Gun-shy

I find myself in a curious place.

I’m not in a lonely, sobbing little heap anymore. I still have plenty of times when I’m blue or lonely, but I no longer feel my life is a downward spiral of hopeless unhappiness. I have many days when I am joyful and have worked really hard the last few months to expand my circles and lift myself up out of depression. My life isn’t perfect, but it feels a hell of a lot better than it did a year ago. And…I’m very single. Don’t get me wrong, there is a person that I’ve dated very casually for the last couple of months. It’s not going anywhere and at one point, I thought it was completely over, then he popped back up.  I don’t love him, he doesn’t love me and we have a good time.

Still, I dream of something more with someone.

And for the first time in my life, I’m scared of attempting it.

I mean, there have been times when I’ve been hurt badly enough I’ve been afraid of “getting back out there”. Yet the fear of being alone was stronger, so I always plunged back into dating pretty quickly. This time, I feel mostly okay for the first time in quite awhile. It’s a lot better than not okay, which is where I was for many months. The pitfalls of dating seem perilous and leave me …reluctant. I find myself putting off getting back into the dating scene. I’m not hiding from it, but I’m making very little effort to embrace it.

Yet I also know there comes a point where fear can be paralyzing.

I’m left trying to assess what is a healthy balance of being okay on my own and what is making excuses to avoid something that, ultimately, I really want. A real relationship, with someone who’s emotionally healthy and mature enough to handle it. Someone to walk hand in hand with, share the triumphs and hardships of the day with, to curl around at night. Because while I have affection for the casual dating partner and enjoy his company most times we’re together, he doesn’t move me. There’s always a level of emptiness in the pit of my stomach when I drive home.

At what point does being afraid to date turn into a problem that’s just as serious as being afraid to not date?

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