Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Safe Place to Fail

I was sitting in my Reading and Cognition course at HCC and was reflecting on my own classes for teaching math and science, and the lights came on that there is actually a big overlap between kids learning new concepts and adults getting back out there to begin dating... or those that are beginning at the start.  Bear with me as I reflect on it aloud, here.  I think it will benefit us all.

One thing that I have heard in classes, webinars, and seen in practice is that students that lack a skill or are unsure about their ability will avoid having to do it.  I have noticed in my classes that certain lower performing students will suddenly have to go to the bathroom or ask to see the nurse when concepts get more challenging to their ability.  Of course, I am not going to deny those requests.  However, think about how people that are unsure about their ability will make up a lot of excuses for why they are not ready and will actually create obstacles to doing it, because they fear they will fail or be embarrassed.

I can attest to this by my own experience with myself.  It has come at different times, usually after a failed attempt or a breakup.  I question my own ability, and, while I want to get out there and meet someone, my fear of trying can actually block me from acting on it.  I have tried dating apps off and on from 2020 to now but very rarely would I actually send a message to someone.  I might like them or swipe right, but that was just putting my toe in the water and waiting for others to make the first move.  I told myself it was because I wanted to find someone that showed interest in me and not just me in them.  And, that's true... it is.  However, guys generally make the first move, and I know that.  It was an excuse.

This last weekend, I recognized some of this and actually joined Match, again, and sent a few messages there and Facebook dating.  By today, the conversations have pretty much died out, but ... I talked.  They talked.  Even if it didn't click, it was using muscles that I haven't used but limited times since the divorce.

It's like the kids in the classroom.  They need a safe place to fail.  They need practice.  They need to try.  So, do we all.  Dating apps provide that, just like ... honestly.. chats with non romantic friends.  It is really easy to cut oneself off and lose social skills, just like people did in the pandemic.  Sometimes, it's nice to just talk to someone and feel ok talking.  Sometimes, it's nice to just go on a date, even if it fails.  I had another disaster dating experience with someone BEFORE the last dating attempt.  That woman shared a lot of interests but SHE went super fast and was like talking about long term and marriage type things before we ever dated the first date.  The date ended and so did our connection, but I DID get to see Wiskey Joes and was on a date for the first time since the divorce two years ago.  That failure allowed for the next failure.

I am sure that there will be more failures to come, but each one makes me feel more confident so I don't dodge my safe place to learn to reach my goals... just like the children.

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