When you break up with someone, people like to tell you to “get back on the horse.” Some people will even try to set you up with some eligible bachelor in their family, like their nephew or grandson. (Note: If this person is a relative of yours as well, run the other way.) The problem, for me anyway, is that dating and social anxiety are like water and oil: They just don't mix. But because you’re too polite and don’t want to sound like you’re too good for them, you just nod and give them a tight grin.
Eventually you start to think that people are right and that maybe you should put yourself out there. To which your anxiety promptly screams “NO.” But your fear of being alone stares it down until your anxiety resigns to “Okay, but baby steps.” These are the baby steps:
1. Make a Plenty of Fish (or dating site of your choice) account.
2. Snap a few cute selfies. No, that one’s terrible. Delete it and try again with some cleavage.
3. Attempt to tell potential suitors about yourself in the “About Me” section.
4. Realize that you’re boring and opt to mention two or three of your favourite fandoms and the fact that you like books.
Actually, the waiting part is spent flipping through photos of guys and hitting the "like" button on the ones that have dogs. If you happen to be a girl though, Step 5 is short-lived. Soon guys are messaging you left and right. I mean, half of them are giving you numbers (and no, not their phone numbers) but most of them are a modest “Hey, how’s it going?” and some even have cute icebreakers.
Your confidence soars! Guys think you’re cute! You feel great about yourself! You start to daydream about your perfect romance...
Until—oh no—you have to reply.
Your anxiety creeps in, unseen. You feel the hairs on the back of your neck tingle and raise. Your eyes widen and your throat closes. You reach for your meds but it’s too late. You’re fetal positioning on the couch until your brother comes into the living room, sees your discarded phone beside you and sighs. He rolls you into a blanket burrito-style and makes you a cup of tea.
Gen Taggart was born and raised in the city fun forgot. She has an (unhealthy?) obsession with Doctor Who and hoards notebooks full of half-finished short stories and tattoo ideas. When not jotting down ideas for the next bestseller or trying to navigate the complexities of being single, she can often be found cuddling her dogs and binging on Netflix.