The One Where I Turned Down a Date

Today I turned down my first date in some time. Don’t tell my mother.

In hopes of walking the tightrope between vulnerability and oversharing, a lot of what I write about here is in past tense. Things happen, I process through my emotions, and then I write about it. That way, I can sort through my thoughts and share my experiences without being overwhelming or overbearing to the people in my life. This is a little different.

Let me preface this post by saying, the climax of what I’m writing about happened less than two hours ago. So, bear with me as I try to express what I feel is one of the more important lessons I’ve learned in my post twenty-five life thus far.

There was this guy. Initially we bonded over our mutual respect for Parks and Rec. Naturally, our conversation transitioned from the imaginary safety of direct message to texting. Somewhere in that transition, strewn between complements and “lol’s,” he said, “Just so you know, I really dig you.” To be honest, in that moment I expected myself to have that little heart leap or some sort of internal glee reading those words. But I didn’t. Instead I had a sense of unease. “That’s flattering,” I thought. “But how can he say that? He doesn’t even know me?”

Despite that internal gut check, I replied thank you and quickly changed the subject without returning his sentiments. Our conversation via text continued like this for only a few days. Every compliment was sidestepped no matter how nice or charming it was. Eventually the plan to meet was tossed into the arena and despite that inner tugging, I proceeded to say yes and set a date. Although my heart wasn’t cooperating, my head was determined to “just see” if it would work. “Give it a chance Soph. It’s just one date.” So, we decided, Monday was the day.

Which brings us to today. I told a few friends of mine about the date. They were excited. I was indifferent. As the day progressed, indifference turned to disinterest. After a pretty long day of work I found myself frustrated and short tempered. Any form of communication from this guy just added fuel to the fire. Just as  was on the verge of bursting into tears, I stopped myself. God must have been waiting for a moment alone, because in that moment I realized I was becoming that girl; the one who continues to pursue a relationship with someone not because of genuine interest but in the name of “experience.” In my head, he wasn’t a real person with real feelings, but an object used to measure the level of my investment. I wasn’t uncomfortable with the “check-in” texts because they were out of the norm or because I wasn’t emotionally ready. I was uncomfortable with those text because they came from him.

I was ready for a relationship (or as ready as you can be); I just wasn’t ready for one with him.

I wasn’t attracted or invested in him. I bought into the lie that people were put on this earth for my enjoyment or entertainment and lost a sense of value for him. Basically, I had become the person who would actually lead someone on, tell them what they want to hear, in order to figure out feelings I already knew weren’t there.

I ended up canceling on my date an hour and a half before we were to go out. I drove to the gym, worked all the frustrations of the day out, and drove home to write it out.

Tonight, I’ll sleep and process more. But if there’s anything I’ve learned, you can’t will your way into God’s will for your life. There is no amount of human effort that can move his hand. And if you dare to try, you might become the person your 20-year-old heartbroken self vowed not to be.

Until next time.

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