I’ve realized that dating is often a source of anxiety for me because when I start to like someone, I become afraid of losing them.  I don’t want to go through that sadness.  Sadness sucks.

But the thing is…I’ve dealt with heartbreak before and I always come out fine.  My fear of heartbreak is all out of proportion to the reality of it – I get scared like a breakup would kill me, when really we’re just talking about a couple of weeks or months or years of processing time.  Not actually that big a deal.  And in the meantime, the fear is keeping me from fully enjoying whatever nice things I’m experiencing – or even causing rifts*.

There was some book I read (maybe The Highly Sensitive Person?  Or maybe it was actually a blog like Captain Awkward or something…?) that said something along the lines of: the key to getting out of panicky brainlock when you need to make a decision is to trust that Future You has the resources to handle the consequences of that decision.  That’s sort of what I need to do now: I need to remember that I’m a tough fuckin’ bastard and I don’t need to fear breakups (or some dude going on a nice date with me and then never contacting me again.  And everything in between).  I need to enjoy liking boys and trust that if one of them bails on me, Future Me will deal with it.

Yeah, rejection sucks.  Yeah, it’ll make me cry for a while.  But really…so what?  My divorce was by far the most devastating thing that ever happened to me, and yet nowadays I go weeks at a time without even thinking about my ex-husband or our marriage.  I didn’t die; I don’t even hurt anymore.  And I couldn’t have prevented my divorce or any of the other stupid romantic bullshit I’ve been through by worrying about it, anyway**.

So clearly, I need to stop worrying.

I wonder how one does this?


*I half-believe that The Mensch ran into his old crush (who is now single and who he ditched me to pursue) because I worried that he was too good to be true and there must be a catch.  Like my paranoia caused the universe – in its infinite dimwitted helpfulness – to put this chick in his path just to prove me right.

**Taking precautions (like going to couples therapy or not throwing myself into a new relationship too quickly) is smart.  Sitting around obsessively going OMG WHAT IF HE STOPS LIKING ME is…not.  I do liberal amounts of both.

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