Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CBD (Compulsive Blind Dating) - from Randi M SHerman, the author of Paula Takes a Risk, Available March 2012

I Suffer from CBD (Compulsive Blind Dating) 

I’m a compulsive blind dater.  It all started out innocent enough.  You’ve heard it all before.  I was so naïve.  I thought, “What harm could one dinner date do?”  I was certain that I could trust my friends.  After all, would they get me involved with something so potentially damaging?  The first time I was nervous, excited, anxious and frightened, all at the same time.  My friends urged me, “Everyone does it.” They assured me that it was safe and that doing it just once could not be addictive.

I made it though the first time and figured, “No damage done.”  I had decided that I wasn’t going to seek it out but if the opportunity presents itself again, may be I’d try again.  The next thing you know, my friends were approaching me with more and more blind dating opportunities.  Perhaps I appeared vulnerable.  I started to take them up on their offers.  I thought that I was in control of the situation.  I could stop dating anytime I wanted to.   All I had to do was just say no.

It started with just an occasional blind date on a Saturday evening.  But before I knew it, I’d have blind dates booked on both Fridays and Saturdays.  Eventually the activity bled into Sundays and weeknights.  It was a whirlwind.  I was so caught up in the activity that I convinced myself that I was enjoying it.

When my friends started to set me up with the same men for a second time, I realized that it was beginning to spin out of control.  Before I knew it, I had run through their entire supply.  My friends could not keep up with the demand.  They began feeling pressured and avoided the subject of blind dating altogether. 

As the supply dwindled, I became more and more obsessed, almost desperate.  I began calling on co-workers and other acquaintances who I scarcely knew, hoping that they could set me up with a blind date. I’d strike up conversations in grocery check-out lines and hair salons.  I had a whole routine worked out.  I’d mention how difficult it was to meet nice men and that an introduction was the only way to go.  I was hoping that someone would offer up a son or a nephew.  But I was obvious, too obvious. They were onto me.  Mine was an old scam.

By this time, I was desperate.  It made little difference whether it was a lunch date, dinner date, drinks, coffee or just a walk in the park.  It didn’t matter to me.  I needed a fix.

I started to forsake friendships and responsibilities.  I’d turn down opportunities to see true friends on the weekends, hoping for a dating opportunity.  It was as if, I didn’t care about anything any more.  I stopped taking showers for fear that the telephone would ring.  I stayed home from work to practice being spontaneous.  “Oh, a blind date?  I usually don’t … but if you are recommending him … I guess I’ll meet him.  But, I’m not promising anything.”  I started frequenting places where I could strike up a conversation with a-friend-of-a-friend.  Next thing I knew, I was selling my belongings to buy new date outfits.

My family and friends questioned my values and tried to intervene but I saw it only as criticism and jealousy.  What a fool I was.  I had lost track of my friends, my priorities and my self-respect.

I realized that I had finally hit bottom when the people I once loved spotted me out on a blind date with a Star Trek fanatic. I had been so focused on the dating high that I hadn’t noticed that he was wearing a University of Romulac T-shirt and Spock ears.  Up until that moment, I had not realized how low I had sunk.  It was time to seek help.

Fortunately, I have people who love me and that is the reason why I am here today, telling you my story.  Perhaps my story will keep, just one young girl, from accepting that first blind date and spiraling into a life of dating-hell.  Then I have done my job.

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