Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dating is like a box of chocolates


I had a dream the other night I got married. It was a weird ridiculous dream. For one, I got married in my junior year prom dress. For two, my husband and I never spent any time together. For three, my reception was at McDonald's. Anyway, I mentioned this dream to a couple people in my office and someone responded "speaking of marriage, my wife has someone they wondered if you'd like to meet." We ended the conversation with me agreeing to meet the guy if it was in a pretty casual environment, like all of us going over to my friend's house for dinner.

Some of my friends would jump at the chance to get set up, and here I was feeling quite uncomfortable and approaching the idea with mild trepidation. I started thinking about why I felt that way. Is it a fear of commitment? A fear of abandonment? Fear of rejection? Poor self-image? 

The more I thought about it the more I realized that it really stems from a fear that I'm not going to be okay. I'm content with my life. I have a great house, wonderful friends, a good job, and a church that I love. I'm really happy with it all. And I'm happy being single. What happens if I open up this pandora's box and all of a sudden I need and want a relationship when I've never felt like I really needed one to begin with? 

The only analogy I can think of is a kid who has never had chocolate before. The kid sees that other people enjoy chocolate and they imagine that they would probably enjoy chocolate too but they don't feel the need to eat it. What happens when that kid finally does have chocolate? He freaks out, that's what happens!!! He all of a sudden realizes he wants more and more. Or, he could realize that it makes him sick and from here until eternity he is the one kid who doesn't eat chocolate.

I'm afraid that I do the dating thing and then all of a sudden my contentedness goes right out the window. I will become the person incapable of being single and equate my wholeness with those times when I have someone's hand to hold. But what if the other thing happens? What if I try the dating thing and I just don't want to do it at all? Sometimes I feel like I am just built a little differently than most people. And it's kind of exhausting to tell you the truth. It's hard to see the things that my friends want and desire and to not want or desire them for myself. 

So, dating is like a box of chocolates. But it's a box of chocolates I'm terrified to even try, both because I'm afraid I'm going to love them too much but even more so because I'm afraid I won't.