Nerves III

Published in Personal - 2 mins to read

I have a second date tonight, and I’m really quite nervous about it. Our first was definitely the best dating-app-date I’ve had so far, and I like this girl a lot. The stakes feel much higher for a second date; the first is mostly about proving that I’m not a rampant misogynist and that I have at least heard of the concepts of manners, culture and comedic timing, but the second, well, that is a whole different story. I have to actually be sufficiently charming, funny and interesting that she might actually see me as a viable romantic mid-term romantic prospect, rather than just someone who wasn’t entirely awful to spend an afternoon with. And because I like her, I want to be all those things, and because I want to be all those things I have high expectations of myself, and because of those expectations I’m nervous, and to start with I really wanted to not be nervous and kept thinking how unpleasant this feeling was…

… But then I realised that was fucking stupid. The previous times I’ve written about nerves, I’ve typed out the phrase “if you’re not nervous about it, it’s not worth doing”, and that is still stuck in my brain to this day. Providing I’m not nervous to the point of being physically sick, then I love this feeling - it’s just that I feel it so infrequently these days that I’ve forgotten how to enjoy it. Avoiding things because they make me nervous would be like playing poker at microstakes because I’m afraid of losing money - I’m never going to make any money either, and I’m never going to enjoy it. Gambling is only fun when it hurts, and so is life - or at least when it has the potential to hurt. It’s bizarre and kind of upsetting how comfortable I’ve let my life become and how little I do now that makes me nervous, but I want more of it. Tonight is a good start, and I know I’ll be nervous for the race on Sunday too, but I want more, and I need to work out how to make it a regular part of my weeks or months, rather than something so rare and unusual that it merits a whole blog post about it.

See other posts in the Nerves series