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Agonizing suspicions....

Personal Angst
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There is this person that I like and they seem to like me too. However for some reason I have these terrible suspicions that maybe they are not being honest with me. That something will happen. That they're lying. That the other shoe will drop. Am I just being paranoid? How can I find out the truth and get rid of this agonizing headache? Thanks

Okay. This frequently asked question used to stump the Webmistress. Particularly because it seemed so common. Why the fuck, the webmistress asked herself speculatively, do so many people seem to have some sort of hangup wherein they go into absolute fucking spasms of agony every time they suspect they like someone? Particularly if the other person seems to be responding appropriately with reciprocal interest. What's so fucking terrible, she wondered, about liking someone and having them like you back?

The webmistress asked herself these questions because sometimes she is just an idiot. Sometimes the webmistress just does not use her head. Or draw upon her greatest resource, her own vast and extensive personal history of being completely fucked up. Fortunately, however, she snapped out it, gave the matter some thought, applied her trademarked logic and came up with some patented Crackpot Theories and figured the damn thing out. You lucky agonized people experiencing the horrific agony of mutual attraction. At last!

So here we go. There are two components, as you have already realized, to this terrible business of liking someone and having them apparently like you back. Component #1, though mildly dreadful, is not as vast and frightening as Component #2. So we'll deal with it first.

Component #1: Liking someone!

Yikes! This could potentially lead to emotions and maybe even feelings. Is this a good idea? Potentially not. Emotions and their dreaded companions, feelings, can lead to a distinctly queasy roller-coastery sensation of being quite alive without any quick and reasonable means of bringing this sickening intensity of aliveness to an end before you throw up, start sweating, faint in front of the person you like, turn beet red, or otherwise prove yourself to be a thoroughly human physiological creature in front of scores of other human beings who most probably don't have your best interests at heart. What a dangerous situation! You could be thoroughly embarrassed, not to mention become the victim of an overwhelming desire to actually do something foolish, like fall in love.

So naturally, when you encounter this situation of liking someone, you will, if you are older than 13 or 14, experience a counter-reaction, in which certain parts of you that have been through this drill before, say things to themselves like 'oh shit, here we go again. we all know what this leads to - thrills, agony, sex, rejection, brokenheartedness, breakups, disruption, blah, blah, blah. great, just great. we get to be yanked around by love again. just when we were getting to really enjoy the peaceful calm of loneliness and lack of companionship. do we really have to fucking go through this business of adjusting to another human being that we like again?' and they mull around your body muttering to themselves, murmuring warnings about going on strike, painting 'Sexual Attraction Unfair to Pheromones' signs and just generally trying to get out of the work that liking someone entails.

This is just natural. Rousing your body for the vigorous workout that attraction entails requires some effort. All parts of your body naturally want to conserve energy for that vitally important recreational activity, the nap, and even if they are specifically primed for attraction and liking people, they will first make at least a half-hearted attempt to see if they can talk you out of it, partly to determine if you are really serious about things this time. The human body is lazy, and so are you, and even if it seemingly doesn't make sense, you will, unless you are actually desperately starved for human contact, experience a little of that oh god, is it really worth it feeling every time you feel attraction stirring.

Unless you are of a certain breed that absolutely cannot be deterred from falling in love no matter how many times the rest of your family tries to protect their inheritance, the more times you've gone through the attraction process, the more your body will protest the next time it sees the process starting again. This is why it gets harder to fall in love as you get older. When you are young and enthusiastic and haven't been put through the ringer by love too many times, you will basically be attracted to anything that moves, and a few things that don't. As you develop ringer exerience though, your body will more and more vigorously moan 'oh christ, not this again' and start saying disparaging things about the object of your attraction. Attraction really does take a lot of out of a person, it really does involve significant chemical disarrangement and adjustment, and you might as well be prepared for your body to say some snipey things about people you feel you might like.

This is a small part of your agonizing suspicions. Take it in stride. Just expect some 'oh yeah sure, right' comments from your body about the other person when you move toward attraction. Bodies are sneakily clever and deceptive in pursuing their agendas and they are not in the least above some malicious gossip about someone you hope to become your favorite person, particularly during the initial stages when the body feels it has a shot at dissuading you.

Most people really really don't know this. They don't have a clue at unpacking their various conflicting motivations when approaching a complex situation like a relationship with another person, and they are inclined to think that if they are spreading malicious rumors about someone they must be true! Why else would they be saying this terrible stuff to themselves about someone that only moments ago they felt quite positive about? So relax.... Relax. Expect some backtalk from yourself about the other person in the early stages. Suspicions, nit-picky criticisms, resistance, fatigue, and a general feeling of probably-not-worth-itness.

Sudden Bonus Tip: If you are old, or even young, and have been through the ringer and are now attempting to be attracted to people again, remember to give your body some thorough rest and re-charge time before trying to haul its tired little ass through the chemical fire-storm of Other People and dating. Really. It's honestly fucking worth your while to clear yourself as much as possible of the fatiguing chemicals from that Horrible Other Person who put you through the ringer last time, before attempting to put yourself through it again. Really - it is. Of course, you have no clue how to do this and we're not going to address the subject of Getting Rid of Those Fatiguing Ringer Chemicals in this FAQ. So you will just have to wait around hopefully until I get to that topic. In the meantime, don't worry. It's natural to be resistant.

