More than once when I was dating in my twenties, guys pointed out to me that I was less than confident. The boss in particular, who was 7 years older, told me that my lack of self-confidence greatly detracted from my attractiveness. Of course at the time, I thought he was being a condescending prick.
But his point also gave me pause. How could he think I was attractive and a great catch when I didn’t truly, wholeheartedly believe that myself?
Dating a younger guy in my later twenties didn’t solve the problem either. He, too, commented on my self-deprecating comments and off-kilter view of my worth. I didn’t even fully realize that I was portraying myself in a negative light. Things would fly out of my mouth and I didn’t hear how they sounded.
Then during my crazy course of online dating, I started to see how unattractive it was when other people did this. I went out with several guys who were good-hearted, cute, nice guys, but they way they put themselves down or let their insecurities cause them to act awkwardly was just downright unappealing. It was a shame because they were probably great catches, but the attraction just wasn’t there on my end because they didn’t seem to value themselves. And I didn’t want to be with someone like that…even though I had been accused of being that way, myself.
Enter counseling: the great game changer. Sitting across from a neutral party, having him say, “Did you just hear yourself? Why would you say that about yourself?” is a powerful thing. Suddenly you realize that what YOU are saying about who you are is largely dictating the perception others have about you. Thus, reinforcing what you don’t want them to think.
Having this click for me (and continuing my therapy stint) changed the way I spoke and thought about myself. I realized that I had no reason not to be confident in who I was. Instead of questioning myself and focusing on my flaws, I tried to hone in on my great traits and take on challenges that would make my confidence grow.
When I met Mr. Wonderful, one of the things I loved best about him was that he was unapologetically himself. Did he have some nerdy tendencies? Yes. Was he a bit nervous and awkward? Sure, he nearly fumbled the dinner he made on our second date when placing it in the oven. Was he shy as heck? Totally. But these things didn’t slow him down a bit. I could tell that he knew—and accepted—who he was, and really didn’t care what I or anyone else thought. It was incredibly sexy.
I think women have a harder time than men when it comes to tapping into their true confidence. For some reason, we never think we’re pretty enough, smart enough, worldly enough, thin enough. It’s really terrible and I think it causes us to compromise what we want when it comes to dating. We don’t think we are worthy and deserving, so we never get what we really deserve.
I would love for everyone to think of 5 things about themselves today that are completely amazing and awesome. Focus on how attractive you are, and others’ perceptions will follow.
And listen to this for a great example of what NOT to do. Confidence is a spectrum and this guy is absolutely on the other extreme end. No wonder so many great gals are single!