As a kid, I didn’t make many trips out to the “Lovers Lane” in our area.
I was soooooo awkward as a teenager when it came to dating. For obvious reasons, I had a lot of confidence issues when it came to dating. Now, don’t get me wrong, I tried to date. Ultimately though, most of the people I dated would break up with me after a few dates…maybe a month or so…and usually end up dating someone else within my group of friends.
Part of that was an overall self confidence issue. Part of that was me not knowing how to feel in my own skin. It lead to some very awkward and interesting years.
So when I went off to boarding school, I decided I needed to be that “ultra-masculine” guy. In my head, I thought that if I did that…did all of the “manly” things…then maybe it would make all the feelings in my head and heart go away. So I dove into it all while at boarding school. Football, Skeet Shooting, bad jokes…anything and everything that I thought might make me feel more normal.
College…while awkward…wasn’t as bad as high school. By then, I had learned to put up the front and play the games so few would question my behaviors. It was also the first time since the death of my father that I wasn’t bullied. Now, I suspect if I had tried to go Greek, I probably would have been. But I found areas where I could, for lack of better terms, be me in a lot of ways. I did the fire department and rescue squad. I was a Resident Adviser. Ironically, I did a lot of photography work…doing work study for media relations and college publications. I had activities and was in an environment where I didn’t have to be “ultra-masculine.” It was a refreshing feeling.
I do laugh looking back at my dating life in college though. It was actually pretty active…though other than one girl I dated for almost all of my first two years of college, did not include much in the way of long term relationships. The funny thing was that most of my friends thought I was this major player because I would often have some girl come back to my room on the weekends. Most of them never realized though that going to an all male college, a lot of it was just making sure these women, most of whom were friends of my friends’ girlfriends, were just getting a safe place to stay without having to sleep on the floor. Most weekends, when my friends were making some joke about my latest hook up, I was actually sleeping on the sofa while these women were sleeping in my bed.
Over the past few months, since finishing school, I have started diving into all the sappy movies and books I missed out on for so many years. One of my friends came over a couple of months ago and laughed at me when she saw a romance novel in my den. She joked that I was trying to catch up on lost time…which I could only shrug, laugh and agree with.
It is weird trying to catch up on those things most women experienced growing up. One advantage though is that while yes, I love a good cheesy romance book or movie…I am also realistic enough to know that’s not the way it will be. But it is nice to lose my thoughts in the romance of it all. I mean, it is a nice escape.
And for that time, even though I know its only fantasy, I can imagine myself as the woman being wooed and romanced in the perfect story line.
See it on Flickr.