I reached down to the depths of my right ventricle to find the words for this post.
Instead of the flippant, witty, one-sided banter you typically find in my electronic soliloquies, today’s post is going to a level of introspection that I usually reserve for my second bottle of Rosé. Get comfortable – I’m going to tell you what it’s like to date me, really date me.
I am a 34-year old doctor who owns her own house, drives a nice (yet sensible, safe, and dependable car), has established retirement funds in the form of IRAs and has recently started dabbling in the stock market. I’ve made it thus far without getting caught on the hook of matrimony and my last serious relationship ended in 2010. Do you know what that makes me?
A HUGE FLIGHT RISK.
That’s right. Being alone holds absolutely no fear for me. Most of my best memories were made on my own. I know I am happy when it’s me and the selected pack of wee fur-babes. This means, if I am unhappy (even for like 3 minutes) in a relationship with someone, I’ll likely call it quits. Why? Because the relationship is the unknown – it’s the variable in my life of familiar56 common denominators – and that can be scary and sometimes feelings can get hurt. My first instinct is to retreat back behind the lines of my solitude, where I know my wounds will heal and I’ll be ok.
I’m also the daughter of a Doctor of Child Psychology. I was raised on emotional intelligence and high standards. I’m pretty sure my dad sprinkled EQ into my Cheerio’s as a toddler and he sure as hell never let me settle for “B minus work” – both academically and personally. For better or worse, I was also raised to feel completely entitled to feeling my feelings (they are not good or bad – they just are!) and was gifted with a lavish vocabulary to express said feelings: “No, I’m not mad. If anything, I’m inclined to describe this feeling as a homogenous mixture of 70% hurt, 15% shame, and an equal 7.5% of disappointment and disdain for this entire situation.” As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m not a fun partner with which to go head to head in a serious argument. Trust me on this one, you want me on your side, not against you.
Lastly, I don’t fit into labels, ever. For example, I don’t play by the widely understood extrovert/introvert rules – if you ever had to take the MBTI personality test in college, you’ll know what I am talking about. When I took that test, I scored 100% Extrovert. That surprises a lot of people as I’m currently getting ready to recharge from a relatively socially packed day by sipping some hot lemon tea and reading a book that will take me to Korea circa 1900 to spend time with my new “friends.” Here’s the thing: I’m actually so extroverted that I’m a slave to the energy surrounding me in groups of people. If I surround myself with positive people, I feel only positivity and energy is recharged at turbo speed. Likewise, a negative group will suck the joy out of me and spiral me into the “depths of despair” (Shout Out to anyone who gets the Anne Shirley reference). Since I trend towards neutral-positive in my thinking and actions, I’ll choose to hang out with me, myself, and I over a group that could bring me down.
Finally, for the icing on this cake, since I know nothing but contradiction, there is one label that I wear proudly, one box I fit in completely: I’m a Leo. Fire sign. Vivacious. And heaven help you if you bruise my ego.
Have I sold any of you on dating me yet? Probably not. Here’s the thing: I’m a total catch. I’m smart (relatively speaking) and funny (to those with the right sense of humor). I am compassionate and generous with a huge capacity for empathy (as long as you are not being a little bitch about something) and what I lack in problem solving ability, I make up for with fierce loyalty. Sure, I can’t repair your car if it breaks down on the side of the road, but I will sit in it with you. And I’ll probably have snacks on hand.
Of course, many gifts carry their own double edged sword. Smart girls spend a lot of time in our own heads (we like it in here, ok?) The desire to be funny can lead to inappropriate comments and jokes (cringe worthy, really). Compassion and empathy often come with tears; lots and lots of ugly red blotchy face snot nosed tears that can spring up with little to no warning. And a strong sense of loyalty can put my feelings in direct conflict with my logical thought process.
All things considered, I feel I’m ageing like a fine wine – bold and complex. And just since hind sight is 20/20, I can’t say dating me in my 20’s was any easier. I was actually a bit of a spitfire…