I recently went speed dating here in Boston. For those of you who have never been, let me give you a rundown of how it works. The women sit down throughout the bar area with an available seat across from them, then a man sits down across from each woman, they have 5 minutes to exchange names and get to know each other, then the men are shuffled around the room to sit with another woman and start the process again. You have a card on which to write down names and take notes. At the end, you list on that card your top 5 (or up to 5) people that you would like to be matched with and hand in the card to the host. The next day you receive an email letting you know who you matched with and what their email addresses are.
When I first signed up for this event I thought it would be a great chance to meet single men in person that didn't involve a very late night on a dance floor somewhere or trying to connect with strangers in a bar while hanging out with friends. There was a chance it would be totally awful but I figured there were two likely scenarios: I meet some awesome men and get to go out on a couple of dates or I meet some totally oddball men and have a funny story to tell later. Win, win.
So here's what actually happened... I went, open-hearted and ready to give everyone a chance. I had some lovely conversations and some conversations I couldn't wait to end. I listed 4 people on my card that I wouldn't mind seeing again (1 of whom I was actually quite interested in) and immediately texted a couple of my best girls about what happened and what I was hoping for from the event. The next day, the email came...
I didn't match with ANYONE! Guys, I was devastated. How was that possible? That was not part of the scenarios I had played out in my head. What was wrong with me? Why didn't anyone like me? I had been feeling so good about myself, what went wrong? And then came that voice I have worked so hard to keep quiet throughout the years... "Did you see the other girls? They were prettier and thinner than you, of course those guys picked them instead. Maybe if you learned to do your hair or put on makeup or act more demure and less sassy they'd have picked you. Maybe if you stopped eating so many sweets and trimmed down you'd have been more attractive to them."
Let me be the first to say, that voice in my head and I'm sure in many of yours is a total bitch and I hope you say a big "fuck you!" to her anytime you hear her. What shocked me most was that I really thought I had moved past that voice and was totally confident in my body and my appearance these days. It caught me a bit off guard and left me feeling even more defeated.
But once I let those feelings wash over me, I mounted a counterattack. I started reminding myself about how awesome I am, how much my beautiful body can do, that I would not be living true to myself if I had gone there decked out in makeup and curled hair and high heels, and that if I hadn't really been that jazzed about any of those guys (save for 1 and 1/12 isn't great odds for matching) then it isn't surprising they weren't jazzed about me either. It just wasn't a match and that's OK.
So why am I telling you all of this? Because I want to remind you that those feelings of doubt and insecurity are likely to pop up when you put yourself out there and try new things. You haven't failed because you hear those words in your head, you fail if you don't fight back and take some time to get perspective. You could be the biggest, juiciest, sweetest peach on the tree, and there will still be people you meet who don't like peaches. It always stings a bit to feel rejected or not good enough, but those feelings do not and should not define you. Just tell that voice in your head "that's one perspective, but I think x, y, and z are more likely to be the truth".
You're beautiful, strong, amazing, and unique. Keep being true to yourself and the right people will come along. I believe that will all my heart and I hope you do, too.
lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and feeling confident.
If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done. - Thomas Jefferson