Dating, Life Lessons

And So the Lamb Kept a Safe Distance from the Lion

I’m one that is willing to admit that I am terrible at dating.    Well I shouldn’t say dating; I’m terrible at figuring out what a guy wants is a more precise statement.

I am afraid of sounding like an idiot, so I don’t speak. Either that or I talk entirely too much.  I pride myself in being a good listener, so often times I hope the guy I’m with will speak so I can listen to him and maybe give him advice.  I misread signals all the time.

But the worst thing that I do…..

I don’t like to be the first to say how I feel.

Call it what you want, but I really have no idea how this happened.  I guess you could say that growing up with a constant presence of your mother’s parents, a Sicilian father and a German mother, could have had a hand in this.  I was always told what I could and could not talk about because certain things were not supposed to be discussed.  I also had to live by the cardinal rule, “Children are to be seen, and not heard.”

My mother is not like this at all.  In fact, she was always the one that would ask me what was wrong or if I needed to talk. But for some reason, I never wanted to talk about anything and I would just get annoyed when she would ask.   My father, when he was actually around and half-cared about my well-being, would ask me how I felt as well.  But I knew my father really didn’t care because he liked to lie.  I never wanted to tell him anything because I couldn’t trust him.

I got good at keeping my feelings a secret.

No one knew my parents fought because I didn’t tell them. In fact, I lied about it to most people.  No one knew my father left my family because I didn’t tell them.  Part of that has to do with people not wanting to be nosey, but the other half was that I just stayed silent so no one would ask me what happened.

Nonetheless, this has all brought me to the age of 21.  I am still good at keeping secrets, but I’ve found if I let my own secrets slip that other people aren’t quite as good at keeping them.  I’m also not as good at hiding my feelings as I used to be.  I really freak out when someone I like finds out my secret, because then I’m like a baby lamb in a field with a lion.

But back to feelings…..

I don’t like to say how I feel first.  It terrifies me, to the point where I get physically ill and have to keep my mouth shut because my brain stops functioning all together.  Rejection is there in the back of my mind, and it’s like a big STOP sign that comes up when you don’t expect it to.

And here I sit, like always: a lamb, in a field with a lion.  Maybe the lion is a person, but there’s a strong possibility that the lion is also just fear. I’m not moving, because that’s what I do. I’m safely at a distance where anything could happen; I’m between heaven and hell, a purgatory of sorts.

But the lion isn’t moving either, which is an experience I have never dealt with before in my entire life.  Unnerving isn’t it?  A lion immobile in a field.  You can’t predict it’s next move, but nonetheless, it’s there in the field.

Maybe it isn’t really a lion at all.  Maybe it’s a lamb too. Either way, we’re both sitting; afraid to move, afraid to be caught.  We’re just afraid, unyielding and stationary.  So what do I do? Do I yell out across my field of spilled secrets? Do I stay stationary? Do I see what happens?  Is there a right or wrong answer here?

Is this a time for faith or trust?

Maybe I should forget everything I’m used to and venture on to something different.  I’m used to hiding and maybe I need to not do that anymore.

Or maybe I’ve got it all wrong; I’m pretty good at that too.