When guys hit on me (this is ultra, extremely rare, please believe me I’m not bragging), I am all of two things: embarrassed and suspicious.
Yes, I have a smile on my face because it’s my natural reaction to embarrassment. I often smile and giggle at very inappropriate moments in my private life. I’m trying to fix this. Also, my years of experience has taught me that the safest mechanism of getting away from the unfolding situation is to be as compliant and non-threatening as possible, putting my counterpart at ease. I am altogether terrified of making the other person mad or become aggressive in any way. It’s mostly the horror stories of others that bring out this fear, not just my experiences necessarily.
I am embarrassed and suspicious on multiple levels: Why is he looking at me? What does he see? Why is he reacting like that? What does he want? What will be try to take from me? Can I take him if I have to? Where are the exits? Are there others around? Where is the phone? Can I change the subject?
The embarrassment derives from a sudden flooding of self-consciousness brought on by his gaze. Again, why is he looking at me? I know what I look like. It fuels the fire of suspicion: I know what I look like, so why is he looking at me?
This is the cycle created by a childhood of growing up without compliments and low self-esteem. I genuinely cannot take compliments to this day and frankly feel like they’re lies. Someone pays me a complement, and my initial reaction is “What do they want from me?” It’s immediate suspicion. A vicious cycle, I’m tellin ya!
Because my brain won’t allow me to believe the kind words of others, I have other methods of communicating love. When my counselor brought Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages” into my life, so much more of me began to make sense. Identifying how I measure love is fundamental in pursuing love. Being able to communicate one’s “love language” to a partner is critical to a relationship’s success (or at least it is for me as I tend to over-analyze things).
Expanding the theory of primary love languages in order to explain my sexuality seemed natural at the time. I’m the type that needs to understand a thing theoretically in order to be comfortable. I own it. I quickly found “Demisexuality” somewhere on the asexual spectrum and marveled at the near exact match. Finally, I have some understanding for why I am the way I am and why dating seems particular for me.
Knowing all this now, I’m much more capable of saving myself the hassle of dressing up for poor first dates. I don’t even take a guy seriously unless there’s a second. More often than not, I’m bored within the first hour. I’m not a snob, it’s just most people can’t keep a conversation rolling.
Dating is difficult because I require a significant amount of time with a person. I must get to know them before I’m willing to invest. “This seems normal,” I hear you tittering. No, it’s not like how you think. I don’t date primarily to get to know someone. I only date people with whom I’ve already built up a rapport (school, work, group activities, a week or so of texting with internet matches). I do not date strangers. It’s all the more frustrating in those extremely rare moments in which someone actually plucks up the courage to say something to me. Unfortunately for them, I will just smile away and assume every word they say is a lie.
How do I honestly expect to meet someone? Come ON! But also, you trynna holler at me on the road from your car and into mine, asking me to “just pull over somewhere so I can talk to you,” is not it. Yes, I took a detour into the Kroger parking lot for fear you might follow me home. And yes, I was rattled when you took the same detour behind me. Not okay.