I Am Afraid of the New Dating World and Think I’ll Pass for Now

Even if summer’s on the way, I’m still not ready

Photo by cottonbro via Unsplash

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.

In Time

A Haibun

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Fresh Blossoms in February|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

You fear a connection–the two of us, prone to falling before we should. It’s inevitable. In time, there will be wishes made to make us something we cannot become. I see it in your eyes, a glimmer of hope; a piece of understanding that things will probably turn out the way that they are meant to and not how we would like them to be. How odd, is it not? How love can stand in a pool of want and drain into a sea of forgetfulness… It is the manifestation of the elder mothers, wanting what is best for the girls who came after them, for their lineage to remain steadfast and strong enough not to break. But, we are cracking at the seams, splitting in two–two women yearning for affection when love stands in the air waiting for us to breathe it in. If only we had the strength to grab it and hold on. If only we could move out of the way, disappear to a place where minds remain open. If only we could…

I won’t deny it–
I am attracted to you
In time, love will win.

This Is What I Have

Really, this is me most days after work and especially on the weekends. I’m pretty boring, but I’m me.

I cannot offer you fancy things, I am quite frugal and I budget accordingly, however, I do make it a point to buy quality items on sale, that will last long. I am all for quality over quantity.  I am soft-spoken, but outspoken. I am an introvert with extroverted tendencies. I love to read, write listen to music, and contemplate the beauty that is life with its sometimes ugly demeanor. I have a voice. I try to use it when speaking about issues dear to me and my community. I love LOVE, the gift of it, the ability to accept it and share it. 

I am not a difficult person but I can do difficult things well. I am a problem-solver, I love finding solutions. I majored in Psychology and I have a minor in Writing. My heart is in my mind and my mind is in my soul. I am all mixed up, but I am perfectly blended. I am a lover of women and of men, but can see myself settling down with a woman (marriage) before I would with a man. Being bisexual has its perks, however, downfalls hover as well. I don’t need anyone or anything that isn’t bringing me happiness. My days of allowing piranhas to attack and rid me of my skin are over. 

THIS IS A NEW DAY!

I don’t expect anything from you that you aren’t willing to give, so if you do not show me that you care, please do not be surprised when I bounce. I am not sticking around for people who lack the ability to become one with the term “reciprocity.” I respect my heart. You should too. I love order. I do not mind a little chaos, but I reserve the right to put my hand up when too much of it enters my realm. That is a surefire way to throw me off balance. I am an excellent cook, have been told that I am an incredible lover, and I treat every single day as an opportunity to learn, grow, and become a better person. 

This, of me, is what I have. If you need more, I may not be the one for you. And just like a new day dawning right after the old, that is okay. 

I will know when my person arrives, if my person arrives. He or she will have what I want and need and I will not have to go searching for pieces to add to him or her. He or she will already be whole. 

He or she will be perfect for me. 

Thirst

Originally shared on Instagram, but is better off at home here.

I am willing to seek out opportunities in growth for you when I need to, prayerful that you would do the same for me. I won’t even drink alone, but if you deny the water, you cannot blame me for your thirst.