didn’t actually like, therefore they couldn’t dump me.

Allowing myself to even barely hope that I could one day be in a relationship again is both wonderful and terrifying. Wonderfully terrifying. Guarding my heart isn’t ever going to lead to love. I have to let hope wiggle in a bit.

I’m making myself gag over the sentimentality of this all. “Let hope wiggle in a bit,”??!! I like being practical and logical, damn it! Talking about hope and hearts and romance – it’s just not me. Doesn’t feel like me. And yet.

No matter what happens with this man, meeting him has made me realize more of what I want in a person and, by comparing him to past dates, what I don’t want. Makes me hopeful that even if he doesn’t turn out to be a major love of my life (ahem, I don’t believe in soul mates) maybe there’s a chance someone else can be.

I hate this. I’m freaked out. I need to relax. Day by day. No rushing. I’m in no hurry. Seriously. No hurry. I realized I have no clue what to do at this point of dating – we like each other, I want to see more of him and get to know him better, but I’m also worried about coming on too strong or breaking dating “rules” I don’t even know exist – I feel like there’s some special formula where showing X amount of affection while allowing Y amount of space = perfect harmony but I AM NOT GOOD AT FORMULAS! It’s too early to be exclusive yet I fully admit I have no desire to meet anyone new right now. So I’m not going to. He can meet new people, I am not asking him to give that up, but it’s just not for me to multi-date. So no new dates for me while I figure out what’s going on with this guy I happen to like.

I want to see this him again. We have plans for the weekend. Can’t come soon enough.

Gah. What is wrong with me? I’m all googly eyed and spoony and I can barely handle it.

You might all wish now I hadn’t update the blog, after all.

_______________________________________

Image by Daniel X. O’Neil used under creative commons license (I added the text layer).

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15 thoughts on “I Met a Guy I Really Like and it Freaks Me Out

  1. Hello fellow average looking mum approaching 40! I was so happy that you’d written again! And it wasn’t sappy!

    I don’t know much about dating – I haven’t dated anyone in over 13 years and haven’t ventured into that territory since I became separated several months ago.

    I’d be freaked out too. I’d worry about being too guarded incase I got hurt again. But as we know, life doesn’t go to plan (well, our plan anyway), so enjoy the lovely feelings and getting to know this new person for however long it lasts.

    I love your thought about luke warm feelings at the beginning of dating being indicative of a cold future. I’ll keep that in mind when I venture into the land of dating…I’m trying not to think of it as ‘no man’s land’!

    • It is definitely scary. I admit I do a little internal fretting whenever I imagine (for no good reason) that he’s getting bored with me. I still have this hangup that it’ll be hard to find someone who will truly like ME! I keep waiting for the call/email that is going to say, “So, you’re a great person, but…” while at the same time acting the part of the confident woman. It’s hard!

      Dating after this long is scary, but also fun – I hope you try it one day 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m trying to resist the urge to envision all the painful ways it could go badly (since that seems more heart-protecting) and let myself just live in the moment and enjoy each time I talk to him/see him without letting fear creep in! Hard to be vulnerable after all this time, for sure.

  2. I liked this, I hope it works out for you, but…wth do you mean, you can’t afford to be picky?! No one who has gone through a divorce should ever think like that. Settling pretty much guarantees repeat of the past. And anyway, there are worse things than being single…like being bored or turned off by the man you’re with. That’s definitely worse. Be picky. I think it will work out for you, in one way or another.

    • Thanks! I was being facetious when I said that, my humor is sometimes so dry it sounds like I’m being serious. Just seems like that’s what dating “experts” expect!

      I don’t intend to settle, absolutely not! Thank you for saying so, because in a few months/years/decades when I’m still single I may be tempted!

