I’m not the first, nor is there any way in which I would be the last dude to over-think life. I’m 21, I’ve only had two real relationships in my life, and I’m constantly thinking about why I have no success with women. And seemingly, no success with people either. Other would probably say otherwise, but I think I’m right because it’s my brain.
Sure, there have been other, still-important-yet-less-significant times in my life that one could argue (don’t know why they would argue anyways) are times that show that I actually have had successful points. That’s true. But what I know is what I feel, and I’m starting to feel that point of the walls of my social life falling in.
You know that feeling when you have a string of days that just go right? Everyone seems to want to talk to you. Conversations are fun, natural, and unforced. And no one has a bad thing to say. Even the girl you’ve had a thing for is texting you off and on.
And then, it all comes to either a slow, or a screeching halt. Either way, the fun is over. You feel like everyone’s too busy (which they are), your crush isn’t texting back, and you can’t seem to hold a sentence together without apologizing to whoever has the displeasure of having to make your acquaintance. In your head, it’s all because of you.
Now, back to women. It’s crazy how many little details tend to escape me in moments of thought with girls. Whether it’s me thinking on my own, or actually hanging out with the girl I have a crush on. Every word I’ve read, heard, or thoughtfully came up with on my own about how to stay mentally balanced with women goes flying out the door when the good times are rolling. It’s intoxicating, that feeling of being totally at ease with whoever you’re chasing. And there are so many times when you feel like no matter what you say or do, that person is going to find you amazing.
That, dear diary, is false confidence.
There isn’t a moment in my life where I’m not wishing that I had natural confidence. And I have to remind myself that no one is exempt from wishing that as well at some point. But you can only think about you in the moments when you’re most insecure. I’m not confident without my insecurities, because that’s what keeps me grounded, but to what end? I wish I had some magic juice that just made everything go well. But that’s why life is life.
Luckily, I think I’m starting to realize more and more what I’m doing wrong when I’m single. I fixate. I adore. I get hopelessly attached, exaggerate in my mind, and set myself up for disappointment all the time. What’s the problem there? Well, it’s a mixture of limiting my social scope as well as filling myself to the brim with false hope.
The social scope thing is just a fancy way of saying that I’m constricting my ability to look at a bigger picture of people who I can talk to and communicate with. My friend circle isn’t massive; it’s just the right size. But outside of that, I don’t know that I step out of my comfort zone enough. I really try, but I can’t always just walk up to someone and strike up any old conversation. I end up being that guy at parties who drifts between talking to people and letting them come to him. The latter rarely ends up working unless alcohol is involved.
Same thing with girls though. I know I need to step up, but it’s not easy when your mind is scrambled eggs like mine. There’s just no sense in me going up to a person that might not respond the way you think. But who cares? Who does it really affect in the end? It shouldn’t affect me. All I need to do is learn and move on. Take one, examine it, pass it down. Short, sweet, and simple. That way there’s no extra thought that needs to go into the process of new connections. But you end up lingering on the experience.
Most importantly, I really can’t afford to think so far into the future about things that haven’t even happened yet. Not just socially or romantically, but career-wise etc, as well. If you can’t make it happen now, whatever ‘it’ is, it can’t happen later either. It’s not something that you can help at any other time except in the present. There’s no secret: it’s just effort.
She’s not going to love you instantly. She isn’t even necessarily interested. She probably has the same insecurities as you. Even if she’s been told her entire life that she is fine, she’ll still think about her flaws.
Because we know ourselves better than anyone else, and that’s the scariest part.
We tend to forget that no one knows the back of our hand better than we do. People are programmed to believe that there’s someone out there who, one day, will know you just as well and understand you better. They will make you wonder how you ever thought you weren’t good enough. But the problem isn’t about effort or looking for this person. The problem is that we aren’t patient. We look outside and we see happy couples, happy people, and satisfaction in smiles that look honest and real, and we want that.
But we don’t know where those smiles came from. We don’t know how close two people on the street talking really are. And even if we know their relationship, we don’t know how much they truly know about each other. But we invent the story in our head that we know exactly who they are, what they’re feeling, and how that compares to this moment of us watching the world.
I for one can’t help but think about other people’s happiness before mine, but I know on the inside, I’m still burning out of my own, self-declared insufficiencies as a person. But how do I know that my friends and family don’t feel the same about themselves? What about your acquaintances who you know even less about thinking the same way?
And what about that girl you like, who is sitting across from you at a cafe with a hot latte, staring at the steam like it’s more than just evaporating water?
I feel a little bit more like I understand what my problem is. I look too far inward, and I fail to observe what really counts: feeling these crazy, misunderstood emotions that aren’t just mine. I still haven’t grasped the fact that everyone, at some point and throughout their lives, feel these same infuriating thoughts. But until I really understand how to make it right in my head, I can’t hope to achieve anything other than an understanding when I’m with others. It’s a fear that, like all others, can’t be overcome by anyone except the fearful.
There’s something about fear that’s so…complex. It’s not just fear of the world and the things that you do to shape yours that creates your understanding of yourself.
It’s the fear of being fearful, and of other people knowing it, that will make you understand yourself and how to be the best version of you.