There are so many things about myself that I love, so many unique qualities that other people don’t have mixed into one person. I mean, that’s what makes each of us special, right? The fact that there’s not another one just like us out there. But when it comes to my body, I’ve been pretty loathsome of it since my very early years. I started comparing myself to the “thin girls” when I was maybe 8 or so. The funny (not really funny) part is that I was home-schooled, so it wasn’t even at school. I don’t know what outside forces made me think/feel like I wasn’t good enough. I have a couple guesses, but I assume it’s probably a multitude of factors.
Regardless, I’ve never felt “good enough” for attractive men most of life. That probably explains why I’ve jumped-in too soon with most of the guys I’ve dated. I was always so surprised that someone found me worthy that I was scared to lose them, assuming I would never get another one. Pretty fucked up right? Well, thank God for therapy. Not that all of my insecurities are solved, far from it. But at least I have a safe space to explore these lies/insecurities/hurts and confront them with someone.
I have spent the last 2 1/2 years getting over my previous boyfriend. I won’t go into all the specifics, but suffice it say, he was by far the first person I really let myself become fully vulnerable with, on top of that relationship coinciding with finishing the hardest summer of my life. So, when he broke it off, I internalized everything to be my fault, that I, as a whole person (especially my body) was not good enough. I felt truly broken. But, I slowly worked through most of the pain, learning how to accept and even love most of myself fully, flaws and all. I also had a lot of truth spoken to me from a lot of people, reminding me that I am an amazing person, that of course the ending of my relationship was not my entire fault. I’m not saying I didn’t make mistakes, but I didn’t need to shoulder all of the blame.
So now, years later, I’m back in the dating world, feeling like a pretty damn great catch by some very lucky guy. Some people love the dating world, they thrive on dating multiple people at once, never wanting to settle into a committed relationship, and that’s great for them. I, personally, am not a huge fan of the casual dating. It’s kind of stressful to me. I like when it’s more comfortable and there’s been some trust established. That’s my favorite arena. But, you have to get through the casual period to get to the next one, so I’m trying to put myself out there. It’s been……well, frankly? A little bleak out there. I’ve been on three of the more popular online dating sites and haven’t met anyone past a first meet-up/introduction. And even with those, there’s only been less than 5. So, I decided that online dating is a waste of time, and I’ve deleted all my profiles. Now, I have to really put myself out there, physically, socially out there.
You’re probably thinking, OK, so how does that tie to the subject? I’m glad you asked. I am, and pretty much have always been, attracted to thin men. I, as photos have shown, am not thin. And you know what? I’ve felt guilty about that for years. I always felt like I was going after guys that were “out of my league” or meant only for thin, beautiful women. I felt like I didn’t deserve to like these guys. And to be quite frank, most of the guys that I have liked, have not felt the same way about me, and that’s OK, but somehow I thought that that meant I needed to force myself to be attracted to men who were “like me” (not thin). Now, I will say, I try to never shut someone down simply because they’re not the exact body type that I am generally attracted to, especially if I meet them in person. Because I want people (men and women alike) to get to know me before judging me on my looks, I want to make sure I do that as well. And I’ve dated men with various body shapes. Sometimes, I am attracted to a guy who’s a little huskier. But, overall, my “type” seems to be a man who has a very different body than me.
This all came up over the past week and a half because I was talking to someone online (before I disabled my account) and found him to be very attractive in his pictures. So attractive that it made me nervous that he was “out of my league” or “too handsome for me”. I told BFF this and she pointed me to this article and it rocked my world because this woman put into words exactly how I was feeling when I didn’t know how to express it.
I know that I can’t make someone be attracted to me, just because I’m attracted to them. And vice-versa. Attraction is so complex. Especially when it happens naturally (face-t0-face). You have all those unspoken cues and details from the other person that are constantly re-enforcing your attraction (or un-attraction) to that person. You’re getting the full experience of human interaction. But, I think sometimes, people forget that sometimes you need to give more than an up-and-down glance at someone to know if you’re attracted to them or not. I have definitely had my fair share of split-second judgements of attraction towards someone and found myself kicking myself 10 minutes later when they had me laughing hysterically or engaged in a riveting conversation.
I’d like to say that I read that article and immediately shed my remaining insecurities and terrible thoughts about myself, but learned habits are hard to break. I am trying to remind myself of this when I have those moments of self-doubt but it’s a slow process. One day at a time, one step forward, that’s how I continue to evolve, grow and be happier with myself. One day, I hope that I can say with full confidence and that I am unapologetically me.