Monday, March 24, 2014

Relationship & Dating Insecurities

Every so often, I’ll reach the point of being insecure that I start to question my ways. I know most folks can understand this feeling because it is in our nature as individuals. The questioning of values, ideals, and paths compared to others and in the larger picture, society. Always with the comparing that leads to doubt, which creates fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

When it comes to relationships and dating, I see it as a never-ending experience that is in constant flux and it is my responsibility to continue to improve on myself for myself and no one else. The day I stop learning and growing is the day things will take a turn for the worse and I shouldn’t be with anyone. A work in progress if you will.

Its been a few years since I was last in a “serious” “relationship” and a good while since I’ve dated anyone. Fact is that it’s been long enough that I have taken friends advice to give online dating the good old college try. This recent bout of insecurities stems from these online dating experiences, and I hate it.

I’ve stuck to sites that are free, but offer you a paid service to see who likes you or to message the other person. Pffft, fuck that noise. A good number of friends recommended OK Cupid and the last few days, I’ve been on the phone app Tinder. Every time I check either of these places, it just turns into a pity party with me telling myself, “why doesn’t anyone like me?” over and over again.

I grew up as the chubby kid. I’ve always been a sort of dork/nerd/geek. I never had looks or style going for me, nor the confidence that I have now. Only real thing I had going for me was that I was funny and had a sense of humor. I’ll put it like this, when I was 12/13 years old, I was asked by a beautiful girl to be her boyfriend. I was playing handball outside our apartment building, and on that night, she came down the stairs, walked directly over to me and said, “I wanna be your girlfriend.”

I can’t remember much from that moment, but I do remember my blank stare and thinking it was a joke of something, but it wasn’t. I honestly don’t remember what I said to her, but it was something to the affect of no. We went to the same junior high and so when guy friends would see how affectionate she was toward me, they were baffled as to why I didn’t put the moves on her. That led them to question my sexuality.

Then there was this other time in which the realities of my life style sunk in compared to others. It was a Saturday night and my family and I were just getting home from the family business, a used car tire shop. I was covered in grease and basically looked like I just came outta a coal mine. The girl that liked me was coming down stairs from her apartment wearing a silver sequence dress; she was going to the school dance.

She saw me sitting on the steps of my apartment and asked if I was going to the dance. I looked at myself, I looked at her, and I told her that no I wasn’t. That set the tone for my love life for the rest of junior high and high school. High school was a bigger pain actually because my family was always following work, so we moved around a lot. Four high schools in four years made me the proverbial new kid. Not to mention that the whole being undocumented thing exacerbated things.  

It has taken a lot of work for me to be confident in myself and who I am as an individual, but no structure is perfect and in time, it will eventually crumble. Thus I find myself at a cross roads in which I question myself and what I have built up, to a certain degree.

The thing about online dating is that it digs up feelings that impressed in me back as a teenager. The insecurities of being a person of color and looking nothing like what society tells us we should look like and whom we should like. The mirages of what constitutes beauty. The kinds of girls that I’m finding on these platforms aren’t so much my type as I’m not theirs. I’m not one for going to clubs, traveling to different countries or taking selfies at the gym. I’m not about that life.

As my friend Ken put it on twitter, I should be looking for a muchaha to eat pambazos with me and watch anime. Obviously those aren’t the exact qualities I’m looking for, but the humor and references in the joke are. Or maybe I just do a horrible job of describing myself on those platforms. 

The other side of these recent insecurities is that a few of my friends are boo’ed up. The time we had for each other is now divided with someone else, and while I’m genuinely happy and excited that they are seeing someone romantically, I can’t help feel a little left behind. But that’s the way things go.

These insecurities offer nothing more than a moment of self-reflection and something to work through. Now more than ever, I am perfectly content and happy with being on my own and doing things on my own. Going to the movies, museums, plays etc. And it’s not like I’ve closed the door on dating or being in a relationship with someone, its just not a priority, you know.

Do you boo. Do you.