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  8. hey first off excuse my english
    tho im not 40 im only 28, just came across this post, and could not see any males give their opinion, so perhaps mine can help.

    first off you write you are afraid of breaking dating rules, there are one way to look at this, if you have a male and your relationship would last lets say 1 year, you might see the whole relationship through without not breaking any of the hidden rules, and you would be scared the whole relationship through, worrying if you are breaking a rule, but if you break one, and the person is still there for a year, you have a keeper, if you realy are in love, he wont care that you break all the rules, thats the thing with love, if you ask a guy after 1 weeks relationship, most guys can already tell you if they just whant short term companionship, or just sex, or you are the love of his life, ofc there are factors that can change this later, but trust me its not going to be cause you broke some stupid dating rule.

    second if i had been on 8 dates with you, and a weekend atleast by now, as its a old post, and i were a keeper, you could tell me how you feal inside, i would be so happy to hear all the positive emotions, and thoughts that you clearly have, and if he freaks out its cause he only are interested in sex, or having short term companionship, and the relationship will break eventualy anyway, that is why men break up one day to the next, cause you broke a rule and he is not a keeper.

    the part where you are freaking out of being afraid to get hurt, i cant help you with, i myself just met the woman of my life, and yes we have only gone out 8 times, and i have broken several dating rules, but she is still there telling me all those thins you allso are writing you feal, and that is what puts my heart at ease, wouldent you relaxe more if he told you all those things, that he cant stop thinking about you, that he cant sleep, cant eat, and what not, wouldent that make you relaxe more, the fealing go both ways and is caled confirmation of love, and is not a thing to fear its a thing to embrace

    as a last note tho you have found a keeper there are other variations that can screw it up, but that is a whole other chapter, so hope it works out for you
    just a simple guys opinion

  9. First I want to say omg, I just googled about freaking out over a guy actually likeing me and being mutual and I found your post. I’m also divorced and have had soooo many blah dates that I’m in a state of panic as well. I freak out over a guy acting like I’ve always dreamed of being treated etc and I’m worried about scaring him off b/c I am having issues handling it. Let me know how it’s gone on since and if the feelings went away.

    • Hi! That’s funny, I can see from my stats that that’s a common path to my blog, ha! I have to say, with this particular guy, the “freaking out” was for good reason – things lasted only about a week after this blog post and I realized later I had the freaking out feelings because things weren’t on a good path and I wasn’t sure about him or how he felt about me. When I met the man I’m currently dating, I didn’t have the freaking out feelings, it was more of a calm, at-home feeling. Like, “Ahhh, this feels right.” Definitely some times of insecurity later, though.

  10. I too just googled “I met a guy I really like and..” found your blog! 🙂 Too funny! Thanks for your post and all the comments too. How are things working out? Your post is from 11 months ago.. What are you up to these days?

    My story.. A guy who volunteers where I do has been making eyes at me for months, and every time I’ve seen him for the almost two years I’ve known him a little voice in my head says “I love X” after. It was weird, but I didn’t take it too seriously, just he is very sweet, thoughtful, funny, caring and says funny things to make my heart smile.

    He is also quite a bit older than me (over 15 years older, I am approaching 40) and so I wasn’t really sure if romance was an option. I started getting an epic crush a few months ago, googling him, staring at public photos of him on the net basically light stalking/ Romanizing. I had fantasies. But.. but.. we had reason to communicate from time to time, but I didn’t really know him. He responded to my emails right away. I asked him to brunch with my brother and his wife and he didn’t respond. Finally I took him up on getting advice from him about the organization we volunteer with, and because I was afraid he might have stopped reading my emails. I just went to his place of work (public) and brought him treats and to say hi. It was super awkward but we had a connection and ended up talking for hours. Still it was platonic.

    The holidays went by. More fantasies. Finally I just send him a short message saying I had fantasies of him. He responded but in a neutral way. I couldn’t check the email for hours, because I was afraid and my heart was beating like a rabbit. This lead to a non-romantic correspondence and he came over to visit the following day. We had three days of talking and passion. I needed a break to process but was so at ease and over the moon.. It just kept going. Finally he said, I need to go home and recharge for a day. I felt relieved and depressed, such a high. Now he is ready to see me again and I feel like I still need some time to process. Because I really like him. I had the withdrawals, now I want to have normal my life again for a bit before introducing all that excitement, passion, infatuation, lust, honesty, openness.

    I still gotta take care of my responsibilities and myself. I don’t want to lose myself, it’s the first time I’ve felt this kind of passion with anyone since my twenties, and maybe ever. I want to savor it. And keep it healthy. I think that is why you mention you are freaking out. Because it’s hard to balance a great passion with reason and responsibilities. And maybe you can run off and escape in the new love relationship like a gypsy romance, but most likely you have to learn to balance it with your responsibilities and him with his. And with baggage, and demands, and not lose other things that are important to you.

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