I have a little problem with dating. Just a teensy, tiny little problem.
The problem is that dating absolutely terrifies me.
It’s a crippling, debilitating fear that has driven me to believe that I may very well be alone forever. In my daydreams, I’m always in a comfortable relationship, and there is a man that is part of my life and my routine. But the real-life process of getting there? It makes me so anxious that I could puke. Or cry. Or both.
My dating experiences have been few and far between, but every time, the same thing happens: I have a guy in my sites, and I think he’s pretty great. This could work, I tell myself. I get excited. But then, we actually have to go out. And that’s when the panic sets in. I never let it get too far before I turn into a total basketcase and shut the whole thing down.
I’m sorry. It’s nothing you did wrong. It’s totally me. I’m a nut job.
A while back, my friend Brenda told me about this show she watched – I think she got caught up in an A&E marathon, actually – called Married At First Sight. The premise of the show is that these four experts – a psychologist, a sexologist, a sociologist, and a spiritual advisor – do extensive research and interview people who are desperate to be married but haven’t had success finding their “soulmate”; then they match up six of these singles based on what they’ve learned about them and their potential to be suitable companions for one another.
The catch, of course, is that these couples don’t even meet one another until they get to the alter. dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnn!! They get married on the spot, go on honeymoons, move in together, and then after six weeks, they have to decide if they want to stay married or get a divorce.
After watching the first season, Brenda thought I should sign up for this show. She, along with most of my friends, know about my anxiety issues and how the thought of going on a date makes me want to dig a hole in the ground and bury myself alive. So I believe her theory is that, if I could just skip that whole awkward getting-to-know-you dating period and jump right into the middle of a settled, done-deal relationship, it could work for me.
I’m here today to tell you… no. Couldn’t do it. No way, no how.
Season 2 of the series started a month or so ago, and I have been watching. Honestly, just watching the show makes me want to throw up. These folks still have to do the “getting-to-know-you” stuff, but with the added pressure of the fact that they are LEGALLY BINDED to one another. They have committed to the six-week experiment and they can’t run. They have to stick it out. They have to make an effort. They have to give it their best shot.
I think those experts would spend five minutes talking to me and say, Nope, this kid is NOT cut out for this experiment.
My natural instinct is to bolt when I am taken out of my comfort zone. I have done it several times. I’m a creature of habit, I like my routine, and I’m so used to being alone at this point in my life that I think throwing me into an arranged marriage would be a grade-A disaster.
People tell me I just haven’t met the right guy. They tell me that once I meet the right guy, I will be OK with being taken out of my comfort zone. They tell me I’ll be willing to shake up my routine to accommodate him. They tell me I’ll actually want to give up things that I enjoy doing just to spend time with him.
I don’t know where that right guy is, but I doubt he’s waiting for me on a TV show.
That being said, watching me completely fall apart and possibly vomit all over my wedding dress probably would make for some entertaining TV.
Maybe I should sign up after all. ;)
So, tell me… have you watched this show? Do you think you could do it? Get “married at first sight”? And if you ARE watching…do you think any of this season’s couples stand a chance?