Social Media, Dating, and Anxiety

Okay, so I know I’ve talked about the struggle with dating, and the struggles I have with my anxiety. But let me just tell you about dating in the era of social media.

It. Is. The. Worst.

Dating is rough enough as it is. I sometimes feel like I literally have no time for it. But when I find someone I actually do like talking to, someone that I will make time for, it’s great.

Until the freaking internet gets involved.

You haven’t heard from the person. You figure they’re busy, working or running errands. So you start browsing Facebook, only to see that they’re online.

Cue the questions, the scenarios, the negative thoughts that the anxiety is rushing to your brain.

Are they ignoring you? Did you say something wrong? Were you too forward? Did they just decide they didn’t want to talk to you anymore? They read your message, why didn’t they respond??

It’s even worse if you happened to meet that person on a dating website, and you can see that, while they’re still not texting back, they’re online. Chatting up other girls. Finding people who are far more interesting to talk to than you are.

I’m not saying anybody is doing anything wrong in this situation. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re dating, right? Talk to and go out with a few different people in hopes of finding the right one? If I’m being completely honest, I do the exact same thing. I’ll start talking to one guy, then I might start a conversation with another. Eventually, I find myself talking to one more than the other, and then the conversation with the guy I’m talking to less eventually fades out. Granted, most of them are guys I never get the chance to actually meet. As a single mom, the majority of guys I go out with are guys that I met online. But the online aspect is what keeps me from holding myself accountable. Since I’ve never met them in person, I feel like I don’t owe them any type of explanation when I decide not to text them back. I tell myself, it wasn’t going to go anywhere or amount to anything anyway, so what’s the point?

I’m not a bad person. But it’s not fair to use the internet as an excuse to not be honest with people. Blowing somebody off is easier than rejecting them, but it’s such a shitty thing to do to someone. Nobody deserves to have to question themselves, and ask why they’re not good enough for another person.

I really believe that my generation is one of the most accepting, caring, and loving generations in history. We’re all about kindness, self-love, self-care, consent. For the most part, we think before we speak. We choose our actions wisely. We want to save the planet, and the sea turtles. We listen to people’s stories, and we believe them, and encourage them. We tell people how brave they are for speaking out about past traumatic events.

But, we’re also the generation that invented ghosting. With things like Tinder, we turned dating into the most superficial thing imaginable. We hardly even give people a chance anymore, if they don’t meet our physical expectations. We’re constantly competing for other peoples’ attention, yet love the feeling of other people competing for ours.

So how great are we, really??

🤷🏻‍♀️

You guys. I leaned how to change a tire today. Which may not sound like a huge deal, but it is to me. Every time I learn how to do something like that on my own, I get super proud of myself. The more I know how to do, the less I have to call on other people for help.

I mean. I have a lot of people to call, who will help me out no matter what. Maybe it’s because I’m single, or maybe it’s because I’m stubborn, but I hate asking. Not because I’m too proud, but because I feel bad. I feel like I’m inconveniencing the other person, because they had to take the time to come help me. And I’m well aware of how busy everybody is.

I’m more than happy to go out of my way when somebody needs me, but I have it in my head that everyone else gets annoyed with me.

Is this true? That the people that care about me get annoyed when I need help with something? Absolutely not. But that’s anxiety for you. Always telling you the worst is true.

So yes. I can now add changing a tire to the list of things I can do on my own, along with unclogging a toilet and putting ikea furniture together- even though I don’t know quite how to hang things yet. I’ll get there though.

Random Rant

I should be going to bed right now. Or doing homework, since I’m obviously not going to bed. But I need to get some stuff out.

  1.  I could have literally cried when I got home today. My living room is currently being remodeled (used to be a garage, but they tore down the walls and now it’s gonna be a living room). Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to amazing once it’s finished. But they were sanding walls today and there was dust EVERYWHERE. A lot of it. In a very thick layer. Which meant I had to spend 45 minutes wiping down all the kitchen counters before I could even get around to cooking dinner. Which meant dinner was super late because it took an hour to bake. Which meant I got to spend pretty much no time with my daughter, who was frustrated that I was busy and couldn’t spend time with her. Not to mention the fact that I had to change the sheets on her bed right before bedtime because even her bed got dusty.
  2. I’m lonely and I’m currently feeling like I’m not good enough for anyone. While I understand that these things aren’t true (and I’m not writing this so anyone takes pity on me), it’s hard not to feel that way from time to time. I work hard. I’m smart. I’m attractive. I’m a loving and caring person. But here’s the thing. I’m sassy. And overtime I meet someone, they think it’s sooo great, and they tell me I have such a great sense of humor and blah blah blah. Then, a few months down the road, it becomes a problem. The thing about me that was once so great suddenly isn’t, and I can’t do a damn thing about it because that’s literally who I am. But I also am aware that I use my sarcastic attitude as a defense mechanism. If I’m constantly making jokes about things, then nobody ever knows how I really feel, and I won’t get hurt. It takes a while for me to trust people and for my walls to come down, and it’s not until said walls are down that I show how much I really care about someone. But I have yet to find someone (other than my closest friends, of course) who is willing to stick around long enough for this to happen. My sassiness becomes a problem and Boom. They’re gone.
  3. I am so fucking busy and I hate only having two days to ‘recoup’ from the week and get everything done that I need to get done. Seriously. I am quite literally trying to maintain working full time, parenting full time, going to school full time, spending time with my family, and spending time with my friends. I stay up doing homework every night, and often on the weekends as well. I’m so happy to be going back to school, and I actually enjoy the classes I’ve been taking, and I’m excited about where my education will take me in the future, but I have a heavy load this term and it’s really taking its toll. But I also like spending time with my friends. And I like spending time with my family. Then comes Sunday when I have to do laundry, clean, grocery shop and whatever else because I actually decided to do what I wanted-not what I needed- on Saturday. Then I have to feel guilty about having fun because now I’m overloaded with chores and errands. My stress and anxiety is through the roof. It’s bullshit and I’m over it.

