I am not a very optimistic person. I’m not an Eeyore, but I have a hard time looking at the bright side.

I told my therapist the other day that everything was going so well that I’m just waiting for a shoe to drop. She told me that I need to anticipate success rather than failure.

When I was in grad school, I put positive messages on my wall and my mirror, telling me, “YOU CAN DO THIS!” and “YOU WILL FIND A JOB!” and “YOU ARE BRILLIANT!” I think the positive messages worked, though I did endure my share of struggles.

My motto now is “Practice Ambivalence.” It is meant to keep me from getting too wrapped up in things, especially small things outside of my control. Things like how my students evaluate me. I used to be routinely devastated by the evaluations, but now they don’t hurt so bad. It helps me deal with rejection in dating, like not having messages returned or stuff not working out.

I am trying so hard to practice ambivalence when it comes to this new guy. I feel like I need to brace myself for a blow of “I think we’re better as friends” or “I’m just not that into you” or “I’m not feeling any chemistry.”

It’s not that he has done or said anything in particular to lead me to feel this way. The reason I am bracing myself is based on all the things I don’t know, such as, I don’t know if I should feel so smitten already. I don’t know if he is just this friendly with everybody.

It’s almost like I don’t know what normal conversation between dates is supposed to be like.

I think I have just grown accustomed to the conversation being practically 24/7, like with Mitt, or having the conversation divert into super personal and/or sex-related stuff, like with most other guys (Mitt included). He hasn’t gone, “Guess what I have for you…” and then presented me with a dick pic. I’ve mentioned getting a shower and he hasn’t said anything about me being naked just because I said the word “shower.”

It’s respectful!

What do we talk about? Work. Family. Friends. Hobbies. Dogs. I crack jokes. There’s been personal stuff shared, but not terribly deep.

Is this how I am meant to be treated? For real?

Initially, I was ambivalent about our conversation. I went to a rally in the middle of our first conversation and ignored him for a bit. I didn’t message every day. When people asked me if I was talking to anyone, I didn’t even bother to say “well, there’s this one guy…” I think I might have said there wasn’t anyone. That’s how ambivalent I was.

I’m not sure what changed. I think it is because he seemed to care about getting to know me and what I was into. Then, of course, we met. And we’ve kept talking. I don’t always have to start the conversation, either.

He asked if I was okay the other night when he knew I was out at a party. He let me know he got home safe the other night after he got home from the Indians game.

I’d like to think these are signs that he likes me and that we’re headed toward something. When I asked him what he was looking for in the conversations prior to our meeting, he had said he was just seeing what was out there, maybe looking for friends or someone to talk to, but if it turned into something greater, he’s fine with that. Basically, we’re the same when it comes to going on dates and then seeing where things go.

I think we will have a date this weekend. I guess I’m just worried that I’m jumping the gun in terms of “seeing where things go.” I’d like it to go toward a relationship, though I should note that I’m by no means desperate. I’m not head over heels. I’m merely smitten.

I’m serious, y’all.

As per usual, we’ll see.