I'm a horrible flirt...and no I don't mean that in a good way. I'm seriously bad at flirting. I have this awful habit of only knowing a guy likes me if he tells me point blank. And on the flip side of that, most of the guys I've liked only knew I liked them after I told them so. Their response has consistently been, "I had no idea". Somewhere along the way I missed the "How To Flirt" portion of my teenage years. Now as an adult attempting to put herself out there more, I feel like a total idiot, and totally stupid when I flirt.
I've been having several discussions about my love life recently with people. At *cough*thirty-one*cough* with no suitors and none in my recent past, I've been asked if everything is all right...A LOT! My simple answer has been that bringing someone into my insane life at this point would be unfair to this individual. I need to get other things in my life in order before I go giving my baggage to another person. But to be honest, this isn't an entirely truthful answer. Yes I don't think it would be fair to be in a relationship with someone while I'm still struggling with finding out who I am. After a lot of psychological analysis though (yeah I know I shouldn't psycho analyze myself!), I don't flirt with men, because I have a bit of anxiety around men.
Social anxiety is a condition I have heard a lot lately. Let's just say my insurance company believes in five quick visits you can be cured! (Don't get me started on the US health care system and mental illness...a rant for another day.) In any case, it's something I've discovered I've struggled with my entire life. This is no ones fault, but the fact is that I suffered several traumas when I was growing up that involved men. Everything from doctors that physically pinned me down to put drops in my eyes (I have panic attacks going to the Optometrist to this day!), to neighbor boys who abused me, and more recently men who have just vanished from my life rather than confronting me about difficult topics of discussion. Whether I like it or not, my brain resorts to being six years old again around men. I think I'm an intelligent person, I think I'm mature, and I hate when I feel looked down on, or stupid. Men make me feel this way, intentional or not. So there's a serious lack of ability to flirt with them, or even hold conversations with them sometimes.
I have to admit that I've come a long way. There was a time when I would literally not be able to talk to a guy, even friends husbands, who should have been non-threatening in every way. When I worked for Radio Disney though I was forced into a situation where I had to be comfortable around the men I worked with...so I learned to put on a face at events for the sake of the kids we were around. At Disney I was a character, NSpired, and she was the more outgoing, fun, and carefree version of myself. When we were riding to an event in the van, or at holiday parties, I was quiet, introvert, anxious, Liza. Certain guys pushed me though, they challenged the introvert and I began to come out of my shell, and get more comfortable around men in general. As a matter of fact one of those men I still consider a close friend to this day. But I still have a hard time flirting, something about "playfully being silly" just doesn't work for me. Feeling stupid, acting stupid, and being silly, just makes me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable...and I hate that. And maybe my inability to flirt is why past relationships have fallen apart.
So I'm single, and my lack of flirting probably means it's going to take a very particular guy to be persistent enough for me to even know he's interested. Social anxiety aside though, I'm not sure I'm ever going to be the flirty girl. I have a hard time being playful...playing in general. And maybe that's my bigger problem, I don't play, and never really have. Maybe it's time to learn. As an adult, do you still play?