Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Confidence = a work-in-progress

Here comes the cold
Break out the winter clothes
And find a love to call your own

These are lyrics to John Mayer's "St. Patrick's Day," which chronicles the way people tend to gravitate toward coupledom in the winter months.  There are studies out there that claim people tend to couple up or seek companionship more in the winter than any other time of the year. It makes sense, honestly. It gets dark earlier, it snows (in some places), and it's generally colder. It's the season for staying in and being cozy. Company seems more appealing in these circumstances.

I'm certainly part of this trend. As I've mentioned, I'm venturing back into the dating world. Or at least attempting to.

I've signed up for an online service and I've had a few dates. They haven't been anything special or significant, but at least I'm trying. Instead of combing through the profile looking for little things that wouldn't be compatible (Ew, he likes rap), I'm trying to see the bigger picture . Is he attractive (which has a different meaning for everyone)? Is he interesting? Do we have something in common that could lead to a good conversation?  In other words, I'm focusing more on finding a date than finding a long-term thing from the get go. Obviously, that's the ultimate goal, but I can't get there without a date first, right?  No profile can tell the whole story about a person, so as long as there are no major red flags, I'll at least exchange messages with someone.

Beyond the online realm, I'm also trying to be more proactive in my interactions with guys I meet while going about my life who spark my interest. This one is harder for me than the online dating. If I'm attracted to someone, I immediately go shy and become completely insecure. I'm afraid of saying something foolish or looking ridiculous. More than that, I'm afraid they'll look at me like, "Why are YOU talking to ME? What makes you think you're worthy?" I'm assuming this is a pretty natural fear made even more poignant for me by past experiences. Logically, I know I can't let my past rule me, but sometimes it's very hard to forget those moments. But I'm working on it. Last week, I initiated conversation with an attractive guy in my building. And you know what? He chatted back. And didn't seem the least bit put out or annoyed. I've even flirted with a few handsome customers at the brewery. And again, there haven't been any instances where they ran away screaming. Probably because I give them access to good beer, but I'd also like to think it's because maybe ... just maybe ... they are a little flattered (even if they're not interested).

And that, my friends, is huge. The scars from my high school and college boy disasters haunt me and have squashed my confidence for years. But I'm trying to work past that. Obviously, I'm making some progress. I've long accepted that I'll never be the prettiest, smartest, or most interesting girl in the room. But that doesn't mean I don't have something to offer.

I am passionate about beer, baseball, and a few other sports.
I like running and being active.
I participate in local organizations, and I take pride in my community.
I'm relatively intelligent and people laugh at my jokes sometimes.
I'm a kind person and a good friend.
And I suppose, if I'm pressed to say so, I think I can be kind of cute sometimes.
I'm a good catch. And a keeper.

I'm starting to turn the question of "Why would he like me?" into "Why wouldn't he like me?"  I don't think that's egotistical or narcissistic. I think it's honest. I have plenty of flaws and quirks, but I'm learning to love myself for who I am. I'm not perfect, but I'm still worthy of love.

How did/do you deal with insecurities?
What do you believe is the key to building and maintaining confidence?


  1. Good for you. Honestly, the thing that drives Joe most insane about me even though he married me, is my lack of confidence and what he thinks is my self hate but really is probably more that I put everyone else in front of me.
    You are terrific, talented, funny, smart, love baseball, you are active and cute. No guy in his right mind wouldn't want a girl like you. Remember, they have to be good enough for you, not the other way around.

  2. It sounds like you definitely have the right attitude. When I decided to step back into the dating pool, it was with the intention of just having some fun and meeting some new people. If anything came from it, great. Little did I know that only two weeks later I would meet Chris. And, well, that was a year and a half ago. Weird how things happen.

    Anyway, the best thing you can do is to just be open to possibilities and see what happens. Expectations ruin the fun.

  3. I like turning the question into "Why wouldn't he like me?"
    I've used this thought process on job interviews..."Why WOULDN'T they want to hire me?" It really gives me a lot of confidence.
    And you definitely have a positive attitude. That by itself is attractive.

  4. I agree with Kristin! Turning that question around is a real attitude changer! You certainly have great things to offer, and who doesn't like someone who is being nice! I admire you for taking some steps out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there. Way to go! :)


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