So dating while living in the shadows, living with the insecurity of yourself, being uncomfortable with who you are – not a great experience.
I want to tell you about the best of times and the worst of times, to steal from a great opening.
I don’t experience dysphoria in the traditional sense; I have in the past before I accepted myself, experienced something similar. Usually the thoughts would be something like “Why do you like her?” – “Why can’t you be normal?” – “What if someone sees you!”
The first thought was the worst because it’s the most stupid; the answer to number one is who the hell cares! I’m attracted to her because of who she is and because she identifies as female.
I never went on dates for sexual gratification, I think I’d attempted to do that a few times but those were the dates I’d cancelled, I’m ashamed of that but I’ve evolved as most people do when they figure themselves out.
The dates I went on were because I’d found that person interesting, alluring and romantically compatible with myself.
I once went on a date in London with a very sweet Italian woman, mid 20’s beautiful black hair. We went somewhere local, GBK, her choice, nothing spectacular but I think she just wanted some normality. I actually think that being in London had helped me to not be so bothered about publicly going out with her. I’m going to be honest, I look back at that moment, actually all of the moments where I was ashamed to be out in public with someone, it was all me, projecting my insecurities, never anything to do with my date at the time.
I cringe just thinking about those moment, I was actually scared what people thought if they looked at us, how pathetic that seems now and how far away it is, nonetheless it represents a great source of shame and regret for me personally.
We talked about her art studies, literature, even UFC fights, her family and transition, we were there most of the night, we went back to mine and watched a few fights, had a beer and kissed. It’s funny because I could sort of feel the stubble on her face slightly but It didn’t bother me, I actually liked her, through spending the evening with her and getting to know one another, I’d just forgot about all those negative thoughts.
She left and thankfully nothing happened, I say thankfully because I’m just not that sort of guy, by that point in my life I knew I got little to no gratification from random hook-ups with people I didn’t share a connection with.
It’s not to say we didn’t share a connection, but I think in honesty I was afraid to let anything develop, my insecurities were very strong, I’m sorry to say I don’t think I was personally strong enough to overcome them.
That was probably the worst of times, where something could have happened between two people but didn’t, I think that was ultimately my fault.
Let’s shift to a different date, this was someone that I’d spoke to online for a while, I finally mustered up the courage to ask her on a date. We met at New Street, Birmingham, UK; it was already dark and had a hint of rain in the air. This date was slightly different for me, because we had talked for such a long time before actually going on a date, I had a lot less worries and fears actually publicly dating, I didn’t notice this until after the fact.
It helped that she was beautiful, tall, long red vixen hair, I remember vividly the first time she said “Hi Stranger” in her long black dress and smiled, I hugged her, kissed her on the cheek and held her hand as we walked down into the bar.
It was quite an unconscious thing, I felt totally at ease with her. We spent the evening talking about her Job and aspirations, I’m very attracted to ambition and people with goals, and she blew my mind when she talked about the future.
If I reflect on all of my dates I’ve had, I can firmly say that the best dates have been the ones where I’ve got to know someone beforehand and their personality and persona have largely overshadowed my feelings towards myself. The worst dates have been where I thought someone looked pretty and arranged a date too quickly without really getting to know her, there is something so disjointed about the internet that allows you to become quickly familiar with someone, you don’t get to judge facial expressions or body language.
This is all one guys experience and I thought I would share it, I regret a lot of my past decisions and although I’ll never be able to undo them, I have learnt from them.