Okay, so there's a little suspicion going on because your body's a whiner. And furthermore, since we are dealing with a situation that may produce rather intense chemical emotions and feelings, your prior experience with those puppies is going to play into it as well. Most of us, or many of us anyway, rapidly pile up harrowing experiences with our own personal intensity of feeling when it comes to attraction and then, once we have survived them, come to certain conclusions about them. One of the conclusions is that those feelings were great and necessary to the vital health and well-being we all crave, not to mention really fun when it came to the sexual attraction and release part. On the other hand, we also come to the conclusion that some of them were a real pain in the ass, potentially dangerous, surprisingly and persistently painful, and just generally a bad fucking idea. There is generally, over time, a mixed bag of experiences. And the bad experiences will take the first opportunity they can to snarl menacingly at any potential human bringer of new intense chemical experiences. Snarl!!!!! they will say. Snarl and growl....Grrrr....Bad! Go away! And so on.

Unless you are an absolute fucking idiot (and some of you, of course, are) you will have some of this wariness. It may or may not express itself as agonizing suspicions but it will express itself with some sort of grumpiness. Naturally you don't want to repeat any bad experiences, and naturally your body will want to be on guard against them. Like a lovable Doberman that attempts to attack your houseguests, embarrassing you with its loyal love and misguided fierceness, your body's defense systems will want to plunge their teeth into the neck of the unsuspecting person you like who apparently likes you. And sometimes they will do just that. Be prepared.

Figure you have a doberman in the house and stock up on choke chains accordingly. Of course you are going to want to say something charming to your new interest while preparing dinner for her at your home like....'So, you're just a cheating whore, right? You lie constantly, am I correct?' And so on. Don't do it! Chain the fucking Doberman! Chain the doberman, chain the doberman, chain the doberman. Just don't fucking do it. Forget about it. About 80% of the population has an inner doberman and you all just need to keep the damn things in the backyard and away from your houseguests and treasured social relationships. Male or female, the vast majority of you with Previous Experiences are going to experience a terrific desire to say something really stupid and accusatory or explanatory or what have you and quite frankly you are just fucking crazy if you think it's a good idea.

There are certain things you should keep to yourself as you build a close, loving, fulfilling relationship with someone you like who apparently likes you back and those things are Your Innermost Thoughts. Agonizing Suspicions belong in the backyard on a very sturdy chain. Got it? Of course not. Repeat this mantra to yourself religiously until you understand it - My Agonizing Suspicions belong in the backyard on a very sturdy chain. Not bringing those puppies inside into the relationship - hoh no! that would be foolish and ill-advised. Not making that mistake - not me. And so on.

Okay, so that's a second small piece of your Agonizing Suspicions. And then some of you just don't really care for feelings period and would rather not experience them. So you're going to try to find any excuse to talk yourself out of them, even if it means concocting Agonizing Suspicions. No one can blame you if you don't like experiencing feelings. That's just a personal preference. Avoid them if you'd like. Just don't drive yourself crazy trying to concoct some reason why you should be allowed to avoid them. Just avoid them because you want to. It's less wear and tear on everyone.

Okay, to summarize. So the physiological component of attraction coupled with the inevitability of Previous Experiences is going to make it likely that at least part of you is going to want to try and dodge and weave its way out of getting involved in something hideous like a relationship with someone you like who apparently likes you back. This is just natural. Frequently this natural desire to avoid intense human contact will express itself in various forms of criticism of the Attractor you are trying to avoid. It doesn't have a lot to do with them. It just has to do with your desire to avoid something that could turn out to be a real drag at some point down the line.

The desire to avoid something that could turn out to be a real drag at some point down the line is completely and 100% logical. The point here is that Previous Experiences will really kick and snarl and growl and scream. Really. They just do. The truth is you are almost entirely composed of Previous Experiences and some of them weren't all that great. The ones that weren't are going to affect you. If you somehow believe they won't or they shouldn't, you are a few Bud Lights short of a six-pack. They do.

The only thing that will screw you up here is your unwillingness to let yourself be ambivalent due to your Previous Experiences. Somehow or another you will get it into your head that instead you need to be trusting and open to relationships or some other such crap your Inner Relationship Counselor will try to feed you and then you'll try not to be ambivalent but then you really are and you'll have to make up Agonzing Suspicions about the other person when all you really want to do is experience some natural human wariness and distrust of the whole process. Got that? Of course not, how could you? The sentence was too long, you dozed off before the end of it. Just realize you are ambivalent and you have your doubts and don't worry about it. The only way you can avoid doubts and ambivalence is to be stupid and it's too late for that so don't even bother trying. Relax.

Okay, that was the easy part. Notice how we didn't even approach finding out the truth about the other person because it's completely irrelevant. Isn't that a relief? Yes, it most certainly is. Thank god you didn't have to interact with them and say delicately 'so - you're like a jerk, right? and I'm a complete sucker to even begin to believe that you are telling me the truth, right?' No, no, we steered you away from that potential disaster - and we are here to tell you that we are geniuses to have done that. But now the easy part's over. Because we are going to venture out into dangerous shark-infested waters as we wrestle with the extremely frightening monster of Component #2. Ooooh scary! And don't even think we are exaggerating. Component #2 is where the bullet hits the bone and the agony in agonizing suspicions gets its oomph! Stay tuned!


The scary monster of Component #2 in which someone apparently likes you back! Aaaaggghhhh!!!!


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