I was nervous as fuck.
I didn’t even want to go on this date if I’m being completely honest. His name was Lorenzo and this would be our first time officially meeting. We met on Tinder, which doesn’t sound too credible, but we had five mutual friends on Facebook and he genuinely seemed like an intelligent and humble guy. I forgot to mention he was fucking hot. So hot, that when I showed his picture to a straight friend his response was, “Well, aesthetically speaking, he’s way out of your league.” Perfect. Just what I needed to hear.
If being gorgeous wasn’t enough, he’s also a huge supporter of the arts and teaches choir at a high school in Phoenix. Insert crying emoji. Also, let me jump ahead here and let you know that he is half Italian and half Mexican, which is literally such a perfect mix. Also, he speaks both Italian and Spanish. Fucking shoot me right?
I couldn’t stand a chance with this guy. I wasn’t even sure why he was so into me. We would have interesting text conversations about literature and music leading up to this date and at one point he said to me, “I’m very excited for our first date together.” Smiley face included.
But this wasn’t enough. I wanted to bail. I wanted to get out of this date so I could save myself the embarrassment and run away from him before he could run away from me first. I look way cuter in my Tinder photos than I do in real life and my conversation is only on point when I can have ample time to respond via text message. But this was real. This was in person, face-to-face, front and center. I was about to meet Lorenzo for the first time.
* * *
I don’t think I had ever been more bored in my life.
I was bored listening to him talk and listening to myself talk. I was bored even of my own thoughts. This was not how I pictured it would be. Once I got over the fact that Lorenzo is ten times prettier than me, I decided that if things worked out, we could be like Jack Antonoff and Lena Dunham or Taylor Kinney and Lady Gaga. Beyoncé and Jay-Z. You know, one of those couples where there’s a classically pretty one and a strangely beautiful one and they live happily ever after, the end. But no, this wasn’t even the case. Was I wrong to assume this date would go smoothly just because he was super hot? Yes. Was I wrong to assume I would feel utterly and completely stupid being on a date with him? Yes. I didn’t feel stupid or unworthy of Lorenzo’s attention, I just felt like we weren’t a match. We weren’t a match at all. At one point he even said, “New York is way too fast-paced for me. I could never live there.”
And that’s when I was ready for the check.
* * *
Let me explain to you why this date was a very big deal.
For three months prior to this date, I had been greatly fucked up in the head. When I would look in the mirror I would cry so much that I learned to avoid looking in it all together. When I would try to feel better about myself by going to a gay club with my friends and drink excessively, I would end the night crying or threatening to kill myself. When I would be in a social situation with other gay men, I would assume I was the duff friend and something to be pushed aside while the others got to make out with each other and exchange contact information. I lost my fire and the very essence of who I was, or at least who I sought out to be. I knew I wasn’t me. My friends could see it too. I had such an excitement about life that got lost somewhere in my dirty laundry pile of insecurities. I was losing weight, quickly and dramatically. My face began to sink in and I didn’t even realize it. My parents thought I was on drugs. I was not on drugs. I even lost one of my greatest assets: my ass. I had no bubble whatsoever. Everything I felt that was Robert Soares had dissipated. And at one point it got so bad that I had no choice but to find help. I literally had no choice. I needed to get better.
I saw a counselor for a few weeks. I’ll get into this in greater detail in another piece I’m writing but counseling, I will say, was one of the greatest things I could have ever done for myself. My amazing counselor provided the tools, my friends and family provided the support, and I took action. I gnawed and tore at all the barbed wire and twine that bounded me, hiding me away from the memory of what my life used to be. I worked hard on my body and spirit, taking days off of work at my serving job because I literally could not get out of bed.
I promised my best friend that I would get better and I needed him to know I was working on it. I didn’t want him to leave me or think it was too much. It was a lot for him especially. He had seen this happen to a friend before who tried to kill himself and he couldn’t see this happen to me too. He promised he would stick around. I promised I would get better.
* * *
My life is absolutely wondrous in so many ways.
I wasn’t able to say that for a while but I can now. It’s always been incredible. I’ve always been blessed with amazing experiences. But I couldn’t see it. I needed to fall apart and rebuild myself in order to see it. I needed to erode and tear and scream and fall and cry and die over and over and over again until finally, I learned. I had to train my mind to think differently. I trained my mind to reject the negative thoughts and only create positivity. People think they can’t control their thoughts but they most certainly can. It’s hard at first but the more you do it, the more natural it becomes.
So this is why the date was a big deal. It was a big deal because I went. It was a big deal because it was with a guy who was fine as fuck and I had spent my whole life thinking I was ugly and worthless. It was a big deal because the old me wouldn’t have even entertained the thought of a guy like Lorenzo even being into me. It was a big deal because I found myself at the beginning yet again of the Bold Bitch Diaries. I needed to be bold again. Robby Rob needed me to be bold again. I didn’t leave the date thinking, “This was terrible because no one would ever want to date someone as horrendous and terrible looking as me.”
I left the date thinking, “We didn’t have any chemistry, but he was a super nice guy.”
I promised you one day I’d get better, and babe…I think I have.
Photos by Brandon Zamucen.