Practice Your Confidence

Warning:  Deep, emotional currents ahead.  Not for the faint of heart.  Superficiality resumes next post.

You know how the internet works right?  You are looking up one thing and twenty minutes later you are on a completely different topic and you can't even remember the steps that led you there.  That happened to me last night and it took me somewhere that was much needed.

The site I ended up on was an article for the Village Voice about guys who like "fat chicks" and that led me to a blog on the same topic by that guy (Ask A Guy) and on that blog was one article in particular that has hit home.  Before I give you the link be warned that it contains strong language and sexual content.  If you are easily offended skip it and just read the rest of this blog post.   The post I am referencing is here.

I had already started to come to some of these conclusions slowly this year.  I have been on a few "dates" this year (and yes dates definitely needs to be in air quotes) which is more than I've been on in many, many, MANY years.   The first one ended in disaster, the second was not much better, etc.  And while slowly ramping up this process I began to realize some things.

1.  I don't know how to date.  I really don't.  I've had a grand total of one boyfriend in my life and one... well... I'm not sure what to call him but it was very emotionally and physically intense while it lasted.  And then various other encounters along the way (you can read between the lines right?).  This is all after I graduated college.  I didn't date in high school or college because guys just weren't interested in me or I was too shy or a combination of both.  So I haven't had the practice that other people got to have in their younger years.  

2.  I don't know how to talk to men.  I grew up an only child with a divorced mom who was a loner.  I just didn't interact with a lot of men and I realize that it has had an affect on me.  I have talked before about my lack of eye contact and it is especially bad with just about any man I run across unless I know them well.  I feel like everything is going to be written on my face and so I keep my face down.

3. I have a brain malfunction.  I am someone who is always looking forward.  In some ways (like planning logistical things at work) this is a good thing.  In some ways (like dating or looking for a relationship) this is bad.  I immediately start thinking 5, 10, 15 months then 5, 10, 15 years down the future and I sabotage a lot of things.  I start finding one or two things that are "faults" and blow them up in my mind to impossible proportions and then thats it.  

"Oh your profile says that you like the suburbs.  But I don't want to move to the suburbs." 

See, what I did there?  Yes, I know it's bad. 

So what was it about this particular post from Ask A Guy (actually the whole blog)?  It is like the friend I truly need at this crossroads in my personal life.  The person who is completely blunt, speaks the truth and is unafraid of the consequences.  It is the conclusions I have started coming to on my own but instead of my meek tip toeing up to the topic it is completely in my face. 

1. Do Not Be Afraid To Be Single
Ask A Guy says meet, chat, date and other things and then repeat.   Do not feel guilty about enjoying someone's company and do not settle. He says it much more bluntly than I can say it here, but I need to hear it that way.  I am not doing anything wrong and I do not need to commit myself to someone just because they were kind enough to go on a date with me (which is why I think I have the long term freak outs).  

2. Brutal Honesty
For me this one means saying who I am interested in and not settling.  I kind of feel like I have to take anyone who is interested in me even if I am not interested in them, because really how many will be interested in someone with my body type.   Time and again on his blog Ask A Guy says that there ARE men out there who will like me for who I am and that I don't have to settle and I can't be afraid of saying what I like.  I don't have to take the next guy that comes along just because he went on a date with me (see #1) and in the meantime I should just enjoy dating (again... see #1).  

3. Flirt Whenever You Can
In another post he says it as meeting guys and sharpening your dating skills.  Tie this one up with my dating history, lack of experience and shyness and boy do I have a problem.   I have to work on this one.  I have to.  I've started slowly, but I need to practice talking to all kinds of men.  Straight men, gay men, single men, married men, men who like bigger girls, men who don't, all kinds.  Practice, practice, practice.  Flirting?  Ha.  I can't even imagine doing such a thing.  But I'll get there.  Baby steps.  

4. Stop Fearing Rejection
In the blog post he says it will happen.  Smile, walk away and find the next interesting person.  I love that.  I need to remind myself that I don't have to marry that one person who sent me an email and said they were interested in meeting me (example of my brain malfunction) and if it doesn't work out there will be someone else out there.  And for goodness sakes not to settle.  In another post he mentions that there are creeps out there no matter your body type.  They are a fact of life, but you don't let them throw you off course.  Walk away.

And something I took away from the Village Voice article.  People have preferences and some people just have a preference for bigger women.  I have a hard time believing anyone would be interested in me and I keep asking potential contacts almost in an accusatory tone.  We all have preferences whether it is tall, short, blonde, brunette, fat, muscular or skinny.  I'm going to stop asking and just concentrate on the experience with that person.

I am so glad I found this blog. I know a lot of this may seem obvious, but sometimes you just need it said a certain way.  I apparently need it said by an in your face, taken no prisoners, 20 something from New York.  And he says "practice your confidence."


Summer 2011