Tag Archives: fear

Of What Should I Be Afriad?

24 Nov
MultipleChoice single
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been one week and I am progressing through eharmony’s stages of communication with three different men.  Two of these men requested that we skip the preliminary, get-to-know-you stages, and move directly into speaking with each other without the structure of the staged communication.  I declined.  I like the progression of the stages.  You can learn some things by the way a person answers questions, and the kinds of questions that a person asks.

Case in point: Corrado.  Corrado is my favorite match so far.  Not because he’s cute and 6’5” tall, not because he’s fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Hebrew, not because he’s planning to go to med school and is also an artist—Ok, who am I kidding? These things have a lot to do with why he’s my favorite!  In any case, Corrado asked me his set of multiple choice questions and in almost every case my answers were original.  I did not select a, b, c, or d.  I selected “other,” and supplied my own response to the questions.  I noticed this pattern and thought, “Hmmm, what does that say about me?”  Now, Corrado, in replying to my questions, did not choose “other” even once.  He stuck with the multiple choice responses offered.  What does that say about him?  Probably not much, but definitely something.

Now let me tell you what I absolutely love about how this communication with Corrado began. 

I saw his photo and read his profile, and re-read his profile, and was seriously intrigued.  He seemed…just right.  Except that he is 8 years younger than me.  Which seemed too much.  After due consideration of this age gap, I gave his photo one final glance and decided to put him in the neutral pile, which is my pile for profiles that I am neither rejecting nor initiating contact with.  Lo and behold, the following day I received a communication from himself.  At first I was confused by the communication because he did not answer my questions, but supplied his own set of questions for me to answer.  Then I remembered.  Corrado didn’t respond to my questions because I never sent Corrado any questions.  Corrado initiated contact with me on his own.  I could not believe it.  He is the first match of mine where there has been reciprocal liking.

So, 8-year age gap notwithstanding, we are now communicating.  And I am too tickled by the whole thing.

The moral of this story is that last week, when I first began this eharmony journey, I was more afraid than I could put into words of beginning again the boy-meets-girl process.  This week, having begun to actually engage the process, I see that the fear of the thing was 100xs worse than the actual thing itself.  Isn’t that always the way?

God=Love=Risk=Eharmony?

19 Nov

I did not join eharmony as I had planned weeks ago. The special offer expired. I just wasn’t ready. But I promised myself, and God I think, that if I got another chance–if they made another special offer–that I would join immediately and not delay.

Of course, in the days following this commitment, eharmony extended another offer to me on the same terms: $30 for 3 months of service. The offer was emailed to me in the morning and knew that I had to join that day. I was committed. I felt reluctant to leave work that evening. Then on the way home, I felt the urge to stop to get a fancy dessert from the Grand Lux Cafe, which is kind of like the Cheesecake Factory. I hardly ever go to the Grand Lux. I talked myself out of the fancy dessert and in so doing realized that I was anxious. That I was fretting about the idea of joining eharmony. I very much did not want to do it. I drove around and around talking myself out of fancy desserts and oversized slices of pie. Finally (the price of gas being $3.09 a gallon), I decided that I had to go home. I decided that I would allow myself a small sweet something , an empanada from Taco Bell, and that I would then go home, and sign up. So I had the empanada (plus two 160-calorie tacos), and, being thus fortified, I signed up.

That was two and a half days ago.  I have been seeking fortification in food all day, every day, since. I cannot put into words how scared I am of being rejected and of being hurt. Again.

I am conscious of this fear, though. As I am conscious of the food that I have been eating to ease my discomfort–diet food, like Special K Bars and pita chips (thankfully not cheeseburgers and bread pudding). I long for the day when I won’t reach for a snack or an edible anything to quell my emotions. But for today I am satisfied enough that I am feeling the fear. That I am moving forward despite my fear.  That I am meeting men online. Like Keith…

Do I Dare To Be Beautiful?

27 Oct

The glory days.  Remember those?

Lately I have been remembering my glory days, which, I might add, the Lord did not see fit to inaugurate until I was 29.

At 29 I became beautiful. Not the “you’re beautiful” kind of beauty that really only friends and family, who know and love me, see even now. No. The Lord gave me, in those days, the kind of beauty that sparkled and glittered and caused strangers to take note.

How fondly I remember the cute little suits and matching heels, the purple eye shadow, and the green, and the blue (I loved the blue!), the long straight hair cut to flip up at the ends just so. I remember being slim. Walking Everywhere. Having a super hero’s confidence. And I remember, of course, the men.

Men who just seemed to be around. Men trying to engage my attention. Men giving me things–seats on the train, rides in their cars even to locations hours out of their way, access to restricted or overcrowded places, pastries-tea-double portions (gratis), flowers, etc. I remember learning to accept these kindnesses; to say, sincerely, “Thank you.”  I learned, also, that beauty is an alternative currency, like gold or coupons, and that it is accepted everywhere, though at varying rates of exchange.

I remember captivating. And then being held captive by my own heart. And then fearing. How I remember fear. Fearing men, myself, and, most especially, my beauty. Being beautiful would lead to my ruination, insisted an insidious whisper.

