Tuesday, November 13

2 Days Left: Dating Life

I've never kissed a girl. Well... for real at least. I was in a show that involved kissing on stage, but that didn't really count. While my character acted otherwise, there was definitely no passion on my side.

I don't think I've held hands with a girl while walking, either. Pulling her on to the dance floor, helping her up or down a staircase, pulling her up from the ground, escorting her into a formal event, letting her take mine, or anywhere else where contact is incidental, yes. But intertwining fingers or just holding hands to be together? No.

Dating me is a two-edged experience. At least it seems like that from my perspective. All the girls I've talked with after the fact feel like our relationship, however short, was worthwhile. But many also explain that it was one of the more painful and confusing times of their lives. Part of it is probably because I don't show physical affection, but still try to engage on a spiritual or emotional level. Or because my dates are usually gospel conversations that flow through activities. Or because autism affects my ability to understand social norms and I either leave the girl hanging or completely overwhelm her. Either way, it makes the experience completely unlike dating anyone else.

I guess the issue is that I want to always send the right message, but I have trouble communicating in the first place. I don't want to hurt people or distance myself through dishonest communication, verbal or nonverbal. And since I've never felt the desire or need to tell a girl I had same-sex attraction, I felt the need to communicate in another way... so that I wasn't leading her on.

The ironic thing is that if I weren't totally afraid of miscommunicating, I'd be a much more physical person (within the right bounds, obviously). Right now I feel sort of isolated from the rest of the physical world of relationships and my standoffishness in initiating contact probably doesn't help.

I'm wondering if my paranoia (and that's probably what it is) about miscommunication will be easier to assuage now. If girls, and guys, know who I am and what my lifelong goals are, then I don't have to rely on partial information to say what I really want to say. Like, "I like spending time with you, but I'm not there yet to be able to show it. We'll see if it happens." Or, "I just need a hug & a guy to sit with and talk to. Are you cool with that?"

It'll be interesting to see how this impacts my dating life. I'm not interested in finding a girl who would settle for a guy who isn't totally in love with her. I'm not looking for pity or someone who wants to prove that sheer guts and faith can take you all the way to Heaven. I am looking for a girl who is willing to give faith a chance, though - who is willing to love enough to see if I can love her back. Vulnerable? Yeah. But I guess at least we'll be on equal grounds there - this is as vulnerable as I can get.

That's why I date, and why I don't. Because I honestly care about girls and want the best for them and for me. And because I'm exercising my own faith. That hopefully, someday soon, I'll meet a girl, and a miracle will happen. Something will click, the impossible will become reality, and I'll be attracted to a girl. We'll both fall in love - and be on equal grounds - get married, and spend the rest of our lives working and growing to make it work.

Before that happens, though, I'm still involved in the world of dating.

Maybe I can leverage the issue of same-sex attraction to overcome the awkwardness of the whole dating game. Or maybe it'll be worse. Is it okay for me to tell a girl that I'm not physically attracted to her... when it's a universal thing and not specific to her? Should I even care about the social rules that govern normal guys? Are there any implicitly understood social contracts about having SSA and dating? I know I've never found any. Maybe I'll write my own. I think I will. Whatever.

Random side note: The Post Index is updated. I was 178 posts behind. That's 50 pages of index. I think I may need to find a better way of organizing the past.

9 comments:

Sara Richins said...

I feel in love with my husband because of our gospel conversations. I feel in love with his spirit before his body. I don't think there is anything wrong with going in that order. I believe, it makes for a more solid foundation in the relationship. The physical attraction comes after you see how truly beautiful they are on the inside, not the other way around.

I hope and pray that you will be able to find that girl you find beautiful inside and out. She's out there. I bet she is one special gal. You seem like one special guy! And deserve someone who isn't just skin deep.

Thank you for being so honest and wanting to share your testimony and trials with us all. I have gained so much from reading your blog. Thank you for your example. I pray for Heaven's blessings on you as you continue this journey.

AnnaSchu said...

This is one of the most profound things I've ever read. I believe you are doing and thinking about all the things you should be. I'm on you're cheer squad gmm!

Arlo said...

Hey, the first time I kissed a girl, was in a gay bar, so there was no leading her on. Baby steps, huh?

I pray that someday soon you will have the courage to be just vulnerable enough to say to a girl: "I like spending time with you, but I'm not there yet to be able to show it. We'll see if it happens." That sort of honesty and vulnerability will take you a long ways in a relationship. It also helps her to know that your reticence has little to do with her, so she will be less confused and hurt.

It's the honesty and vulnerability that won my wife over, despite the SSA stuff. Even after 20 years with her, every time I try it, she falls in love with me all over again.

Peace, brother.

Anonymous said...

I want to echo what everyone else has said. You're thinking about your approach, steps in a relationship, etc. You're on the right path.

Sara Rogai said...

