Mayte's Dating Chronicles: how will I know?
One of the interesting things about dating in my 30s has been how aware I am that I'm dating in my 30s. Is there such a thing as being too self-aware in dating? Probably. And if there is, I'm pretty sure I would be an example of it.
It's been a process to trust myself. When I say "trust myself" in this instance, I mean believing that the things I do reflect the person I know myself to be, the person I've been working on becoming, the person that I am. It's been holding myself to my word when I was the only person who would know, seeing the follow through. Watching myself fall short. Disappointing myself when I said I would try something or do something and failed - no matter the reason. Being proud of myself for a myriad of things - my character, my passion, the way I created peace for myself, my grilled cheese sandwiches, my Sims 4 save file, the way I still hope love will find me. Being proud when I learned that love never left me. Aching for a past that feels more familiar than a future. But knowing better than to ever go backwards.
Over the last couple of years, I've been able to navigate all of my self-discovery outside of a romantic partnership. Couple that with a global pandemic, I've spent the last year cultivating a deeper relationship with myself. There hasn't been anyone else to cultivate this intimate of a relationship with - I live alone. While I might bemoan my singleness, I do recognize the gift it's given me.
But there's certain things you learn about yourself in the presence of other people. Something I've learned? In the presence of men that I am attracted to...I am awkward. Talk about self-awareness. I wasn't always this way. I used to be more assertive with men. More forward. More inclined to shoot my shot (as the kids say. Do the kids still say that? IDK. I'm 31). But then something happened.
I used to think it was because I spend a lot of time alone. That might be it. I had become so used to being alone that company felt strange. Was I self-conscious about being with around someone other than myself? Had I isolated myself to the point that I would need to be reintroduced to society? Cut the dramatics - just because I have gotten better at being alone does not mean I have gotten worse at being around people. Truth be told, I've never been that great at dating. I might be out of practice. No, I am definitely out of practice. Never really had practice but that's not the point.
The point is... I'm 31 and I don't know how to tell if a guy is interested in me.
I'm 31, and during a global pandemic, I do not know how to tell if a guy who likes my Instastories every once a while is interested enough for me to make a move. That's more accurate.
Relationships seemed much more simple when I was 15. Usually just having the same math class was enough. But now I'm trying to decipher if it means anything that a certain he doesn't look at my stories (It doesn't mean anything) or that another he sent the laughing emoji as a response to one of my stories when the story was meant to be a thirst trap (It means I'm a clown). And I'm self-aware enough to know that I fixate on these trivialities because I'm not brave enough to ask. Looking for clues is easier than putting myself out there.
And it's not the possible rejection. Rejection is a part of my life. I'm used to it. But what if they like me back? What happens then?
Drink some water. Wear a mask.