Just the other day, my social worker at a recreational program I attend asked me if I wanted dating support.
I went off on a long and vague tangent before stopping, staring at her, and admitting, “Honestly, I’m not even sure what dating is!
” Activities that are entrenched in our social world mystify me.
I am the type of person who tries to intellectually analyze emotional happenings because they make little logical sense to me.
In childhood, I used my stuffed animals to stand for different people in social situations that I acted out before bed.
In middle school, I came up with seven qualities that would be required in a romantic match and committed them to heart.
In high school, I used graph paper to chart the people I knew: were they “friendly acquaintances,” “friends,” or “close friends”?
I’ve turned to my journal, my therapists, and my family members to share my rational reasoning behind feelings and social life.
My sister informed me that my number-based formula, which credited people in my life on ten different qualities and items on a 1-to-5 scale in order to figure out who was my friend, was completely ridiculous and lacking.
If I don’t understand people from the social perspective, then I analyze them intellectually.
I categorize people in relation to me, sometimes in highly-questionable ways — for instance, I notice that my bullies somehow made it into the “friendly acquaintance” or “friend” lists of my teen years.
When I started college, I didn’t have any dating experience. I ended up having a “boyfriend” for three weeks freshman year, counting the five-day Thanksgiving vacation. My reasoning was, “Nobody else will ever want me anyway, so if somebody shows interest, jump in.” It was a “relationship”, if you can call it that, for the sake of having a relationship — all surface.