After YEARS of heartache, struggle, and pain, I went on a date!!!
My friends, let this be a testament of hope to all who struggle in this area of your life. Let me tell you all something. After nearly 4 years 0 success, after so many rejections, after so much pain, I finally got a date! I finally did it!
The date went surprisingly well! I was anxious but quickly calmed down. I was able to joke around with her, make her laugh, develop a connection, and for the most part, be myself. Of course it wasn't all perfect. There were times where I had nothing to say, times where my mind went blank. And there was a moment where I knew I should have gone for the kiss but was too afraid to. But I learned so much and gained such valuable experience. On top of that, she did say she wanted to see me again!
But here's the truth and yes the truth hurts. The truth is that it's not easy! You're going to have to go through a lot of pain, a lot of lonely nights, a lot of tears shed. There are going to be times where you want to give up. Trust me. For the past several months, I was suffering from learned helplessness. I thought, what's the point. I keep getting rejected over and over again. But I fought through and finally broke through. You must must must have patience and persistence.
I will quickly go over what has happened. I must have asked out 30+ girls over the past 4 years (which may not seem like a lot, but to me it is) and none of them even gave me a date, not even a chance. Not only that, but a few of them agreed to a date and flaked at the last minute, which really stung. Others seemed like they wanted to go out only at the last minute to completely ignore me. I was so close so many times but at the last minute, everything fell through.
I will say though that I did have 1 previous relationship (which is a bit of a miracle), but it feels so long ago that I can no longer draw on that experience to help me. That relationship lasted for 6 months until she dumped me. The 2nd worst pain of my life (the 1st being me hitting rock bottom). So while some of you may argue "well you already had a relationship and I haven't even had 1 yet," understand that all experience is not created equal. If you haven't experienced something in a long time, that experience is almost worthless. Just like if you aren't social for a few days, your anxiety goes back up. So to me at least, all this felt so new, like I had never done it before even though technically I had.
But all this pain has molded me into the person I am today. It has built my character and made me stronger, strong enough that I could drive to meet this girl and spend 4 hours 1 on 1, strong enough that I am able to detach from an outcome and let go if need be. Either way, whether she liked me or not, I knew I would be ok. I don't need her to be ok.
While this is a gigantic step after literally feeling like I was banging my head against a brick wall for 4 long years, it is by no means the end. I still have so much to learn. I'm not expecting this to work out. The only thing I expect of myself is to continually learn and grow from each experience I get.
Lastly, keep in mind that for most of us with SA, dating is probably the most difficult thing to do. So expect slow progress. But if you keep going, even when you don't feel like it, even when nothing seems to be working, even when you want to give up, you will find a way. It's important to believe in your ability to figure things out as you go.
I hope my story not only helps you to believe in yourself, but catalyzes you to take action towards your goals and dreams. Seriously, if I could do this, you can too!
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
― Mark Twain