Please note, I do not write these things down so anyone will feel bad for me. I’m not looking for sympathy or anyone’s pity. This isn’t a woe is me thing. This is a, I’m human thing and life kinda sucks sometimes. I’m well aware that a lot of people out there have a lot more going on than I do, but I also know that just because someone has it worse or harder than I do doesn’t mean what I’m feeling isn’t valid. So. Yeah.

End rant.

Karma

I’m not sure you could say we were ever really friends. We met, and that was it. We dove in head first and didn’t look back. We didn’t think about the consequences. I ignored the red flags, because I’m sure there had to have been some, right? But we were crazy about each other in the beginning, and that’s all that mattered to us.

But we were never friends.

We never took the time to get to know each other like friends do. I don’t remember us ever talking about what we wanted in the future for ourselves. We were living in the here and now, and thought we could somehow build a future together, without ever having a conversation about it.

No, we weren’t friends then. And we certainly aren’t now.

Fast forward to us screaming at each other for hours. You somehow managed to get me away from my friends, and got close to taking me away from my family, too. Did you know they used to wait to call me until they knew you weren’t around? You managed to drive a wedge between my sister and I- the one person who knows me inside and out. Who knows what I’ve been through because she was there for it too. And I couldn’t talk to her. You didn’t like her, so you didn’t like me talking to her. And the wedge you drove between the two of us caused a wedge between my family and I as well. My family wasn’t going to choose your side over hers. They were never going to agree with your harsh, harsh words against her. And as long as I was with you, I was in the middle of it all. But I lived with you. So I agreed with you to make you happy. I listened because if I didn’t, you’d yell at me too.

But then again, you’d yell at me anyway.

You were all I had because that’s how you wanted it. When I tried to leave, you told me nobody else would ever want me, that they’d never want to put up with me. You’d make threats about taking my daughter away. And I wasn’t working at the time. I had no money. I had no choice but to believe you. So I stayed. But when I stayed, everything I did made you angry, which, in turn, made you threaten to kick me out when I felt I had nowhere to go. You made me feel worthless because you told me I was. Every. Single. Day. You made me feel like I couldn’t take care of my own daughter because you constantly told me I was a bad mother. You changed me into a person I never was before. I no longer felt I could have an opinion about anything unless it was the same as yours. I didn’t stand up for myself. I wasn’t confident. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t laugh and rarely ever smiled.

You said unspeakable things to me. And you did unspeakable things to me.

I’m not blameless in this. I’ll admit that. I started to lie to you and hide things from you. I turned to someone outside of our relationship that I never should have been talking to in the first place. At least, not at that time. And for that, I have always been truly sorry.

But now, you have nobody. No friends. No family. So you call me when you’re ‘going through something’. You ‘re having a tough time finding a job right now. That sucks. But you call me to vent? Why?

We. Are. Not. Friends.

Yes. You gave me a beautiful daughter, who is my whole world. She is the best thing to ever happen to me. And you are a good father, I’ll give you that. Our daughter deserves to have both of us. Generally speaking, you and I are pretty civilized. We’re raising a child together, yet apart. We have to be friendly. I have to be friendly. But that doesn’t make us friends.

It isn’t fair of you to try and turn to me when you need someone. It’s not mu fault you don’t have anybody. It’s yours. After everything you put me through, do you really think I’m going to be your shoulder to lean on? The sound of your voice still makes my insides cringe if I listen to it long enough.

As for what you’re going through, I don’t want anything bad to happen to you, for our daughter’s sake. She’d be devastated. So while I don’t want anything to happen, I’m not surprised it is. After all, what goes around comes around, right?

Truth be told..

A lot of people think I’m really good at saying what I feel. Speaking my mind. Just laying everything out on the line.

To be honest, I find it absolutely terrifying. Not that that always stops me, but when it comes to the things that are truly important, I tend to keep my mouth shut.

What if he doesn’t want me? What if I’m not good enough? I know it’ll be worth it to know the truth in the end, so why am I holding back?

Is Anybody Out There?

