The Oral typology means I am one of those especially affected by overcast weather and the like, plus I forgot to take my vitamins and such. So despite being generally equanimous as I did something with friends and then went on a date, there was just no shifting into a ‘fun vibe.’ Sleep patterns have been off too, and grandma in hospital and all. Any time you hear “be kind to yourself” at the end of a date that means there won’t be a second one, but it was a success in many ways.
First, I was able to appreciate as I drove home how my attachment style, while frustrating as hell to deal with and a frequent respect/infatuation killer, doesn’t necessarily make me less likeable, which is what counts for building community, friendships, and even workplace harmony. That really sunk in. Now, the reality that on a biological level I need the respect piece in certain workplace and romantic power dynamics remains true, but I can still appreciate all the many blessings of being the way that I am right now even as I heal the attachment style. For one, I really focused on her. Too much, with too little awareness of times of myself and my own body, as usual, but there is a benefit to that in that I was at least present with her; that’s something that intense desire to attach/connect brings.
I have thought of myself as having two main gears personality wise into which to sublimate feelings and be able to be present for others — energetic/confident (hopefully not too manic), and composed/holding space. I think I’m going to need to welcome a third – tragic & open, rather than the encourager in my holding space persona, the window of sorts to the soul. It’s similar to holding space but different, and it’s my best option when having a mildly depressive date as trying to shift into holding space just saw the sad feelings leak out in an incongruous manner. Instead, I could have owned them even more than I did — an uncommon persona strategy, sure, but worth trying. I really do think I’m in touch with death in a good way now that I’ve made my peace with these states (and have the social support and health to experience it as a normal fluctuation of my personality/body that need not intensify or last too long), and that very in-touchness could be…quite useful.
It’s the Roy Orbison appeal. I could of course be way off on this but my deep emotional sense was that there was some excitement early in the date between us, and that later in it she may have been legitimately ready to open up about her experiences with men and consent, and that this may have been a window into a deeper connection for us (that’s not every date, just how the flow of this one went for some reason). But, before she had a chance to respond, I reassured her she didn’t have to, which came from an anxious-attached woman-pleasing place and, I think, made it much less likely for her to trust me as I needed instead to be a bulwark of either solidity or openness, and solidity isn’t available when I’m sad, so I must be confident in the openness move. Had I let go of outcome more and just owned that I was going to be sad that evening, rather than trying to amp myself up into the holding space state of being, I think in that moment I would have been able to hold the tenderness that would have allowed her to feel safe sharing that rather than speak up. Speaking up to reassure her in the way that I did was really more a hesitation that I could handle what she might have to say. It addressed my own anxious attachment needs and my own need to feel like I was holding space in control. It really felt like she was about to before I intervened. I could be wrong, but I think not. Those crucial moments really do make or break attraction in my opinion. I have randomly/haphazardly gotten them right in the past, but I really am slooowly starting to get a handle on creating the conditions for them to arise spontaneously with much greater frequency.
And of course the crazy thing about anxious attachments is during this two-month dating experiment, I have lots of other irons in the fire and on deck, and yet still, during the date, it’s all about getting too wrapped up in her. But, I really can feel the shift with each one of these, and I don’t think I’m making it up; the frequent practice is helping the lessons compound, especially in the body. So yay for the chance to do all this and try to make good use and enjoyment of my privilege, which is about all I feel one can do with a life.