I overthink EVERYTHING (so much so that I decided it was the one piece of information that HAD to be on my profile page, and as I type this post is the only thing on there). I worry about stuff all the time, to the extent that I have learned to tell the difference (most of the time) between serious, actually-needs-to-be-dealt-with worry and the kind that is just ever-present. I like to say, “I’m worrying, but I’m not worried that I’m worrying”. Overthinking stuff does, however, tend to cause some difficulties.
At church last Sunday, I met an attractive, intelligent and engaging young woman. Who explained her role in the church community as “Mrs. [role-in-community]” I said to family members afterwards, “I was disappointed because I was hoping she was Miss or Ms [role-in-community]”. Hey, I’m single and looking, and she was really nice and seemed like “my type” (as far as one can tell from a short conversation in a church) so hoping she was single too isn’t unreasonable.
Trouble is, she knows my father, and now he says she said to him a couple of days later, “Hey, I really like Valery, he seems interesting. I’d like to have lunch with him sometime, get him to give me a call.” Now, to me, that sounds a lot like she wants a date, but as noted, I was reading signals (or at least, a signal) that she’s unavailable. Meeting someone for lunch with whom I haven’t had a lot of social contact already, the only experience I have with that is setting up a date after talking online on dating sites – it’s been fairly explicitly dating. I’m in unfamiliar and confusing territory here! Obviously, I assume it’s not a date since there’s all sorts of other social significance (or lack of) that it could have, given the family connection already, and I’m fairly new in the area.
So I am, without doubt, overthinking this. I don’t know which figurative hat or hats to take with me (which is, of course, the problem with “just be your natural self” – all the hats are “my natural self” for the situations that they fit!) and on what level the communications are expected. I get awkward when asked to change hats mid-conversation. (Guess why? It results in overthinking things!)
A big part of this being a big deal is that I expect, when a date and time is set in advance to meet, then there is some definite purpose – an agenda, if you will, behind it. Be that dating, discussing a project or plan, recruiting for a project or plan, or whatever – it feels like the effort is made, therefore there’s a pay-off involved. Whereas casual encounters (even pre-arranged, such as, “I’ll be at thus-and-so at X o’clock, be cool to see you there”) are ways that you get to know someone as a friendship (I prefer the pre-arranged type, kinda, it allows time budgeting, but “in the course of events” such as church-going, is good too). I can totally get that this distinction wouldn’t be obvious or even present to everyone, that there are different ways of viewing the world of social interaction. I just find the translation awkward and, yep, prone to overthinking.
So, yeah. This is one of those things where I worry enough to bother writing this post, but really, it’s just the ever-present “I’m worrying about something, situation normal” type of worry. I sent Mrs [role-in-community] an email saying, “love to get to know you, when and where?”