I've analyzed many things in my head but the one I probably obsess over the most is how and why I am single.
And then I realized the answer as I was getting ready to meet a guy from match.com on Saturday night.
Dating gives me anxiety. It used to be about whether or not I was good enough or attractive enough because I was stuck in a world ruled by societies view of me. And then it was about what everyone else would think about me being in a relationship and if my friends and family would approve of the person I was dating (which they never have so I've gotten over that anxiety).
Then, as I was standing in my kitchen, falling back into bad habits of emotional eating as a way to fix my anxiety, I realized that it's never the actual date itself that gives me anxiety. It's all the possibilities that come along with a date.
Like, was the guy I was about to meet going to be the freaking love of my life? Would I immediately fall head over heels in love with him? Would we run off and get married and have children? Would we grow old together? Would we pick out plots side by side in the grave yard? Or, would he be a dud? Would it be another long evening filled with disappointments? Would it be so bad that I start to question why I'm even looking for love to begin with? Did I even want marriage and children after being alone for so long? What was I even doing?
These were just a few of the thoughts running through my head as I was making another microwaved smore which is not on my current eating plan. Don't worry, I got a few veggies with my salsa that I had a little bit later.
Even after all the progress I've made in overcoming my emotional eating, binge snacking, and many other unhealthy ways, I found myself throwing it all out the window because of a date. Did I want to make myself less desirable because if I felt bad on the inside then I wouldn't look as good on the outside? Was it because deep down I don't think I'm good enough to be desired for longer than a few months, that I'd become a bore after a while? Or is it just the fear of the unknown future that cripples me?
By the end of my date on Saturday night, I knew my previous emotional eating was added calories that'll I'll have to work even harder to get off. The date was a dud. Well, actually, I had a lot of fun at the Ashland Balloonfest but he was a dud. He was a complete bore. He was a home body who'd never taken a single risk in his life. He was so dull he didn't even have any hobbies or interests.
A few days prior to this date, I let my 10-year-old niece play on my phone. She likes using all the snapchat filters. Especially the one that makes her look like a cute little puppy. She saw that I had the match app on my phone. "Aunt Jennee! WHAT is THAT doing on YOUR phone?!?!!?"
I coolly responded, "Aunt Jennee is looking for a boyfriend so she can someday get married and have little cousins for you to play with." This answer put a smile on her face.
"Can I help you look?"
"GLADLY!" I responded immediately, though her dad was not too keen on the idea of her looking at older men, even if it was to help her aunt find true love.
"That one is too old, he has too many tattoos, and he looks scary...." We quickly went through all the matches of the day. Whenever she would come across one that she wasn't sure about if I would be interested in him or not, I would say, can you see me hanging out with this guy? This pattern repeated every day I saw her and while she was scanning the searches, her dad was giving me the evil eye.
One day, she looked up from my phone....
"Aunt Jennee, I found someone for you. I think he is your perfect match!"
My ears perked up. "Oh really?!?!"
She pulled up his profile. "Look, he's 6'0" tall, he's a Christian, he loves hiking and going to the gym, and he's looking for someone JUST LIKE YOU!" She excitedly tells me as she points out his preferences of a woman 25-35 within 50 miles of Mansfield. "He wants someone who has dark brown hair! You have dark brown hair! And look, he was in the military. I think you should wink at him. Can you wink at him pllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssseeeeeeeeeee?"
Her eyes sparkled as she hit the wink button for me. We set the phone aside and went back to whatever we were doing prior to the quest for my true love. A few minutes later, my niece summons me into the other room. In a voice just a hint louder than a whisper, she said, "Aunt Jennee, I really think the military guy is your perfect match. Do you think he will email you?" She was as serious as a 10 year-old can get. "He's a Christian too. You guys would be so perfect together!"
We both blush at the thought and get back to playing.
Though I haven't received any new messages from anyone on match, I find myself calm and ready for love it were to come my way. I just hope I can find ways to calm the anxiety of the actual dating part so I can someday make it that far.
But at least I have my niece keeping her eyes open for me. (Seriously, every time she takes my phone I have to check and see how many guys she "winked" at on match for me! I do have to say, she seems to know my type because everyone she's picked for me does seem like a pretty good match.)