getting back in the dating game

d817c98d4cec328f029b8b4e6718c8c9Hello! It’s been a while, huh? I’ve now finished up my thesis and graduated college with a degree in English (which my dad likes to joke is about as useless as a payphone nowadays). And as I mentioned briefly in my last post, I broke up with my boyfriend of two years. It was my first major breakup and, although I’ll admit that it was tough adjusting to a life without someone who was so much a part of me, I’ve been okay. I’m a survivor (sorry, emotional stuff typically makes me break out the cheesy adages).

Anyway, I’ve learned that one of the worst feelings to deal with is the anxiety that accompanies a newfound singleness. Soon after the breakup, my mind was flooded constantly with troubling questions: Did I get what I deserve? Will I be alone forever? What if no one else wants me? I know that these are fairly normal questions young (and clearly melodramatic) women face. But I ┬áhad one more thought that wouldn’t cross most girls’ minds: would guys still be attracted to me when they saw my artificial left arm? I knew that guys could be attracted to me, of course, but I just assumed that took time for them to get to know me as a person and get over the shock of my arm. I never believed someone could be into me and my looks (complete with the robot hand) before getting to know me.

c7bb4876cbe032c86f34e6e10a71f678My theory was that a prosthetic limb serves as an automatic turnoff to any normal red-blooded male. However, said theory was proven incorrect a few weeks ago during a bus ride home from work. It was mid-April so I was wearing a light sweater, but you could easily see that the hand was fake and not very humanlike. The man in the seat behind me thought it was a good idea to swing over to the open seat next to me and strike up a conversation. He started by asking about my arm, so I thought he was just another curious busybody wondering what “happened” to me. But when I was finished explaining, he stuck around and kept asking me questions. By the time we reached his stop, he was asking for my number and trying to make plans for our next meeting.

I never did go out with him, but the experience served to ease my worries. Here I was, being approached on a bus by a random (and yes, cute) stranger trying to flirt with me despite knowing all about my limb difference. And while I could probably write the incidence off as a fluke or a one-time thing, I can tell you that that was not the only time it happened. I’ve come to realize that the world of guys and dating is not as scary as I used to think. Not all guys are shallow jerks looking for perfection in a girl. And a perceived flaw like a limb difference doesn’t immediately preclude a man’s attraction to a girl. I don’t know if it’s my smile or my walk or the way I wear my hair on certain days, but I’ve come to understand that something appealing or interesting about my person almost always outweighs the shock of my very different-looking arm when it comes to dating. And ┬áthat’s sort of a beautiful thing.


Caitlin Michelle


And in case you were wondering, the answer is yes – I’m currently seeing someone new now.



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