Be Proud of What You’re Selling!
Dating has turned into a 12-step program. We think in order to make ourselves dateable we need to detox bad qualities from our personality. Eventually it becomes so invasive that our greatest excuse from putting ourselves out there is that we’re not ready. But what does “ready” even mean?
To a gay guy new to dating it seems like it’s a job, something we need to add to the package of our lives. No one teaches us how to do it—we learn through trial and error. But it seems like more and more of us convince ourselves we’re not “ready” when the truth of the matter is we’re just afraid.
Embracing the edge of our comfort zone is how we grow—dating is no different. It requires us to step into a bubble of vulnerability we often try to avoid, and entering this kind of headspace in spite of our fear provides a level of confidence that sticks.
There is power in telling yourself you’re ready even if you have doubts. Doubts are fear: they’re the voices in our head that weigh us down and disregard our heart’s pull towards love—self-doubt, second-guessing, and giving up hope.
The truth is you’re never “ready” for anything. Hours of asking yourself this question keeps you from going out there and making it happen. You never grow from staying locked in your bedroom daydreaming about fairytales. You grow by experiencing life.
You need to dare yourself with a challenge: not know, but to feel that you’re just as valuable, just as wonderful, just as amazing, just as worthy of love as the couple you envy most. This was a lesson I learned the hard way.
One of my closest friends has been with his boyfriend for five years. To me, they’re a perfect couple: they share the same goals, same lifestyle, same taste in music, same everything. I used to be so green with envy, but when I investigated it further I realized it wasn’t envy at all—it was sadness at the thought that I might not ever be good enough to have that kind of love.
I was bitter for no real reason. I’d given up hope and I made a decision that I wasn’t as good as them, otherwise why would I be single and they in a loving relationship?
One day it hit me. Countless amount of tears and self-deprecating were a result of the lack of love I was feeding myself. After all, if I wasn’t able to love myself for who I am, how can I expect someone else to do it?
I kept myself from dating because I never thought I was good enough. I didn’t believe in the man I could be because I was constantly comparing myself to others. But the second I convinced myself I was just as (if not more) valuable as anyone else, I realized it was I who kept me from telling the world.
In order to put yourself out there in the dating scene you need to be proud of what you’re selling.
There’s something to be said about owning yourself in a way that no one else can. Ownership is something that is seldom taught by culture. We think in order to be kings of our body and minds we need it to be “better than” someone else’s. But all it takes is being proud of the person we are—everything else becomes a very lucrative result.