99. Maybe it’s my social skills.

I don’t know how to… be around people that I am attracted to sometimes (or all the time, whatever).

&, as is to be expected, this can cause problems when it comes to dating, & flirting, & just conversing in general.

I bring this up because I am crushing hard on a guy I go to school with, & I am just way too socially awkward to initiate a conversation, or small talk, or do anything that normal people do when he’s around.

It’s sad, for a couple reasons. First, I’m an adult (ish) & it’s really embarrassing that the social anxiety of my teenage years continues to linger, & also because I think we would have a lot to talk about. We’re both writers, & we both go to university, & we both, um, exist?

Every time I have the opportunity to talk to him, I seize it ineffectively. The very first time I interacted with him involved me talking without thinking & him shooting me down, harshly. It is unclear if he meant it to be as harsh as it was, but for the sake of discouraging false hope I obviously have to operate on the assumption that he hates me. After that whole botched attempt at conversation happened, I just decided to lay low & admire him from afar. It was going pretty well — I felt like it was really working, until he asked out one of my good friends. I mean, she said no (of course, that’s what good friends do), but the damage was done.

This happened last semester, & since a guy asking out a girl who isn’t me is a sure sign that he just isn’t that interested in me, I had no choice but to give up all hope & wallow for an indeterminate amount of time until I eventually got over it. Well, at least I thought I was over it.

Fast forward to the current school year, & in an interesting (cruel) twist of fate the object of my past affections shares a class with me.

Lucky guy.

So far things aren’t going much better — we had a slightly less terrible interaction, but not by much. We made eye contact a couple days ago which was exhilarating. I mean, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know my name, but we’re working on it. We’ll get there one day, maybe, probably not.

The good news is, he’s in the one class I am in this semester where I don’t sound like a raging idiot & actually have a clue what’s going on, so the chances of us having a somewhat positive interaction are better than, you know, 0%.

Things are looking up, folks.

Going into this year, I told myself that it’s going to be different.This year I will not get in my own way, something I’ve tended to do in the past.

I just need to allow myself to be myself, & know that if this guy is the right guy, that’s going to be good enough.

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