This is a post I will surely think better of and take down shortly, but I need to sort out what's coming together in my head. I'm concluding that I am undateable. I conclude that it stinks. This post is an inarticulate ramble of what is making me draw these conclusions.
I've written before about the part of my persona that Housemate calls Rock Star Charisma Barbie. She's larger than life, extroverted, and fun. She's a natural leader, even when she's not trying to be. She's a social organizer and a connector and there is some kind of social currency that she brings to situations that people respond to. I've also written before what I think one of my biggest dating problems is -- whatever it is about me that makes people use words like "strong" or "confident" or "independent" or "intimidating" to describe me.
So I've lately realized I have a crush on a friend of mine. He's like me, only more so: smarter, more charismatic, better read, more fun. A big personality. We spend a lot of time together; we know one another well. We confide in one another about our dating misadventures and during the conversations that spin off about what we're each looking for and what we object to I've started to wonder if what we're really talking about, surreptitiously, is the idea of dating each other.
And last night after going to three parties together we found ourselves kissing and the topic came up explicitly. "I've been telling my friends that if I had any sense you're the person I should date," he said. "My friends have been telling me the same thing," I said. "But I can't date you," he continued. "Your personality is too big. You're the alpha dog, and so am I. We can't both be the alpha dog. I can't be second fiddle to you, and I would be, and I also don't want you to change at all. So it can't work."
The conversation went on for a long time, and its twists and turns aren't the main point of the post. The point is that a dear friend of mine, who knows me and likes me and gets me, who finds me attractive, whose observations about people and human nature I trust a great deal, and who is himself the least intimidatable person I know, won't date me because I'm the alpha dog.
I don't know if I'm really the alpha dog. I am plenty vulnerable and sometimes I'm ill at ease in my surroundings. I only seem like the alpha dog because I'm impatient and I'm an only child and I've been chronically single, and all of these things have conspired to make me really good at filling any void by making decisions that put me at ease and make me happy. If I don't, nobody else will. If someone else would, I'd be delighted to go along with them. But instead I do what I can to make my surroundings feel fun and comfortable for me, and I voice what I want, figuring people will speak up if they disagree. And people go along with me. I'm the reluctant alpha dog, maybe that's it.
I want to date the alpha dog. I want to date someone who is sure of himself. Maybe not an extrovert; maybe the strong silent type, I dunno. But someone who knows who he is and what he wants and how to get it.
But the alpha-est dog I know tells me I'm too strong for him. It's hard to fathom. The particular crush isn't such a big deal -- we'll figure this out, and I think any disruption of our friendship from this will sort itself out pretty soon. But what it stands for scares me. I don't want to be a different person, but I don't want to be alone all my life. And today I am more convinced than ever that I will be.
Not alone. I'll always have people in my life. But nobody will want to be my partner. I am overwhelming. I don't want to overwhelm. It makes me feel like a brute somehow, unfeminine, ugly, insensitive. That's not who I want to be.
The relationships I've been in that have lasted longest have been when I was in low-confidence periods in my life. I didn't know who I was; I didn't project confidence or charisma. I wasn't the alpha dog. I don't want those days back but I was loved, then, and sometimes -- a lot of the time -- I want that back.