Dating and Body Image

Staring in the mirror, in my classic button through skirt, top, tights and ankle boots combo, I feel ready for my next date. I know my hair looks effortless and my highlight is fleeky AF. My bum looks good in this skirt and my waist looks small where my polo neck is tucked in. Not going to lie, I’m feeling FIT.

As I stand on the train, on my way to meet the guy I’ve been messaging for a while, I notice other guys looking at me, I smile and check them out too. I’m listening to a sassy soundtrack and I’m on top of the world. The pre date buzz and my confidence is bubbling away.

As I walk towards my date, whether it’s in a bar or at a train station, we immediately check each other out. The awkward hugs or cheek kisses take place and we embark on our first drink and ice breaking conversation.

The conversation is slightly awkward and stilted. I shift uncomfortably in my chair. He makes his toilet excuse and I’m straight on my phone to send the message I send to my friends EVERY SINGLE TIME.

‘I quite like him, he’s fit but he definitely doesn’t fancy me.’

They reassure me he does, of course he does, WHO WOULDN’T, just like any decent BFFs would. But it’s out there.

He thinks I’m grotesque.

Then I’m in the bathroom. I’m looking in the mirror. My slim looking waist is now rolls of fat. My bum is now making my skirt look wide and I appear to be carrying a 9 month old foetus. My makeup is gross. My hair looks shit. I’ve got 6 chins. My ankles are puffy.

On our date goes. On my texts to my friends about how much I gross him out goes.

Then the end of the date arrives. We have a smooch, or a hug and depart. He immediately sends me a text saying what a nice evening he had and how he’d like to see me again.

I’m genuinely shocked because I’m STILL convinced I horrified him.

The next day I don’t hear from him straight away. It’s because he realised he doesn’t want to date someone that looks like me. That I’m not his type. That he wants someone prettier/slimmer/blonder/brunetter/sportier/artier/cooler. Then I get a text and I’m still confused.

A few dates (hours maybe?) later and we sleep together. He gets an erection but that’s because he’s horny. He grabs my body feverishly but he’s discovered my flabby bits. He runs his hands over my legs but he can feel they’re dry/stubbly.

I THINK YOU GET MY POINT

No matter what the guy does, how keen he shows me he is, how turned on he is by me, there’s always something inside me that is convinced he actually finds me disgusting.

Maybe there’s a different narrative. Maybe you’ve been on a date where EVERYTHING is going right. The flanter is off the chizzle. The amount you have in common is crazy. And there’s definitely flirty touches and a clear attraction. But they tell you that they didn’t feel the spark. Or only see you as a friend. Or fancy you but don’t want to take it any further. What do you think? Well. They just don’t want a fat/skinny/spotty/short/tall (or whatever body hang up you have) girlfriend.  You totally catfished him without meaning to.

Dating can be killer for low self esteem. Any tiny slip up or mismatches and you convince yourself it’s because you’re an unfanciable mess. You look at other people who you don’t find attractive and wonder why people find them attractive but no one seems to find you attractive.

If you get ghosted or friendzoned, you’re convinced it’s because of how you look. Nothing to do with the fact you might be needy/boring/unfunny or just generally not well suited.

So for people who suffer with bad body image or low self esteem, how do you keep your confidence up when dating?

It’s not a magic wand fix. It’s not even a magic whatsapp from your bestie listing all of your good points wand fix. It has to come from you.

Looking for the one means you’re looking for someone to love you. But to be able to find that someone, you have to love yourself first.

So be kinder to yourself. Remember that whatever you’re hung up over about your body might not even come into the other person’s consideration. Remind yourself you’re that sassy sex pot in your mirror at home AT ALL TIMES and if you’re finding the knock backs are making you knock yourself, take some time out to find yourself and love yourself again.

Lastly, remember my adage. My saying that I definitely need to get made into a copper print to hang in my basic bitch bedroom so that I am forever reminded of it…

You can be the juiciest peach. Not everyone likes peaches. It doesn’t make you any less juicy.

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6 Comments

  1. Jen
    October 5, 2016 / 7:51 am

    Yes to everything in this post.

  2. October 5, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    I’ve struggled with eating disorders since high school, and I still am convinced at times that my fiancé must think I’m hideous. He does an amazing job at making sure that I’m not slipping back into my old ways, but sometimes the self love still isn’t there. It really is something you have to find in yourself, because even being engaged, I still hate myself when I look in the mirror from time to time. Thankfully I have an amazing support system and all my lady friends are full of self love and it’s rubbing off on me. It’s a long process!

  3. laura
    October 5, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    Oh my goodness that end quote is just perfection! I was like this when I was dating, and I still get odd moments of ‘but what does he possibly see in me?!’ years down the line of a long term relationship. I can’t really offer any words of advice other than love yourself first, and others will love you for it. (As long as you’re not being an over cocky dickhead about it of course haha!)

    Laura x | http://www.lovedbylaura.com

  4. October 6, 2016 / 7:51 am

    OMG I very much relate to this, just in love with your writing… would love to meet you in person 🙂 so inspiring! Thanks for sharing once again. x

  5. Katy Humphrey
    October 12, 2016 / 8:29 am

    I love this. Yes yes yes.

  6. Charlotte Steggz
    October 22, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    Yes. Yes. Yes.
    Mine usually goes when I see other women out and about and I think I should be looking more like them. I dread the first sexy times as I worry how they’ll take my chub.
    But the thing is – I don’t hold them to the same standards; I’d prefer my guy to be chunky.