David, ti rispondo in italiano perchè non so se riuscirei a esprimere bene i miei sentimenti in inglese.
Sei fantastico! Tante persone attratte dallo stesso sesso si arrenderebbero all'idea di non avere il più alto grado di gloria nel regno del nostro Padre Celeste, tu no!
Conosco persone che si sono arrese, che hanno dato una chance ad un altro uomo e alla fine hanno deciso di arrendersi, conosco anche persone che hanno fatto finta di non avere il problema, si sono sposate, poi in un momento di maggiore stress hanno ceduto, hanno continuato ad andare al tempio pur commettendo questo peccato, fino a che la loro coscienza ha retto, e hanno distrutto famiglia, distrutto la stima dei figli, l'amore...
invece il tuo approccio è perfetto!
Ti ricordi di Maria Garofalo? Mi ha raccontato di una sua coppia di amici. Un uomo gay e la sua migliore amica. Lei è stata innamorata di lui da quando si sono conosciuti, e lui le aveva detto onestamente di non essere interessato ad altro che alla sua amicizia... dopo dieci anni quasi si sono sposati e hanno avuto due figli! Lui è profondamente innamorato di lei!
A volte non è questione di attrazione, a volte è solo questione di amore!
Quando c'è l'amore prima o poi l'attrazione arriva.
Maria Teresa Sottili, di Firenze 2, mi raccontò di una sua cara amica americana che aveva 30 anni ed era disperata perchè non riusciva a trovare un compagno. Ormai le sue amiche le organizzavano appuntamenti al buoio con tutti i loro amici. Era stanca anche di questo e decise di non accettare più, di fare solo l'ultimo. Incontra un uomo simpaticissimo, le piaceva così tanto da continuare ad uscire con lui solo come amici! La loro amicizia era incredibile, lei pensava che sarebbe stato un compagno ideale se solo ci fosse stata attrazione, ma lei non voleva i suoi baci, le sue carezze, stringere la sua mano e passeggiare, e tutti gli uomini che incontrava non reggevano il paragone col suo migliore amico!
Allora, una sera, in lacime, si inginocchiò e pregò con fervore, affinchè nella sua vita entrasse l'amore. se il suo amico era l'uomo per lei, che ci fosse attrazione, altrimenti di aiutarla a trovare qualcuno meglio di lui.
Ebbene, quando uscì di nuovo con lui, il giorno dopo, non riusciva più a stargli lontana, non riusciva a lasciargli la mano e a smettere di guardarlo negli occhi... insomma, Dio aveva fatto la differenza.
Noi non sappiamo per quale principio ci piace qualcosa invece di altro, nemmeno sappiamo cosa ci spinge ad essere attratti da un uomo o da una donna, un giorno ci verrà spiegato come funzionano questi meccanismi, ma Dio ci ha dato degli strumenti incredibili! La preghiera, la fede, la perseveranza!
Continua così, e una ragazza speciale, una persona che sa vedere al di là delle parole e dei gesti, una persona che avrà il coraggio di mettersi in gioco in una partita aperta, una persona che si innamorerà del tuo spirito, avrà abbastanza coraggio da dirti di voler provare, e costruire insieme un futuro eterno!

Mormon Guy said...

Ora e un tempo in cui sono grato di avercontinuato di usare l'italiano... siccome non c'è dubbio - io non potrei capire se non l'avessi usato da sei anni.

Ma comunque, mi piace l'italiano un sacco... e questa è la prima volta in cui ho avuto modo d'usarlo cui sul blog. Così, grazie.

Sono totalmente d'accordo, Sara. Alla fine del giorno, tutti dobbiamo metterci inginocchiati per dare il nostro tutto a Dio. Se no, non possiamo avere o la fede o la pace che ci può sostenere nelle difficoltà della vita. E, forse più importante, non possiamo né anche diventare coloro che Egli vede in noi. Buttiamo la nostra eredità per cosa... un po' di sottostazione carnale?

Grazie del commento, delle storie, e del sostegno e fede che mandi.

Married2OneRescued said...

Aha! Now I know your secret, Sweetheart!

ifwecouldonlysee said...

Honestly, the best possible course is complete and total honesty. Even if it seems really uncomfortable, and a lot of women won't be understanding... the girl you marry someday will be the one who accepts "I'm not physically attracted to you, but I want to be" as a stepping stone, not a road block.

aarrghhh, I really wish I could set you up with an RM friend of mine. At the very least you guys would talk for hours, because you're both bright and very deep. Anyway, best of luck to you!

Shelby said...

You should be honest, but also delicate. Many women may not want to admit it, but many women struggle a lot with their self-image. Women really want to be attractive, of course. My suggestion would be to say something along the lines of, "You are a beautiful woman, but I am not attracted to women because I have SSA, etc." I am sure you could be much more eloquent than that, though. I guess what I am trying to say is, tell her the whole truth but at the same time really emphasize how much you care about her and tell her she is a beautiful woman (I am assuming here that you can find a person of any gender to be beautiful inside and out regardless of whether or not you are sexually attracted to them). So far it sounds like you have the right idea for how to go about doing this. Like others have said, the right kind of girl for you will understand, and the right ONE will be guided by the Spirit to do what she needs to do.