An aspect of my life that I have altered in the past few years is how I interact with people when I first meet them, and admittedly this is still a work in progress. I used to come off as cold when I first met someone. This was followed up very quickly with some story about my boyfriend to ensure either male or females alike were aware I was not single. For males, in my mind it told them that I was not looking to hook up, which of course solidified the coldness vibe. And for females, this told them that I was happy, which turned out to just be cold again, and a little bit of a bitchy brag. Yes, I was that girl and naturally it stemmed from insecurities. I had no ability to handle myself as a single girl out on the town so I shut down every new possibility to meet anyone new, friendship or otherwise.
Here is a funny/strange story which very eloquently shows just how cold I was to new people, and missed out on an actual opportunity. It was Halloween of 2003 or 2004 ish, and I was out at the bar with a bunch of friends and a few girls that I did not know that well. Ariel (redhead I did not know, aptly named for her Halloween costume) came up to me and tried to chat. I pulled my whole insecure vibe, said I was not single, pointed to my boyfriend and just shut the girl right down. I was cold, and in retrospect pretty mean considering that she did not know many people there, however despite that I showed my true insecure colours. Here’s where it gets interesting. One of my dear girlfriends was there and treated Ariel a lot kinder than I. The two had a few drinks together, danced a bit, and then bam! Ariel pulled my girlfriend up in front of me, started grinding her, and then kissed her. Right in front of me, as a sort of rub in my nose just how much of a loser/bitch I had been to her. And I received that message loud and clear, and have not forgotten it to this day. On a side note, she would work very hard to hit on my boyfriend over the next few meetings, but she always did it right in front of me. I provided the perfect challenge, and opportunity for her. I tip my hat to her, as honestly it was one moment in my life I truly regret. That drunken kiss at a bar, with a hot chick, just to say I did.
I do not like living my life knowing that there are missed opportunities like that. Also, and much less selfishly, treating people coldly when I first meet them is completely unnecessary. With insecurities consciously addressed, I find when I meet people now I rarely use the juvenile methods of my past. I do not bring up my relationship status right away. Instead I try and get to know each individual as a person, have a few laughs, and let them get to know me. Approaching new people as individuals is a skill set that I utilize in interviews, meeting peoples families for the first time and all the awkward firsts that have arisen. I no longer use the crutch of acting single or committed. I just act as myself and meet people on a real basis. And of course the unmentionable is, that if I do find myself single in the future, I will not go through the whole “how do I act single again” quandary. I will act now, as I do then, proud, confident and with the intention of always getting to know new and interesting people for who they are, and not based on their partner or relationship status.