Dating is almost like an experiment. Well, it is an experiment, but on yourself. When you're with somebody else, when you put yourself in situations that are not normal, you are told things about yourself from your observers. And through deductive reasoning, you begin to figure yourself out.
I realized recently that in certain situations, I am extremely unobservant. But there was a deeper meaning behind this observation (notice the irony here?). I believe I am unobservant because I am introverted, and in specific situations when there is a lot of outward stimuli, I will not and can not notice everything that goes on around me. I figured this out on a date with Derek a few weeks back.
Case in point: Foundation Nightclub. They were playing a band that he was fond of and that I didn't particularly care for. I was there because of him, for him. The first time I had come here, the place was crowded, but you could still move. This time, it was much worse. People were pressed up against one another. I was constantly being pushed around. I had earplugs so as not to damage my hearing. It was all I could do to focus on the music and try to dance. I stared hard at the stage. I barely noticed anything else around me unless I got bumped or stepped on or had to move. Half way through the set I had to take a 5 minute reprieve in the bathroom just to breathe.
After it was over, Derek began talking about all the things he saw. People dumping their ice or cups on the floor when they were done with their drinks. A guy basically choking his girlfriend as they danced (and she apparently enjoying it). People noticing me and sometimes trying to dance with me (it really is hard to tell, since we're all crushed together). A guy basically fingering his girlfriend to the point where security was going to intervene.
I had to stop and just think for a moment. All of that had gone on around me and I'd had no idea. I was focusing on just getting through it. And I realized that I tend to focus on things. On a single thing, or a single event. Depending on the situation, two emotions will emerge. I will either be excited about it, or I will be anxious. I can focus on one thing: ice skating. Above all else, I wanted to go ice skating with Derek. It never happened obviously, but I am still focused on it. Okay, Derek is out of the picture. I still want to go ice skating. Now I want to go to the Columbia River Gorge. I'm pissed that I had to cancel my trip. But I'm going to focus on getting there at some point.
I focus on these things and I can get super excited. I'm like a kid in a candy store. It's all I can think about. And then there's the opposite. I can get anxious. I got anxious when Derek was going to show up at the nightclub and meet Mary for the first time. I focused on this future event. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and it was causing a negative feedback loop.
It's a very introverted concept to be internal. Your brain has the solution before it even formulates the idea. It is already convinced about what will happen, and if the outcome will be beneficial. You end up asking yourself "What's the point?" all the time. And sometimes this stops you from even trying. I really don't know the point of all this besides just getting all this out on "paper". At least I know a little bit more about myself than I did before!