People pay thousands of dollars to receive the quality of advice that my friend Kate offers up to me during her free time at work.
I like to think of her as my diary-- I often tell her, "No need to respond, just needed to write this out!" because some things are too personal to share here, but I still need to get them out of my head. And sorting through something means having to write it out. Or at least that's what it means for me.
She got one hell of an email from me this week. And after addressing the main point of my initial email, she came back with what I've posted below.
I'm lucky to have her as a friend. And thrilled she agreed to let me share this with you.
When I first read your email, though, one particular section really stuck out to me, even if it wasn't your main idea. It was this:
But spending my time worrying about saying the right thing so I don't lose the guy or trying to appear interested but not too attached is EXHAUSTING. I feel like every message has to be crafted so it's witty, yet endearing-- sweet, but not too crazy. I can be playful, but please take me seriously, too.
My head hurts.
This struck for a couple of identifiable reasons. First, I relate to it. GIRL, I HEAR YOU. Dating- and especially modern dating- is exhausting. And it's because we are constantly trying to impress people who are, despite all intents and purposes, strangers. We don't know these people. No matter how many times we've read their internet profile. If we did, we wouldn't need to spend all these valuable minutes and hours wondering what to say to them and if we'll be misinterpreted or not.
The fear that surrounds those initial months of dating- the fear of screwing it all up before it even gets off the ground...well, how is anybody supposed to fall in love like that? I can't help but think our fears are specific to romance in the twenty-first century thinking. The idea that somehow, through being too eager, or too closed-off, or too sarcastic, or too nerdy (in other words, too much yourself)-- you are going to ruin your chances of finding and keeping the love of your life.
It's just...insanity. That's all I can say.
And ultimately, when we find ourselves experiencing these fears, I truly believe it's because we haven't found our person. That person would not fuel those fears and anxieties, he would assuage them. And that is the person you end up with- or, should I say, the man you should end up with.
I'm waiting for the situation that seems "just a little bit too easy"--- the day when I meet a man and don't have to question his intentions or his feelings or our future. Someone who sees me, wholly, laid bare for rumination, and thinks: I have to have her.
I deserve nothing less. And no longer will I accept it.
And no longer should you.
No longer should anyone.
Because, really, if not that...what exactly is the point?