Up until recently, I thought I was the only girl in her early (nearly 'mid' eek!) twenties that had never had a 'proper' boyfriend. And by that, I mean a relationship that was exclusively known by all or one that lasted more than a few months. I've spent many years fretting over the possibility of being forever alone, and have tortured myself with the utmost scrutiny. I'm not afraid to say that I've had struggles, mainly with my mental health, but more pertinently with my body. I've never been kind to my body, whether that's physically abusing it, or mistreating it with food; let's just say my relationship with food has never been plain sailing. After years of mind recovery and meticulous analysing into many of my thoughts on why I may remain alone, one thing kept cropping up. Dating. Dating terrifies me. How can anyone want to date someone who can't even look at herself in the mirror without grabbing her rolls and digging her nails in with disgust? How can anyone date someone that is so unsure of herself?
Don't get me wrong, I'm a babe in the kitchen and when I have emotional feelings for someone they mean everything to me, but one thing that stops that fear of dating wall shattering down, is my physical appearance and - if I'm brutally honest with myself - my experience. I'm ashamed to say that the extent of my relations can be counted on one hand. Why am I ashamed of that? Because I feel like I'm the anomaly in my age category. Increasingly seeing friends ticking off their latest tinder date, getting married or settling down with their other halves makes me feel like there is something wrong with me. I'm approaching 25 and I'm too scared to date. What the hell is up with that? What is wrong with me?
I realised lately I wasn't the only one to experience these feelings and I'm sure there are many of you that can also relate one way or another. Well, I guess I'm hoping that's the case. I've been facing a lot of fears lately; from big things like making a huge change (I am terrified of change) to smaller things like going to the dentist after years of putting it off, and so the one remaining fear to overcome is dating. It's so easy for friends and family to say 'just get out there, try it'. Oh boy, I've tried forcing myself. I need to stop that; I need to stop making myself feel a certain way but also start giving myself a chance. I know now it's my mind set that needs to change and I know I've got to work on myself, in many ways.
I recently turned to my good pal Vix, who is the queen of dating. I'm jealous of her for that. The stories she tells make me want to be just like her; confident, beautiful, not afraid to search for love in modernistic ways. Even she has her insecurities - like we all do. At a recent event she held, she taught me something. Probably the most important thing when it comes to dating, and come to think of it, life in general. She taught me to not pile the pressure on. Dating doesn't have to be planning your whole life from the offset; if anything, it's about meeting people - anyone you choose. Getting a free meal is also a bonus... Basically there shouldn't be too much put on dating, not enough to induce the amount of anxiety and fear I do anyway. Just take it as it is and have fun just speaking to people you wouldn't usually approach. As for the appearance thing? Try not to over analyse it. If someone doesn't like you for you, they're not worth your time. Easier said than believed I know, but we've got this. Right?
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're not alone, even if you too feel like you are. We're all different, and for some, dating comes more naturally, and for others, plucking up the courage takes some time.