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.