A few weeks ago, I posted a photo and Instagram that gained a bit of attention. I was pleased to see that most of the feedback was positive. I'm here to give you a little back story on how this sassy post was inspired:
A few months after ending a long-term relationship, I thought I'd attempt to start dating. Having never really dated in my life, I felt vulnerable and nervous. Will there be someone else out there that understands my weird sense of humor? Will they accept my flaws and insecurities? Will they appreciate me? I quickly brushed off the anxiety and agreed to go out on a date with a guy I met on Instagram (incidentally), whom I had chatted with for a few weeks.
Since he lived a couple hours from where I'm at, we agreed to meet halfway at this huge, very public, galleria-type place. I was both excited and nervous. I was feeling pretty confident. My outfit was cute, my hair was done just right, and I was ready to do this. My heart raced as I walked to the spot where we agreed to meet. As he approached me, I couldn't help but notice that he was incredibly attractive and didn't seem nervous at all. It wasn't as awkward as I thought it was going to be. After our exchanging hellos, we jumped right into the date. We walked around, joked, laughed, and grabbed dinner.
He opened up on how he struggled with weight and how he'd gone from being almost 300 lbs. to a little over 200 lbs. I shared with him how I had a similar struggle and how I'm still on the road to self love. He let me in on his love for weight lifting and fitness and his aspirations for the future. The whole time I was thinking how nice it was to finally meet a guy with direction and such passion. He did go on to talk about himself a lot, but I didn't mind. I'm a great listener. He kept telling me that it was nice to finally meet a girl that was "real" with a great personality and that understood his humor.
After dinner we walked some more around the galleria and then it happened. He kissed me. Having been out of the game so long, I didn't know what to feel. Were there fireworks? No. I think I had too many defenses up to allow myself to really feel anything, but decided to just roll with it.
We then decided to play some games at Dave and Buster's, which turned out to be a ton of fun. He held my hand, impressed me with his Skee-Ball skills, and even won me a stuffed animal. It was cheesy (and I hate cheesy), but after a few hours with this guy, my defenses were down and I was starting to feel like I was 16 again.
At the end of the night, he walked me to my car and after a good lip lock, he asked if I'd be interested in taking him back to my place. Hmmmm.
While there may have been a time when my self-esteem was so low that I needed that type of validation to feel good and would have said yes, I decided I didn't want to jump the gun. I'm not that girl anymore. I was really digging this guy and I wanted to see where this would go. I've come too far in my journey to self love to ruin what I thought could be a good thing in the future. He respected my reply and we went our separate ways.
I texted him the next day to see how his morning was and things felt a little bit off.
While I knew he appreciated my company, I began to question whether or not this guy was even attracted to me at all. I mustered up some courage and asked him (ballsy, I know).
The conversation went as follows, disregard the typos:
I read this while I was at my desk at work and after hearing what he had to say, I couldn't help but tear up. I consider myself to be a very confident person, but at that moment, I couldn't help but feel ugly, fat, and vulnerable.
During our date, he kept mentioning his "standards" for women and how he doesn't care much for appearance. He talked about himself a lot and the more I thought about it, it seemed as if he was bragging about his new found level of fitness.
I went from feeling sad to just being pissed off. My fitness didn't seem to matter when he wanted to come home with me did it?
First of all, he knew what I looked like before he asked me out. He wasn't being "catfished." Although he tried to say during our date that appearance didn't matter, he limited me to just that. He judged my level of "fitness" based on what I looked like that day, but thank the heavens that I showed "potential."
Second, he said he respected me be cause I seemed to be "happy" with myself. God forbid, a girl who is 5'2'' and a size 10 with a little something extra, be happy with herself! Do I not have the right to love myself because I didn't meet his so-called "standards"?
Lastly, my favorite part was when he said he wanted a person that "tr[ies] to better themselves." The fact that I am 23 with a full-time job, my own place, and a master's degree in progress obviously means nothing. In his eyes, because I don't look "fit," probably means that I don't want to better myself and probably hang out all day on the couch in my pajamas with a bowl of Cheetos.
As I've stated before, I have struggled with my weight my entire life. In 2014 I lost 35 pounds and am currently trying to maintain that (I'm usually up 5 or down 5). He judged my level of fitness based on my appearance. What he didn't know was that I have been a swimmer since the age of 13, I'm an avid hiker and I've just started CrossFit, but it didn't matter because I wasn't at his level. I've learned to appreciate my body and love myself very much, but no doubt it is a sensitive topic for me. I'm always finding ways I can improve. Within a matter of 24 hours, I let that boy pick my heart up and then slam it to the ground. I let his opinion completely ruin me that day.
I understand everyone has a type, but why go through the motions and waste both of our time?
I never spoke to him again and I'm glad I ended the conversation the way I did. In the weeks that followed, I worked to pick up the pieces of my ego and eventually brushed it off. I DO NOT need anyone's approval to feel good about myself. I know my self-worth and I don't need anyone to validate me. I know that I am good enough.
I've bullied my body enough and now I'm doing everything I can to protect it and give it the love it finally deserves. I strive to keep myself healthy, not to meet anyone's standards of what they think is an acceptable level of "fitness" regardless of how much "potential" they think I have.
On a lighter note, it would have never worked in a billion years. Any guy that texts "u" or "ur" instead of "you," "your," and "you're" (despite having a full keyboard), is not worth your time, as he can't even take the precious time out of his day to text you with proper grammar.
You are worth it ladies. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.