Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon: Face Your Dating Fears

By Holly A. Phillips

“Dating isn’t for the weak. You’ve got to face all sorts of fears: lack of first-date conversation, general judgment, and getting yourself out there.”

When I was five years old, a bat flew into my bedroom in the middle of the night. Equipped with a broom, my dad fearlessly took on the fanged beast – I’ll never forget its final squeak.

As I’ve gotten older, my fears have changed a little. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still be scared shitless if a bat flew into my apartment tonight, but now I’m more afraid of the things people can do.

I’m terrified of someone breaking into my apartment, getting attacked in a parking garage, or getting caught in the line of a mass shooting spree.

Although none of those fears keep me from going out and living my life, I’m on high-alert every October.

I steer clear of horror flicks – something I used to enjoy when I had roommates – I skip haunted houses, and don’t even joke about a corn maze (Children of the Corn ruined me).

I know I sound weak, as some people love this time of year, but I hate feeling scared.

On the other hand, I face fears of the heart all the time. No matter how badly I’ve been hurt in the past, I am almost always ready to jump all in when it comes to relationships.

Dating isn’t for the weak. You’ve got to face all sorts of fears: lack of first-date conversation, general judgment, and getting yourself out there.

It’s the double-edged sword: the possibility in the unknown is thrilling and terrifying, all at once.

Now that I’m older, I know my dad can’t rescue me from my nightmares. As a child from a divorced family, being abandoned is ranked pretty high on the fear list.

I’m more afraid that I’ll never find someone to put up with me, and that I really will end up all alone.

Right now, being single works for the most part, but I know it’s going to get old at some point. After all, there’s only so many times I can impress myself by cooking an awesome dinner-for-one.

A few weeks ago, a guy I’ve had a crush on for awhile invited me over to “watch a scary movie.”

I told him I didn’t like scary movies and would only watch something non-horrific.

He obliged, but when I got to his house, he playfully suggested we stick with a scary movie.

It’s such an easy way to get a girl into your arms – and his are quite muscular – but I stuck to my guns.

He finally admitted that he didn’t like scary movies either, and we watched Jersey Girl.

I told him later that I’d be willing to face my fears and watch a horror flick, if he’d face his and watch one with me.

He said he’d build up the courage to do it. And when I think about it, that’s kind of how dating goes.

One day, you’re scared of a broken heart, and the next, someone can invite you to go into the dark, without turning back.

I’m not sure what’s around the corner or under the bed, but it sounds a lot less scary if I’ve got a hand to hold while I face the unknown.

Read more about facing your dating fears on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.

Facing Fears

Don’t be too Terrified to Try:

1. Be Real: If you never put yourself out there, you’ll never know what could be.

2. Stay True: Follow your heart, stay true to yourself, and those who don’t support you will fall to the wayside.

3. Have Faith: Someone good is out there; patience is key.


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