“Put Yourself Out There”

I’m definitely sure that I’m not the only one who’s tried to get back into the dating scene. Sometimes things happen like a divorce, being so career focused that you totally forget there are other things out there, or, in my case, the bad ending of a long relationship that has caused you to crawl back into your cave and hide from the real world for twelve years. You finally come to realize, especially with social media such as Facebook or personal blogs, that all of your former high school friends, your cousins, or just random people you befriend so that your friend list makes you look popular, are all either getting engaged, married, or are expecting a new addition to the family. You ask your single friends who have been playing the dating scene for a long time, how to get back into dating again. Their response? “You just need to put yourself out there.”

What does that even mean? Well, upon searching for the answer and doing things I never knew I would ever find myself doing, I decided that “putting yourself out there” meant to be yourself and don’t be too defensive. Forget about the past. I bet that guy who caused me to crawl back into my cave so many years ago is happily married and has children. Actually, I know he has at least one child. One that was born at the end of our long relationship.

Then, almost two months ago, I thought, if I’m always thinking that all of my relationships will be doomed by getting cheated on, that would mean that I’m letting this guy win. What did he win? I’m not sure, but he did manage to hurt my pride and snap my confidence in half. Then one day I woke up with my head held high, my back straight, my shoulders held back, and said, “I’m going to put myself out there!”

See, what happened was, fate took me on a weird path where I randomly met this guy who I thought would be a good starter on my quest to “put myself out there”. Don’t get me wrong. I really liked this guy. He was animal-friendly, he cared about his health, he was a hard worker, and he had goals in life. In other words, he was exactly like me. We talked on the phone for quite a bit and learned that we have a lot in common – favorite foods, favorite activities, favorite TV shows – ok, so the things we had in common aren’t all that important at my age, but they were still in common. I thought, this is it. This is how trying to date begins. It can’t be to hard. Right? Well, not exactly.

After talking with him and, because I am female, asking advice from all of my friends what the next step is, I decided to go for it. I was going to make the first move in asking him out on a date. Well, not an actual date, but a way of just hanging out as friends to get to know each other away from the environment in which we met. (He worked for a company who we hired to move furniture from my parents’ house into storage.) I dialed his phone number, then I hung up. I got chicken. I turned to my friends and asked, “How in the world does a woman ask a guy out?” The answer, as usual, was, “You just have to put yourself out there.” So, the next night, I tried again. I dialed his phone number, and, again, I got chicken and hung up.

First of all, you have to remember, I just crawled out of my cave a couple of months ago. Secondly, I’ve never been the one to ask a guy out before. Is this what guys go through when they want to ask a girl out? If it is, I want to apologize to all the guys who have ever asked me out for putting them through such misery.

I can very well understand how they must have felt when I rejected their proposals as I could have looked up on any dating app on how and where to make the first move. Maybe because I was too stupid or shocked that I instantly said no out of the blue whenever they approached me when I was least expecting anything of the sort.

I finally did find the confidence to give him a call and ask him out on Saturday. I got his voicemail and thought, “It can’t hurt to leave a message.” Of course, the message went something like this:

“Hey, it’s me. I just wanted to see if you were doing anything this Saturday. I have this thing going on that I’d like to invite you to, but you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. It’s just a fundraiser. You know, it’s nothing really. Just give me a call. Like I said, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. It’s just a fundraiser. Ok. Bye. Oh yeah, my number is _. Give me a call when you decide. Bye.”

Yeah … truly embarrassing, right? So, of course, I got on Facebook to chat with a friend of mine who has been following this little adventure of mine closely, and he asked, “How did it go?” I told him everything I said in the message. Then my friend asked me, “You did re-record your message right?” Um, I didn’t know that was possible. I never had any issues with leaving messages until that moment. Of course, all the other times was just business, and this one was personal. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me you could re-record your message?

So, sadly, I haven’t heard back from the guy and it’s been a few days. I have been asking everyone if I should call again or just let it go and move on. I decided to move on. I don’t want to seem desperate. So when they say, “You just have to put yourself out there,” maybe it’s just a way of saying, “Sometimes you’ll stumble and fall (whether physically or embarrassingly through voicemail messages). Other times, you’ll succeed in dating. But if you don’t try, you’ll always be wondering what could’ve been.” If you ever find yourself in situation like mine, just remember, you aren’t the only one. And here’s some advice to take with you as you try to “put yourself out there” – if you leave a message and you think it totally stinks, you can re-record that message as many times as you want.



Julia Arostegi lives in California USA. She took Developmental Communication at the University of California and finished her studies in 2012. She is currently the managing director of California Magazine. She is also a blogger, content enthusiast and a photographer.