Cheryl Strayed, writing as Dear Sugar said, “bring your needy self when you go on that next date with a potential lover but bring all your other selves too. The strong one. The generous one…” and I have to say that this really struck a chord with me.
In a previous blog post I wrote about going into dating whole of heart and allowing myself to be vulnerable, rather than going in closed off and defensive, protecting my battered heart. But I wonder whether, in trying to be open, I bring too much needy and not enough of my other selves?
Just recently I went on a date with a man who had previously postponed. I liked the way he looked, the way he wrote in email communication and via text and I was excited to meet him. I had a feeling he may postpone and when he did I was disappointed but wrote it off and assumed that was that. However, he kept in touch and we met for breakfast on the weekend. I found him attractive and funny. We had things in common and the conversation flowed well. Then of course we came to the inevitable part of the date where we bade each other farewell and he said “I’ll give you a call” and I said “please do”.
But I am nothing if not extremely impatient and I wanted to hear from him that afternoon. I knew he was going to be busy but a text takes 2 seconds, right? On the advice of every single person I know I did nothing but by the next night I could no longer stand it and I sent him a text. We went back and forth and I put myself out there saying I would like to see him again. He said he would like that too. And that was the last of our communication.
Thing is, during our date I mentioned something about myself which is very personal but is a prominent part of my history and was well within context of the discussion. At the time I thought nothing more of my mentioning it as relevant to our conversation but then when I came across the Dear Sugar column with the advice referred to above, I wondered whether I had brought too much needy and not enough of my other selves. The selves that are happy and strong and determined and kind and loving. Of course that’s an awful lot to bring along to a breakfast where you are meeting someone for the first time but too much of the needy can mask all of the other stuff that goes to make up the person as a whole.
Currently the needy has taken over my body completely and is ruling me with it’s incessant questions “why doesn’t he like me?”, “if he did like me then surely he would have called by now” and “why did he say he wanted to go out again if he didn’t”?
We all want to find love don’t we? I ended my last relationship because I knew I wasn’t going to find it there and I am putting myself through the dating mill because I believe in love, I really do. I want to find it but do I need to find it? No. I can live a full, productive and happy life without romantic love. My children are the loves of my life and I have been madly, deeply, in love with two men in my life and I am grateful to have experienced that.
So since I don’t need romantic love (but oh, how I crave it so), then why bring so much of the needy?
As a woman, am I conditioned to believe that my most presentable self is a needy self? I don’t think so. I think it’s more to do with wanting to be seen as human, as if to say, if I show you how needy I am (whether or not I am aware of what I am doing), then perhaps you won’t hurt me, perhaps you will ensure that my heart remains intact.
I believe we all feel that way in our deepest heart of hearts. We want to be in love, we don’t want to be crushed, so we sometimes present our rawest self as our most prominent instead of presenting our whole selves, and having faith that all of the parts that make us who we are, will be enough.