LABELED: Dating Anxiety by MJ Kelly

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If you know me, then you know that I absolutely loathe going on dates. I am an anxious person as is, so the idea of sitting at a cramped table inches from another human being with awkward conversation absolutely freaks me out. I've even been known to stop seeing a guy simply because he asked me out to dinner. Ironically, in this case, my anxiety is the reason I ended up on one of the worst "dates" ever.

 

I met this guy, let’s call him Link, at EDC this past June. We instantly connected (or maybe that was the Molly?) and had a truly amazing night. As is the case with all festivals, morning came too soon and it was time to say our goodbyes. I said goodbye to Link, hopped in a taxi and boarded the plane back to New York. Upon landing I was greeted with a text from Link. I explained to Link, a native San Diegan, that I was relocating to SD at the end of August and to my delight, we decided to stay in touch.

 

Our relationship took off over the next few months. We talked every day, learned about each other’s lives and grew fairly close. By the time I got to San Diego, I could hardly wait to see him again, but this is where the nightmare began.

 

Fast forward to a week going by of me living approximately five miles from Link, and we are still communicating via text like high school students who aren't allowed to date. By the end of week one, I was beginning to get annoyed. Who gives a f*** about texting when you live 10 minutes from each other?

 

Week two. Now even my friends are getting annoyed. The daily texting continues, and for some reason I keep playing along. Finally, at the beginning of week three, Link proposes we meet in the actual flesh! Do my eyes deceive me?! The text went something like this: "Hey, let me take you out for drinks this week. I was thinking we could go to this place that has a nice view of the beach.” FINALLY! I didn't even wait the obligatory 7 minutes and 32 seconds to respond, I texted him back immediately agreeing to the "date.”

 

Three days go by and I already have my outfit planned, but was still working out the details of how many shots would be appropriate to take before meeting up. Three days quickly turn into a week and my friends are screaming at me to ditch this idiot. Being the hotheaded, stubborn Italian that I am, I turn the tables and finally ask Link to meet up. I'll show them. I brilliantly decide that we should meet up after I go to this all day desert pool party fueled by drugs and hard alcohol. This will be perfect; I'll be just a tiny bit buzzed and hopefully a little tanner. Best first date ever.

 

After eating nothing but a Nutrigrain bar for breakfast, ingesting an illegal substance, and guzzling down about 17 free, 32 oz vodka sodas, I write Link a text. With one eye open, I somehow manage to write "on my way home.” This text is already a disaster. An hour later I'm back at the beach, and decide to stumble my way from the party bus to my house, alone. I am literally stumbling so hard that a kid around the age of 12 comes up to me and says, "Hey, my Dad told me you look drunk and I should walk you home.” I can't make this up. So little Johnny walks me the two blocks to my house, I storm inside and slam the door on this kid’s face. I then proceed to plop myself on the couch and start hysterically crying over my ex, little Johnny is still standing outside the screen door watching all of this. My roommates finally tell little J to go home, his work here is done, while I continue to break down in hysterics. From what I am told, my roommates gave me some water, helped me changed and put me to bed.

 

About 10 minutes later, I am fully dressed and on the phone with Link. It's now 11pm, I've been back from the pool party for 4 hours and my eyes are still the size of golf balls. The next thing I know I am running out into the street, screaming like a wild banshee at Link. I bring him inside and start to give him a full guided tour of the house. I, of course, thought I was being completely quiet and respectful, when in reality I'm giving Link a tour of the house at a volume level of 100, which needless to say wakes up my roommates. My roommates fly down the stairs asking who this random dude is and remind me that they just had to kick little J out only a few hours earlier. So now Link is hearing that I just had another guy here, while my roommates are disappointed in me for being loud, drunk and disrespectful. We call an Uber and practically run out of the apartment. Did I mention I had a huge toothpaste stain on my shirt?

 

Next thing I know I am walking in the garage of a giant mansion. At this point, I am slowly realizing that Link lives with his parents. I repeat, I am 28 and on a date with someone who is bringing me home to his parents’ house. Things continue to progress in the same bizarre fashion. When we get inside Link decides to ring up a buddy of his. Now either Link has the same date anxiety that I do or I am about to be in an awkward sexual situation. Broseph shows up and here we are, the three fucking amigos sitting on the couch slamming Bud Lights. Not sure how I am still functioning at this point, but Link made sure to tell Broseph, "she went to Dive today, that's why she looks like this.” Why am I still here?

 

It has to be somewhere in the ballpark of 3 a.m. when Broseph finally leaves. Alone at last, Link and I immediately start making out. Making out and stripping our clothes off ... on his parents couch. I decide I need to use the restroom, so here we are, both completely naked strutting through his parents’ living room. I must be completely insane. I'm washing my hands, when I hear Link outside the door talking to someone. Oh great, Broseph has returned. Nope. It was his mom. It was his mom asking what Link is doing awake and naked. I wait until I hear her leave and walk out completely and utterly mortified. Link says not to worry and brings me to "his room.”

 

What I walk into should have made me get dressed and leave right then. Link brings me into what looks like a walk in closet with a twin bed shoved inside and a small TV from the 1980s mounted on what appears to be a file cabinet. At least there was an area fan to circulate some air inside this thing, right? We get down to the business, which was surprisingly phenomenal, and pass out. I wake up in a pool of sweat and realize I am still inside the walk in closet dungeon of hell and start to plan my escape route. Link wakes up and tells me to stay put while he grabs water. He reiterates to stay put about three times as if he thinks I haven't realized we are inside a torture chamber, which is a tiny portion of his parents marble mansion. He comes back with a jug of water and I am standing up, bag on my shoulder and one foot out the door. He drops me off, not even a kiss goodbye and the whole horrid experience comes to an end.

 

Maybe dinner and one glass of red wine would have been nice after all...

 

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