I spend the majority of my time taking care of other people.

As a single mother, most of my time is obviously spent taking care of my daughter.

As a daughter, I also help take care of my father. He isn’t in the best health and can’t get around or do a whole lot by himself, so I help him with grocery shopping, taking him to doctor appointments, cutting his hair, and whatever other miscellaneous things he might need.

As a child care provider, my work week is spent taking care of other people’s children, day in and day out, with what feels like very little help. At least, lately.

As a friend, I try my hardest to take care of my friends. It’s important to me that the people I care about know that I’m there for them, and that I will do nearly anything for them. This goes for my family, too. It’s really just the type of person I am.

I’m happy to do things for other people, honestly. It makes me feel good to be known as someone that other people can count on.

It’s just, sometimes I wish someone would take care of me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of friends and family who are there for me just as much as I’m there for them. I have people I can call whenever I need someone to talk to. I have people that check up on me when they know I’m going through something.

I have a lot of people that love and care about me.

But I’m exhausted. All. The. Time.

Is it anyone’s fault that I’m tired? No. It’s really not even my fault, (I don’t think), this is just my life. And granted, I definitely give off the vibe that I don’t need to be taken care of. Or that I’ve got this shit handled. Because in all reality, I do. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself, my daughter, my dad, my friends, and everyone else’s kids at work. I’m no stranger to working hard in every aspect of my life. I don’t need to be saved. I don’t need someone to do everything for me. But, like. It would just be nice once in a while, you know? And not even everything, but maybe like a couple things? Like, dude, put my clean clothes away and I’d be a happy camper. Take my recycling out that’s overflowing. Jesus. Anything.

It sounds like I’m saying I need a boyfriend. That’s not it. Or maybe it is. Actually, it probably is. But dating is a thing that I hate. And I’ve been seeing this guy, and it might lead to something? But I don’t know yet? But also I feel like it’s been long enough that I should know? Ugh.

Also been thinking about getting a puppy. Probably in place of the fact that I actually want a baby, but that’s not a plausible thing right now. So, yeah, a puppy. Puppies are cute too, right?

Notice I didn’t say I’m good at taking care of my personal self?

I mean, I shower and everything. But self-care? Taking care of my mental health? Low on my list. I’m the type of person who thinks everyone else’s problems are more important than my own, which is how I end up spreading myself so thin. Also how I get so anxious and stressed out. Mental health is important. I get that. But there are only so many hours in a day. Should I tell more people no? Make myself slightly less available? Probably. Will I? Not likely.

Why am I so bad at balancing everything in my life? Or am I bad at it? I don’t know. At this point, I’m just ranting. I literally have nothing figured out except how to be a semi-decent person. That’s pretty good though, right?

Dating

Dating is tough.

Dating as a single mom is tough.

Dating as a single mom with anxiety is tough.

I don’t fall hard. In fact, it’s a miracle if I go out on a date at all. I have very little free time, so I’m very picky about who I spend it with. More often than not, I’ll cancel a date because I’m usually hanging out with my friends beforehand, and I’d rather keep hanging out with them than to go out with some guy who I probably don’t even like that much (I’m really not as negative as I’m making myself sound).

When I do go out on a date, I’m nervous, as most people are. What will I wear? What will we talk about? Do I pay for myself? (I always offer). Then I take it one step further. Would my family get along with him? My friends? How does he feel about kids? About marriage? What will I do WHEN (when, not if)  it doesn’t work out?

These are the things that go through my mind before/during/after a FIRST date.

I don’t lose it, though. This is one of the few situations where I can keep myself collected. I know I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m not a stage-5 clinger stalker girl that you go out with once and become immediately obsessed with you. What I do is called catastrophizing, especially the part where I just assume it’s not going to work out. I go through all of these made up scenarios in my head and inevitably freak myself out. Then, if things do progress and seem to be going well, I get anxiety about the other person losing interest. I’m afraid to text them (not blow-up their phone by any means, like, one text) because I’m afraid I’m being annoying. I get this way with my friends, too. Last year on my birthday, I felt guilty because I ‘made’ them go out to dinner with me. (Meghan, they said, we want to be here. We love you).

I assume that I’m bugging other people by asking (indirectly) for their attention in the slightest, and this amplifies when I’m dating someone. I can hardly even bring myself to save a phone number in my phone because I’m convinced I won’t need it long enough to have it saved.

At the same time, I want to get married, and maybe have another child. And I’m well aware that my current attitude toward dating is not going to get me to those things.

It really is a vicious cycle.

It doesn’t help that society has trained me to try and be the ‘cool girl’. That, according to almost anything you see on TV, if you text a guy more than once, you’re obsessed and crazy. So I hold back, even if I’m wanting to talk to the other person for fear of coming off  as clingy. And then, on the flip side, feel like shit if I don’t hear from them. There’s something about dating that constantly makes me feel like I’m not good enough, no matter what anybody else tells me. That, whoever I’m seeing, will get bored and move on. I feel like I can’t win, even though it’s me who isn’t letting myself win.