So, near the beginning of the school year, I developed a crush on this one guy named Jacob. He was a new kid in 8th Grade (so he was about a year older than me) and he hadn't heard about any of the rumors that had been circling around me at the time. He looked pretty good, too.
He's pretty much the only gay guy in school, besides me. Except he was open about it. Like, a lot.
Skipping ahead a week or so, word got out that I had affections for him (thanks to my "friends"). Now the whole school was laughing at me for two reasons:
1: Because they found out that I'm gay,
2: And because they knew I had a crush on Jacob.
Like I didn't have enough to worry about. Jacob found out, too.
On the other hand, he gave me his Snapchat through an e-mail, now knowing the feelings I had for him. He told me that he's had quite a rough history, and that, despite his good looks, he's never met anyone who's had a crush on him.
So, yeah. Enough of the past's happenings, let's get to the present's problem.
Despite us talking together on Snapchat, finding out we both like each other and such, there is one slight problem...
I haven't the strength to interact with him (or talk to him, for that matter) face-to-face. I want to, but every time I get near him, I run away for no apparent reason. I think it's because I'm afraid that things might not go so well, that things might become awkward if I go and talk to him.
But how am I going to overcome this fear of mine? How do I successfully converse with him? How do I avoid/resolve awkward moments or conversations? And once I get past that, any date ideas or activities (other than the obvious restaurant/movie option) that you'd like to suggest?
Thanks in advance.
* * *
One reason social media such as Snapchat are so popular is that they afford us a way to communicate with others through a kind of mask (screen names, fursonas, avatars) that makes us feel less vulnerable, less exposed. That goes a long way toward alleviating shyness and social anxiety. But when you face Jacob in person, all that shyness kicks in again because there is nothing between you and him except air.
Like all fears people experience, the best way to overcome them is to do so in small, incremental steps. In this way, you retrain yourself to replace a bad or undesirable behavior with a good, desirable one. In your case, you need to combine the desired goal of interacting with Jacob in person with the security of maintaining that wall—at least in the beginning.
Interestingly, there was an episode of The Big Bang Theory that dealt with this very topic. The character Raj was dating a woman with crippling social anxiety. His solution was to set up a date with her in a library (quiet), sit across from her at a table with some food in a kind of picnic, but talk to her over the phone using texting. You could try something similar with a “text date” in which the two of you meet somewhere that is a comfortable atmosphere and talk by texting. As you continue to text, the cool part of this is that you can see his reactions in real life, such as if he smiles or laughs at something you say. This will begin to break down that wall that you have erected, block by block, until you start to feel comfortable actually verbalizing the communication.
Give that a shot, and see how it goes.
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