I'm so shallow. I talked with a woman online Saturday who at first seemed interesting to me. She works as a crisis psychiatric clinician, is around my age, single (never married), Christian-- the works. So we're having a good time talking, and a couple of things come up that are a bit...off.
First, she mentions that she came close to getting married once, and recently. The guy was someone she met online, and he even moved across the country to be close to her. Unfortunately, it also turns out that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder and didn't tell her. So the relationship ends, but now he still lives near her, still has dinner with her parents, and generally won't let go. This, I'd say, is odd.
Second, after a while talking I ask her something about herself that most people don't know (I love asking questions). Well, she tells me that she's schizophrenic. Wow. I'm honored that she shared this with me, but it's honestly a lot to take in. Even so, I work with mental health issues enough to know that with proper treatment and medication, schizophrenia is manageable.
So all this is going through my head, and from the conversation it's obvious that she feels comfortable with me and even says she'd like to meet me (we're across the country from one another). She also refers me to a webpage with her picture on it and the shallowness kicks in: I don't find her attractive.
So whether that's the way I should feel or not, that's how I do feel. What strikes me as rotten is that if I found her attractive, I'd be willing to figure out how to check the rest of the baggage. We'll keep talking, of course-- I'm hopeful we can even continue being friends-- but if I keep getting a romantic vibe, I'll need to be honest and clear, while hopefully finding a way to be gentle and considerate as well.
I feel like all I've been doing is hurting people's feelings lately, so I dodged her last night because I didn't feel like dealing with it then. I won't go hermit and vanish, nor will I try to find some way around it if the romance vibe continues. I just want a break from hurting people, and from hurting myself. My emotional reserves are near empty, and I just felt like waiting before I added more to the stack of things I've screwed up and/or feel bad about.