The Dating Mirror

Dating has been a lot of things for me…a pain, stressful, elusive. It’s been a valuable learning experience. I’ve never really loved it, but I’ve definitely hated it.

The hardest part of it all though is how much dating can act like a mirror. All of a sudden you feel like you can see all of these flaws through the person sitting across from you at that restaurant or cafe. You talk too much, you’re too nervous, you didn’t ask enough questions. Then the guy doesn’t call. Cut to “what’s wrong with me?” or “what could I have done differently?” Even though logically you know there are many more guys to date out there. Even though you know you can’t possibly be a good match for every single you person you date cause how silly would that be? The doubt still manages to creep in.

When it comes to dating, my disability is generally a curse but I will say that it is a blessing sometimes when it comes to guys not wanting to go out with me again. I can chalk it up to it being my MD and then the blame goes totally on them and not me. I don’t have to grapple with if it was my personality that turned them away. If I wasn’t pretty enough. That doesn’t mean I still don’t have those doubts sometimes because I for sure do. But any chance I get, I’ll just assume it was because of my disability; something that wasn’t my fault and is something I have zero control over or ability to change.

My whole life I’ve been afraid to have confidence. That might sound weird. Confidence is something that eludes us a lot but I think a lot of us also try really hard to have it be something we can achieve. For me, I had the added level of not wanting to feel confident in case I had no right to be. What if I think I’m awesome and I’m really not? And every single rejection that I get only confirms that? What if I think I’m pretty but no one else thinks I am? What if I think my disability is no big deal but it actually is? I often felt like an imposter when self confidence would actually creep up. Who was I to think I could have confidence when the world so often told me I wasn’t entitled to it? I never wanted to suddenly be overcome with confidence, only to have someone else tear it down completely.

Now I’m able to realize that the above has one fatal flaw: it’s all based on what someone else thinks of me. External factors. I’m an island and the only thing that matters is how I feel about myself. Anyone’s attempt to tell me otherwise is a fault with them, not me. And I am entitled to feel confident about myself just like everyone else. Fuck what the world and society say. I know what I see in the mirror no matter what someone else might reflect back at me.

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12 thoughts on “The Dating Mirror

  1. As far as a mirror goes. I often care about what my friends think about me, to a point. If its someone who is being an asshole I don’t really care what they think about me. But if my friends, who I care about, say, “Hey Daniel you’re being an asshole,” that give me a good time for self reflection so I can stop being an asshole.

    As far as disability goes. I often find that is the number one issue when it comes to dating. And yes, I can’t change it but I often find myself becoming depressed because they like as a friend but nothing else. But six years ago I was lucky enough to find a woman who made it so I didn’t have to worry about that.

    1. I’m fortunate enough to have a really good group of friends who are very supportive but will always tell me what’s up too. You’re totally right in what you said about dating and disability too. Was in no way implying that it never bothers me that someone doesn’t want to date me because of my disability because it for sure does. It’s a double edged sword and sometimes it makes me more mad that someone writes me off for something I can’t control. Even though that makes them an asshole and not me. Where I live, guys want someone who can go hiking with them or running or whatever because the weather is always nice so I have that to contend with that too. At this point I’m not sure if I’m ever going to actually meet anyone but I’ve become very content being single too so we’ll see what happens. Thanks for the comment and sharing your experience.

      1. No I live in California. I wouldn’t think people would be outdoorsy in Seattle since it rains all the time? The weather is nice here most of the time so people tend to like to do a lot of outdoor things.

      2. The rain in Seattle, as I’m sure you know, is not as bad as people make it out to be. You find people doing outdoorsy stuff in the rain all the time, because well if you don’t…you don’t do anything.

    1. It definitely ebbs and flows. I’ve been feeling good at the start of 2017 but I know the next time I fall, it will all go out the window. I’m still trying to figure out how not to let that make me feel totally and utterly humiliated. I wish I could be confident all the time. That something would just click and it would stick to me like glue but I know that’s not the way it works for anyone so like you said, just gotta ride the flow 🙂

  2. I totally agree with you, Jackie…confidence ebbs & flows with me, also…unfortunately, it mainly ebbs. People can be just so damned mean! But, you’re also right to say, screw’em, if they don’t like you. I recently broke-up with me GF of 18months, so, in a sense, I am having to start over…but this time, I am determined not to let it depress me. Prozac works wonders! But, even though I am on Prozac, I still have to make up my mind not to let what other people think bother me. One day, something with someone WILL click, I am sure, and then it will be better, … but remember, even when you find that “certain someone”, they will still have their own opinions about things, sometimes they will agree with you; sometimes they will not.

  3. In my opinion, just by being able to write this post and sharing your feelings/insecurities is the definition of confidence! I believe that the first step to dating is having the ability to love yourself. We all have flaws that tend to effects us whether we like it or not, but that shouldn’t effect how we view ourselves. It’s important to accept who we are as an individual and what we offer to others in our relationships. If the other person fails to call after a date or is super awkward can be due to a variety of reasons. We just need to remind ourselves that maybe they have their own insecurities that we might have failed to attend to because we were too busy thinking about ourselves. As long as you stay true to yourself the rest will fall into place, and hopefully whoever you have by your side sees you for who you truly are and appreciates you for that.

    Thank you for sharing this personal experience!

  4. Hi Jackie!

    I appreciate how open and honest you are in regards to dating and confidence. I think going out on a date and putting yourself out there shows so much courage and confidence already! Putting yourself out there also makes you more vulnerable. I love how you describe yourself as an “island” and that the only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself! It shows strength, confidence, and so much self-love! If we start using external factors to dictate how we view ourselves, it can only be detrimental to the self esteem you worked so hard to build. Although I often think of the world we live in as mostly good, the reality of it is that there are people who will bring you down in order to bring themselves up. We should not give others the right to control how we view ourselves. Everyone has the right to be confident and to embrace it. You truly are an inspiration for rocking your flaws and love the message that you are conveying to others!!

    Thank you for sharing your post and I look forward to following you on your journey!

  5. Hi Jackie!

    I really admire your honesty and your vulnerability about dating and confidence! From time to time I wrestle with those thoughts too. I’m 22 and I have never been in a relationship, and at times I can start doubting myself. But to be honest, why is it so bad that I have never dated before? The one just simply hasn’t come yet. I think it is social media that makes it seem like being in a relationship is the ultimate end goal, and puts a pressure to be like everyone else.
    Do I sometimes wish I have someone, sure. But looking at all the relationships out there, it is not something that I want to rush into. From what I’ve seen so far in the relationships around me, it is better to me single, happy, and content with myself than finding happiness in someone else.

    I recently listened to this podcast, and man…. it’s so true! listen to it if you have time and let me know what you think!

    https://www.audioverse.org/english/sermons/recordings/15714/5-single-and-significant.html

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