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I have been on a few dates with a wonderful guy named Jeff. Things are going well. I feel like I should be really happy about this all the time, but instead, I am dealing with some fear and sadness. I like Jeff, and that is scary. I can’t help but feel afraid of when he discovers the things he doesn’t like about me, like my too-white legs, or how I get really emotional about things sometimes. I know these aren’t the most productive thoughts, but I’m scared to like someone again. I have a case of the sads, so I am just doing things slowly and letting it be.
￼Fear and uncertainty are the cost of creating something new.
The novelty brings you all these fluttery feelings. But there’s also the dread.
Because during the very early stages of dating (and maybe pursuing any kind of dream), you don’t know.
You don’t know if what you are building, or hoping to build, is even a real thing.
You don’t know where it might go.
You don’t know who else is in the picture.
You don’t know if the other person is just really skilled at saying words that sound good (even if they aren’t true).
You don’t know.
But still. You really like the other person. And you are willing to take a chance and keep exploring things. Even though it’s scary.
There is a lot of uncertainty, and I would wager that Jeff is probably feeling some of those same things. It’s the cost of all the new and budding feelings: the gift and the challenge. All that hope, hand-in-hand with the very real possibility that it might not turn into anything, and you might get hurt.
But I wonder if Jeff might end up really, really liking all the things you mention. The things you’re afraid of him discovering. Your too-white legs. How you get emotional about things sometimes. (Like maybe he spent five years with some weird robot-like girlfriend, and someone like you, who shows some emotion sometimes, might be a welcome change. After all, if you’re emotional about something, it just means you care, right? And sometimes it’s nice to be cared for.)
But even if he doesn’t like those particular things, here is what I know to be true: there are a million other wonderful things, most of which you probably aren’t even aware of, that Jeff may get the joy of discovering about you.
And that would be a privilege.