I’m Not Good At Dating, But I Know How To Love


I’ll be honest. I’m not good at dating. I’m not good at “let’s be casual,” or “we’re just messing around,” or “we’ll see where this goes.”

See, that’s the thing—I want to know where this is going before I even get started. I want to know the purpose, the direction, the point—because why have something meaningless? Life’s too damn short for meaningless.

No, I’m not crazy. (Only sometimes.) I don’t need to know your favorite color, your deepest fear, and if you think you’ll fall in love with me on our very first date. But I’d like to. I’d like to know the way your mind works, if it’s calm and patient, nervous and hesitant, or if you’re just as passionate and scatter-brained as me.

I want to know where this is going before I even get started.

I want to know everything about you, from the things that make you laugh to the first time you cried. I want to know if you love your mother, if you envy your older brother, if nothing you’ve experienced will ever compare to the feeling of stepping on a football field. And I want you to tell me all of that.

I want to know you, really know you. And I want to fall into you, unafraid.

See, I’m not good at dating, at small talk, at stuffy dinner dates where we skirt around the deep questions because we don’t want to scare each other off.

I don’t care if I scare you off. If I can’t know who you are, then why bother sitting across the table, sharing bites of steak and sips of wine and pretending this is going somewhere when it’s not.

I’m not good at dating, and I’m not good at casual. I’m the opposite of casual. Because ‘casual’ is synonymous for purposeless and I’ve always had a sense of direction.

I want us to go somewhere, not sit stagnant and still.

Love isn’t stagnant and still.

And I’m not the ‘we’re just messing around’ type of girl. I don’t ‘mess around.’ I think that’s stupid. Why give you pieces of myself when you can’t even commit to staying? I won’t be able to make you fall in love with me, and frankly, I shouldn’t have to try. So no, I won’t ‘mess around’ because at the end of the day, we’re just wasting each other’s time. We’re just keeping one another from falling in love.

And no matter how we try to convince ourselves otherwise, that’s what we’re all searching for.

Here’s the thing, I don’t understand the dating world. I don’t understand the quickness, the half-heartedness, the jumping from person to person and the ‘feeling things out’. When I spend time with someone, when I start to get to know them, when I let them start to get to know me, that’s everything.

I don’t know how to shut off the stream of emotions, the excited butterflies when I hear their name, the passion I feel for wanting to discover who they are behind their surface.

I can’t help wanting to fall for them. Not nervously, not hesitantly, and sure as hell not casually. Is that so wrong?

I don’t know, maybe I’m strange. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m too much. All I know is I have no clue how to date. I’m the girl that falls in love. But I’m the girl that makes you unafraid to fall, too. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

Keep up with Marisa on Instagram, Twitter, Amazon and marisadonnelly.com

More From Thought Catalog