Thursday, August 1, 2013

Self-Reflective Post #187: The Concept of Fear

From time to time I like to think about why I'm in the spot I'm in.  This blog only exists because of it.  If I was like any normal red blooded young American male I wouldn't be writing half the stuff I write about.  And if I was writing about the other half it would be from a totally different perspective.

I'd like to think that makes this blog special and unique, like a snowflake.  The more logical side of me thinks it just makes it easier to ignore or dismiss.  After all, inexperience isn't often something to brag about.

In any case, I have to admit women scare me.  Not in the sense that I think a woman will kidnap me and turn into Kathy Bates from Misery, but scared in the sense that I fear their judgment of me or their derision.  Or something along those lines.  I often like to blame my problems on ignorance or (dare I say it) inexperience, but fear is probably half of the equation.

I wasn't born this way.  At least I don't think I was.  The fear is probably the result of several failed experiences trying to attract women over the years.  And I mean failure in a real sense not failure in that women don't come up to me and seduce me.  I remember the first time a girl found out I liked her.  I was in 4th grade and I told a friend of mine that I liked one of our classmates.  When she found out the immediate response was to avoid me like the plague.  That hurt.  A lot.  The only way I was even able to get her to talk to me again was by convincing her that it was all a joke started by my friend.  And it took weeks for that to happen.

Looking back with the luxury of 15 years of maturity, I don't exactly know what I expected to happen.  4th graders don't exactly date (or do they?) or become couples or anything.  What I do know is that the disgust and recoil were not good feelings.  And unfortunately it would not be the last time that would happen.

In fact, there hasn't been a single time in which a girl I liked liked me back.  Not a single one.  And we're not talking about elementary school crushes either.  I remember senior year of high school, me and my best friend liked the same girl.  When she found out he liked her, she politely declined his overtures.  When she found out I liked her?  Avoidance.  We went from decent friends to total strangers practically overnight.  Things never went back to normal either.  The girl from college who gave me lots of signals and hung out with me all the time?  I tried to hold her hand and she pulled it back as if she had just placed her hand on an open flame.

That stuff stings.  And it makes you start to equate expressing your feelings with being tortured at Guantanamo Bay.  Because that's how it feels.  Not only will she reject me, but she'll treat me like the worst human being alive.  Nobody wants to be that person.

This isn't to say that I don't have other problems.  I certainly have a complex about my inexperience (I'm sure it would be shocking for an average woman to meet a 25 year old guy who had never kissed before) and I am ignorant about a lot of male-female dynamics like flirting and touch.  But the fear is the biggest issue.

Honestly, I don't know how to get rid of it.  I think it's easy for an outsider to dismiss it as irrational, but it's a reaction to very real events that have happened to me.  Ideally, a great first step would be for a woman I like to reciprocate my feelings, but at the very least I think I'd like it if a girl I was interested in would simply be ok with the fact that I liked her.  Even if they didn't share my feelings, at least not treat me like a horrible person who kills kittens on the weekend.  Little things like that might help me start to rebuild my confidence and get over my fears.

Don't hold your breath though.

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