This Poison Arrow
Is there anything more exciting and yet more excrutiating than those first hesitant and hopeful steps into a relationship? It’s so breathtaking! The getting to know each other. The tentative first hours together. The sometimes awkward small-talk because you don’t really know each other yet. The titillating flirting. The late night texting. The will he or won’t he. The heart racing anticipation, but at the same time, the constant dread of humiliation.
It’s a treacherous obstacle course of anxiety, insecurity and impatience. How’s my hair? How’s my ass? Why must I have these stretch marks on my hips? Why can I not carry on a conversation that’s not awkward and nervous? Am I cute enough? Am I womanly enough? Am I too much of a tomboy to be desirable? When’s he going to make his move? Should I make a move? What if nobody makes a move?!? Should I start going to therapy more than once a week? Should I play hard to get? Should I be more aggressive? Should I be inscrutable? Should I be an open book? Should I share my feelings? Should I play it cool? Should I be one of the boys? Should I grow my hair out? Should I cuss less? Should I cuss more? Should I act sweet and innocent? Should I be dirty and suggestive?
Have I texted too much? Should I have kept that freak out to myself? Oh my God! He thinks I’m insane! He took me to breakfast before he went to the airport! He must like me! I haven’t heard from him in six hours! He must hate me! Oh my God! I think I’m insane!
What does he want? What do I want? Should I increase my Paxil dosage to 40mg a day? How do you keep God in a grown-up relationship without being boring and prudish? Do you tell him he’s cute? Is that emasculating to a grown man? Do you tell him he’s super hot? Is that slutty of a grown woman? What if he doesn’t like me? What if he does?!?
Lord, it’s so hard. I have no idea what I’m doing. I feel like I’m twelve years old. Wasn’t that really easier? “Do you like me? Check ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”
I don’t want to get hurt again. My heart has literally ached from disappointment. But I can’t build anything with somebody unless I risk the pain. It’s so scary. It triggers every bit of insecurity and anxiety and fear and neediness I have inside me. Can I try again? Every disappointment cuts deeper than the last. Am I good enough? Is he worth this? Can I ever make a relationship work? Is there hope?
It’s all I have.
(And would it be wrong for me to ask for prayers about it?)