I hear this sentiment often from fellow “spoonies”: They have given up on dating. They enjoy my stories (thanks, I try!), but they are not putting themselves out there in the dating pool. And why should they? It’s tough. You’re naked and vulnerable and your waves of pain crash into your body so that you can barely stay afloat. You get tired sometimes – exhausted, really – of paddling just to keep your head above water.
But to borrow from Mindy Kaling’s new book Why Not Me?, all I can say is, why not me?
This song from Andrew McMahon reminds me of my teenage years. I didn’t actually go on my first date until a week before I graduated high school, when I was already 18. I was a late bloomer. But I felt free, and I couldn’t wait to live my life and choose my own adventure.
When I finally did get into dating, it was just how I imagined it would be. And by “it,” I really mean the men. The kissing, the making out, the talking about nothing and everything, felt just like I thought it would. I felt passion and I felt heartbreak. I felt excitement. Sometimes I felt like I was on fire.
It has been a very long time – possibly a decade, if I think about it – since I have had a love who freely returned love to me and wasn’t afraid to say it. Though this rare disease has eaten away all of my supposed “good years,” when I am finally relaxed and confident in my own body, I’m not ready to give up. I still think I can have the same feelings I did at 18, even if I can no longer stay out till the wee hours of the morning with groups of people I’ve just met, and then crash on a random couch or floor or bed and trade secrets with a man who is enchanted with my eyes and just wants to hold me and see a little of my soul.
So, man whom I don’t know yet, I’ll meet you at the high dive. Take the leap with me. I promise that I’m worth it.