So, without intending to, I moved away from the place where I became beautiful. I bought a car and walked no more. I cut my hair and put away my eyeshadow. And I ate. Bye-bye beautiful.

And in this place I have lived ever since, Ichabod.

But…

Lately fear has been giving way to faith. I have named my fears out loud and I don’t want to be afraid anymore.

Lately I have been remembering the glory days.  Remembering the glory of God in my life, and pining for it.  I don’t want to live in Ichabod anymore.

I want to be beautiful.  A planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. Yes. I do.

So let the journey to splendor begin.

To Be Or Not To Be A Liar?

27 Dec
Still-Life with a Skull, vanitas painting.
Image via Wikipedia

At the beginning of the year I stopped writing for many days.  Aiming for kind understanding, and supportive consideration of my friends’ feelings, I was not able to speak honestly with them about matters of their hearts.  I said nice things instead of true things.  And I felt silenced.  My inability to speak honestly to my friends had the added effect of rendering me unable to speak (on the page), period. 

How ironic that as the year began, so it ends.  I have not been able to speak to the one whom my heart adores and tell him how I feel.  Which has led to my inability, these past many days, to speak (on the page), period.

From the time that I heard he was engaged up to this present moment, I have lied to him.  I pretended that I was indifferent, then that I shared his joy, that I prayed for the bliss of him and his bride.  I told him how wonderful Chris was.  I responded to his most recent post-wedding text, and gushed that his wedding gift was Chris’ idea-that we (Chris and I) had shopped for it together.

I lied not in the words that I said, but in the words that I did not say.  I lied because I am afraid. And as this year closes out I realize that this fear is killing me silently, moment by moment. Like cancer.

Fear that if I love him, I will miss a better choice.  But I do love him.  So what other choice would I make?

Fear that if I tell him, I will surely lose him.  But he was engaged, and is now married, and lost to me, for all intents and purposes, already.

Worst fear of all:  If I tell him that I love him, emboldened by my boldness, he up-ends his ramshackle apple cart (and it is ramshackle) and loves me back.  I would then have to, finally, commit to this love that I feel, wouldn’t I?

It seems the things, including love, that I want the most, are the same things that I fear the most.  And that the fear overpowers the desire in every case.  Or has.  But I have reached the point—petrified of having the love I want and at the same time distraught by the loss of this same love—of change or die a paralyzed, distressing, silent, and slow death.

I want to live and to love.  So help me God.  To change.

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How’s eharmony Going, You Ask?

21 Jun
The Nightmare

John Henry Fuseli, “The Nightmare”. Image via Wikipedia

If you had asked me last week how eharmony was going I would have said, “Great.” 

I was communicating through eharmony’s email feature with a few men that I liked.   Though I was somewhat uncertain about how long I should go back and forth emailing them, and I wondered that I didn’t have a whole lot of feedback from the rest of the “matches” that were forwarded to me daily, I was content with being able to converse online with my three long distance possibles.  I was in the game!

Then a couple of things happened.

First, I spoke to my old friend CB.  His opinion was that long distance relationships do not work. For a relationship to exist, he said, the couple must actually be together, spending quality time in each other’s presence.  His remarks caused me to think about taking my email conversations to the next level.  How would we reach the next level when the men I was communicating with online all lived between 5 and 15 hours away by car?

The next thing that happened was that I had an impromptu dinner meeting with two friends.  One of whom joined eharmony right around the same time as I.  She has progressed to the meet-in-person stage, I was surprised to learn.  Here I was, so pleased with myself for talking to three men, and it turns out that someone else, similarly situated, has already had phone conversations with men and is now meeting them in person.  

She asked:

“Do you initiate contact with any of your matches?”   My answer was no.  After all, shouldn’t they contact me first?

“Do you tell them the matches that you are communicating with that you would like for them to give you a call sometime?”  My answer was no.  Shouldn’t they take the lead in seeking  to talk to me on the phone?

“Have you set your preferences to reflect that you prefer local matches and not long distance matches?”  My answer was no.  The website says that you broaden your options with less restrictive preferences.

Bythe end of the dinner I felt like my friend was maximizing the eharmony vehicle, while I was only giving token effort to meeting men through eharmony.   No, not token effort, exactly.  It’s as if I was approaching eharmony the same way that I approached my dating life, with the same passivity, built-in distance, and all.  It occurred to me that different results in my relationships are only going to be achieved by me practicing different behaviors.  Signing up for eharmony is not enough.  I have to go about socializing in a whole different way.  Well.  After I got over the dejection of realizing that contrary to what I’d been telling myself,  I am not yet moving forward in the relationship compartment of my life, I took my friend’s advice.  I changed my settings to a preference for local matches,  I initiated contact with five or six matches that I thought seemed interesting and not too far away, and I also communicated via email with my open matches that I would like to talk by phone. 

The night that I made the changes I had a nightmare. 

The day after I made the changes I went to a church service at my married-guy-friend, EB’s, church.  I looked good.  Very cute shoes.  At the service I was introduced to EB’s friend Eric, a tall, handsome, single, minister.  Eric seemed interested, but I resisted his attentions.

That night I had another nightmare.

I guess nobody ever said that change was easy.

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