It sometimes feels like everyone is getting married (it seems like half my nursing school cohorts are married, but because it’s a second degree program people are coming from all walks of life, so I shouldn’t compare my experience to theirs. Will that stop me though? Pffft, don’t be silly!), and even though I know I’m not ready (the lack of a relationship tipped me right off to that fact) I sometimes feel jealous, and worried that I’m still so very single. And then days like yesterday happen, and I gain a better understanding of why I have yet to find “true love”. A guy from my lab asked me out, and without even thinking about it I said no. As soon as he asked if I have a boyfriend my shields went up, and I felt put-upon and defensive, which is probably more than a little unreasonable. My dad made fun of me later for my Jane Austen-esque reaction that the guy was in the wrong for putting me in that position, when I don’t even know his name, and I know it’s silly, but my first reaction was to feel affronted that someone would just ask me out, out of the blue. I’m not 100% sure why, but I think it is in part due to the fact that I have a negative association with the men who are interested in dating me, and so the thought that one could strike at any time (even though it’s actually a fairly rare occurence) is unnerving. It turns out, I can be kind of close-minded, which is weird. Most of the time I think of myself as so hugely open-minded, there isn’t even a door, it’s just a frame.
That only applies to things like pornography (it isn’t my thing, but I don’t think that should stop other people from enjoying it if that’s what floats their boat), sex work (same basic idea. If someone freely chooses to be a sex worker, and they are able to be safe, I don’t think it should be illegal), and trying unusual foods. I’m open-minded on the easy stuff. When it comes to people who are interested in dating me though, my mind is more like this:
I figure feeling attracted to me makes them similar to people I’ve dated in the past, and because they all turned out to be unsuitable, any new person who falls into that category would be just as wrong. It’s logic! …Not really!
The exception is when I’m also attracted to someone right off the bat. It doesn’t make a ton of sense, since I’ve picked lots of lemons in the past, so my judgement isn’t any better than anyone else’s, but it’s how I roll. And I am getting better at picking nice people, so that’s a step in the right direction at least. I’m also willing to consider people if someone I trust vouches for them, but unknown elements are too risky. Maybe if I had more funny bad date stories I would feel differently, but they’re usually just awkward.
Now, I stand by my decision yesterday; that guy is much older than I am, and he has kids, and I’m not looking for anything at the moment because I’m moving to Baltimore in May. Those are all valid reasons for turning someone down, and I made a point of being as nice about it as possible. That doesn’t change the fact that the takeaway from all of this is that I can be kind of a jerk. I don’t give people a chance, and that isn’t nice. I’ll give them a chance to be friends, but once I make up my mind on whether or not I want to date someone that’s generally that. It’s no wonder I’m not getting married any time soon.