Even if summer’s on the way, I’m still not ready
Nowadays if you’re not on one of the following dating apps; Tinder, eHarmony, Match, or Hinge (just to name a few), chances are, you’re still clinging to the traditional way of dating just as I am or I’d like to be. I did not have many miles behind me regarding the traditional way of dating prior to the Coronavirus, COVID-19 — it was the method with which I was most familiar.
If I wanted to, I could go to my local coffee shop, set up my mini workstation, order my favorite blend, and subtly eye God’s gifts that walked through the doors of the venue.
If I made eye contact with a woman or a man who sparked my interest, a small conversation would start and the two of us would simply enjoy one another’s company as we sipped our brews and meshed with our surrounding environment. If the connection was intense enough, we would exchange numbers. If not, of course, we parted ways. No harm. No foul. We were adults and acted accordingly (thankfully).
Today, I feel the stress and overwhelming disdain within me that comes with the idea of even signing on to a dating app to get back out into the not-yet-virus-free world. I could do it that way but I’d still have to meet up with the person after getting to know them online, shoot the shit, and hope the connection is as decent a connection in person as it potentially was online, eventually.
I’m a cut out the middleman kind of person, so . . .
I’d like to trust you, but I don’t.
With summer right around the corner, I would rather visit the various places I used to frequent during the pre-COVID-19 days, however, I don’t trust the people out and about mask-less since the CDC’s most recent update to their guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals.
If I have to go to the store (Instacart has become my best friend), I wear my mask, rush in, get what I need, keep my distance from others, and get out. And I’m a fully vaccinated healthcare worker who now works from home.
There is still a substantial amount of fear dwelling inside me as it pertains to this virus. When one has faced what I have dealt with (prior to my transfer to my current position) — fear is probably not going to subside soon.
Screening patients for COVID-19 symptoms and frequently coming in contact with patients who were positive was enough to keep me aware of the severity of thousands of cases and the seriousness of this pandemic.
Eager to start but afraid to begin.
I would like to get back to the life I had, but I also don’t want to rush into anything stupidly or hurriedly without weighing all safety options. What scares me the most is befriending a person who is not honest about his or her practices and precautions. Are they really fully vaccinated if they say so? Do they keep their visitations to and with others to a minimum? Are they cautious about who they allow in their home? How are their cleanliness and hygiene?
I don’t want to become that person who asks you to show me your COVID-19 vaccination card as proof . . . but . . .
I am not jaded. I would not find it fair for me to hit up my favorite spots or find new ones with this fear still lingering as deeply as it is. I would not want to subject anyone to the possibility of an early dismissal without a proper chance at developing something from nothing.
Kicking digital game isn’t my thing.
The horror stories I’ve heard from many of my friends about this new dating world via the world wide web are enough to keep me single and celibate forever — summer, be damned . . . Constant ghosting. Swiping left or right. Matching only to be swiftly unmatched. Breadcrumbing. Stonewalling. And the list goes on.
Is this what we’re now facing if we somewhat wish to give dating a try again? Impatience and the ever-changing world of I want what I want and if you aren’t it, I won’t stick around to grow with you? “Lies you tell.” — Tamar Braxton
When I was in my mid-twenties, I had signed up for one of the dating sites that had been popular around that time. I want to say it was Match, but I can’t be certain.
Met a guy. We hit it off. Things were good for about four months and then . . . things started taking a more serious turn, and he did not want that. I’m sure it doesn’t need stating that we moved on from one another. It was for the best. I’ve had a few summer and autumn flings here and there — with a few of those individuals scooped up from a couple online platforms I frequented. That’s as close as I have gotten to “online dating” since the previously mentioned guy.
It isn’t my comfort zone.
Summer is right around the corner. Should I come out of my shell?
I have a burning feeling welled up in me to stick my big toe in the water (so to speak), but I also know I’ll probably tip-toe to the water, overanalyze it, hesitate, and cringe instead of attempting to become one with what used to be familiar to me. I’ve seen so many people crowded together poolside, hosting barbecues and family functions, and jet setting without a care in the world, and although it is rather appealing, I can’t move . . .
I want to, I just can’t.
And this tells me I still have much work to do within myself and about this pandemic before I am ready to see what the new dating world has to offer. People can be more work than I am cut out to put in and well . . . I’ve been single for a long time, I’m in no rush.
But what will the dating world be like when I’ve finally given fear a run for its money?
I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
Originally published in Prism & Pen via Medium.