Tonight we had our second date. But first I’ll reminisce about the first. The first date was picture perfect. We had chatted for a few weeks. It was small talk, friendly, casual. You were waiting for me by the door.
I was nervous. You weren’t like anyone else I had talked to before. You seemed genuinely nice. It scared me. We exchanged an awkward hug. The waitress led us to a quiet table in the bar area. I bet you didn’t know the whole time I was wondering if you were thinking if I was too fat or were disappointed by my size.
We engaged in conversation the whole time. It was nice. Neither of us looked at our phones. My nerves faded away slowly. We talked about our jobs, our families, our ambitions. I bet you didn’t realize I was also wondering if my shirt looked okay, or if I wore the right jeans.
As you talked, a fear came over me. Maybe you are too good for me. You had a good job, a good head on your shoulders. You were kind. A gentleman. You didn’t want to keep me out late because I had work early the next morning. And you didn’t. And you didn’t try to touch me. I didn’t feel used. I didn’t feel sexualized. I felt safe.
I was thinking the best part was you didn’t know me. You didn’t know I was broken. You didn’t know that I was often a mess. That I still cry over losing my best friend every day. That I was sensitive. That at 18 years old I was raped. That after that I became so insecure and damaged I had several bad, unhealthy relationships. That I had self-esteem problem. That I am still burdened by weight I lost years ago. That when I look in the mirror sometimes I still see a sad, 230-pound girl.
You don’t know that I am a girl who was just diagnosed with depression and anxiety and who now has to take drugs every single day just to try and feel okay.
You don’t know that I love fiercely, or that I don’t like change or letting go. You don’t know that I am a girl who has been constantly let down and abandoned by people she loved.
I didn’t know if you would want to see me again. Anxiety does that to you. But you reassured me right away. You told me you had a nice time and were happy to meet me. You told me you wanted to see me again this week.
That terrified me. You liked me. But you didn’t like the real me. Because you didn’t know me. You don’t know all the skeletons I have. All the baggage I carry around. And once you do, I am afraid you’ll leave. you won’t be able to handle it. You won’t be able to handle me.
So, I won’t go for the third date. I will make up an excuse. I would rather you think that I am some girl who blew you off, than know who I really am.
Maybe one day someone will tear down my walls. Maybe someday someone will find out everything about me. The good, bad, and ugly. And maybe they will stay despite my flaws. Until then I’ll walk alone.