Overthinking Dating


ニセコイ (Kisekoi) by ケイド, on Pixiv

I chanced upon a strange article yesterday as I hopped about the net like a flea. While on the one hand I feel for the writer, because like him there are so many things I have never done, yet at the same time I can’t quite agree with his point of view.

The article’s headline in full (including the sub-heading), is “I Have Never Been on a Date or, when I ask myself a very simple question — “Is there something wrong with me?””, and begins after a lengthy lead in that as a twenty year old, he has never asked someone on a date.

Save it for university

As a twenty-one year old now, as someone with their first (and last as far as I’m concerned) boyfriend, at twenty I hadn’t either. And well… let’s say it is a similar kind of story for the one I’m with.

When we begin to see all the people around us beginning to form relationships, it’s natural to wonder about yourself. Is there something wrong which is the reason you’re alone? No — you simply haven’t found the right person or the right opportunity, or couldn’t summon your courage that time. No one really knows if you’ve been on a date or not, or been in a relationship or not, or even if you are a virgin or not (yes) unless you make it a habit to talk about such things in public, so why be afraid of judgement?

I get it, I really do. In my time I have felt that I wasn’t going to find anyone and had dreamed of a small apartment somewhere in Northern Sydney where I would live alone, with one room full of bookshelves wall to ceiling as my library, and perhaps a cat for company. My mum insisted she would only give certain items of jewellery to me when I got married and I bitterly laughed to myself, sure that would never happen.

While friends complained about their chests getting ogled on the street, I sat in front of my computer and wondered why no one did that to me. When a friend found in the mX a mention of her in their Here’s looking at you section, I read the mentions of ‘georgeous eyes’ and ‘cute black dress’ and knew I would never appear there. I really was that unattractive. While I was bitter, I was also accepting.

I wasn’t alone though, because I always had my friends, and that was honestly enough.

Overthinking is the best and worst thing you could do

I don’t know if I had crushes. I don’t or didn’t completely understand the difference between friendship love and romantic love or even intense admiration and respect, so if I ever had thoughts about maybes I shut them down immediately, in case I was wrong. This relationship I’m in is probably the only time I’ve ever been almost certain, and was ultimately the right choice.

Fear is an obvious reason for not taking that first step. Not only the fear of rejection, fear of acceptance and fear of breakup, but also fear of relationships changing forever for the worse (it’s happened before). Five years ago, I had a great deal of fear that my family would never accept the fact I had a ‘gwailo’ as a boyfriend, and fear of the unknown because of inexperience.

Less than two years ago though, my fears had changed to fear of rejection and fear of losing a good friend. Although at that point I had no fear of acceptance, acceptance as well as acknowledgement is still the greatest barrier I have to my relationship.

But personally, I have never had any fear of breakup, because I believe that problems can be solved as long as we are willing to communicate. Some people say that when Chinese date, they are aiming for something long-term and that is exactly my aim.

Spewing hot air

I think it’s important not to think about when, but just to let it happen when it does, although that’s easy to say when you’ve already passed to the other side of the fence. Sometimes even how it happens does not matter so much as it happening at all. In changing times, the ways we communicate also change, and although some may have disdain about people who break up or even get together over instant messaging because it’s so impersonal, it’s still a valid way of doing things. If your method changes how someone thinks of you, perhaps they just weren’t meant to be.

Sometimes I feel shitty too when I hear about relationships, because I wish that my parents could be as receptive and inclusive as others are. On a non-romantic front, I wish that I could want to spend time with them rather than with parents not my own. That they could read my blog like other parents and be proud of me instead of my blog being where I vent about them and somewhere I can never tell them about. It can be hard to remember you’re in a better place than some people..

Has anything changed in two years? No, there hasn’t been a great deal of change in slightly over 1 year and 7 months, but that doesn’t mean this has to be that way forever. Perhaps the next two, or the next two after that will bring better things, as long as we’re willing to be patient.

Illust by ケイド, on Pixiv.