love and dating

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

i was terrible at dating. it most likely stemmed from my shyness, and my lack of faith in myself and my looks. sometimes, when sitting in a coffee shop or out at a movie theatre and a good looking guy walked by, making me nudge my girlfriend, while we both looked on in awe, i would stop and wonder if i ever had that effect on a guy. was i the type of woman that men looked at? once, twice?

i've always been terribly self-concious about the way i look. i was a late bloomer, teased mercilessly by all the boys at school, except for my high school sweetheart, tim  (thank goodness for him looking beyond my flat chest and short hair). i never though i was anything special. truth is, i still don't think i am. i may be at a point in my life where i'm finally becoming comfortable with the way i look, but that's not the point.

the point is, i was terrible at dating. i've never been good at small talk, and the first few dates with a new person are just that. i probably asked too many personal questions too early, wanting to get down to the nitty gritty right away so as not to waste my time. i was never a serial dater. i never dated anyone i didn't see a future with. i never dated just for the sake of dating.

i made sure to walk into first dates with low expectations, so as not to be disappointed, which i almost always was. i met a lot of those good-on-paper men; the ones with good jobs, a place of their own, close to their family, etc, but there was no attraction. no spark.

i always knew what i wanted in a partner. i wanted someone who would challenge me, who would make me laugh and make me feel special. someone who would tell me how much i mean to them, who would appreciate all the little things i did for them. someone who wanted kids and a good head on his shoulders.

i did date, though. before my husband, i had four long-term boyfriends. each of them had their positives and negatives, and each took part in helping me discover myself and become the woman that i am today.

without josh, i wouldn't have known that it's easy to get caught up in the idea of the kind of person you should be with. from him, i would learn how to scare the shit out of my mother.

without tim, my high school sweetheart of four years, i wouldn't know that there are people out there who can look past your outer layer and really know who you are inside.

without nate, i wouldn't know how easy it is to mistake love for lust. i wouldn't know that there are certain ways that relationships can begin, and the way ours did was not one of them. no good could have come out of us being together.

without scott, my most serious relationship, i wouldn't have figured out that there are certain things that i can't - and shouldn't have to - live without. from him, i learned not to settle, and so did he.

it's funny how things work out.

when my husband and i first started the dating dance, i had gotten to a point where i was convinced that i wouldn't find anyone who equally interested, challenged and loved me. our dance was different. first, it was long distance, with him in las vegas and myself in ontario, canada. and second, because of the distance, we built a foundation based on mutual interests and respect, long before the physical side entered the equation. so, we danced, and danced, and here we are today, coming up on our third wedding anniversary, an almost one year old boy at home.

i guess what i'm trying to say is that life has a way of working out. love has a way of working out. you just have to let it.


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  1. I can relate. I've always had pretty low self esteem and confidence and because of this I dated a few jerks who didn't treat me the way I deserved to be treated. I like to think now that I didn't peak too early in life (like in high school when I thought it was the most important thing) and I'm coming into my own now.
    Plus the way my husband looks at me sometimes is enough to convince me I should have more confidence in myself.

    P.S. When my sister and I met you at Jennie's bachelorette we both thought you were stunningly beautiful. So I'm sure there were many men whose heads you turned :)

    1. "the way my husband looks at me sometimes is enough to convince me I should have more confidence in myself." - i couldn't have said it better. this goes for me too.

  2. Love, love, love this, Rachel! I wrote a very similar post yesterday about body image/self-worth. I think you're so right in saying that maybe people in general think there's a certain age where you "grow up" and everything is okay, but that so isn't the case. I'm almost 30 years old and I still go through periods of time where I'm so dissatisfied with my looks and my life that I feel like I'm acting like I'm 15 years old.

    And you are completely right in those last three sentences. Love this post.

  3. Your words always touch my heart. I love how open you write about such things. I never was a dating girl. And everyone was always telling me I had to go to parties to meet a guy. But I didn't like parties and I didn't like going out. Today I'm together with my boyfriend for more than five years. It never comes how everyone else is saying. It's so great to have someone at your side who loves you the way you are, even when you don't love yourself.
    Thanks for your post.

  4. T and I started our relationship with two years of long distance. It's incredible the type of foundation you build. It's a very strong foundation if it is with the right person. You learn very quickly how to communicate, how to be honest, how to consider that person every minute. You learn how to resolve arguments, and you learn how to be two while still being one. Every single person in your life contributes to who you are and to the person you end up with. Each guy teaches you a little bit that will help you be the best person for your best person.

    Lovely post.

    1. "It's a very strong foundation if it is with the right person." - couldn't have said it better myself, lady!

  5. Rachel, I love your openness and honesty. I also admire the fact that you can look back at all your most serious relationships and reflect on what you learnt from each one. I don't know if I am brave enough to do this exercise much less write a blog post about it. Kuddos to you and thanks for sharing!

  6. Self conscious about the way you look?? Sweetie, you're gorgeous!! And you write well, too. =)


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