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This picture has been haunting me…

And funnily enough, I just realized as I tried to post it, how incredibly tiny it is.

And how incredibly HUGE its existence is

It was taken back in my dating days when I was on one of the dating sites; I’m guessing it was either match dot com or plenty of fish. And it was in response to a man I had liked or started messaging…

And he said “before we start talking, let me see a picture of your body”

God, I cringe even now…and I shake my head and I briefly touch into the woman that I was.

I would love to tell you that I told him to go fuck himself.

I didn’t

Instead, I very carefully did my hair and make-up, picked the perfect outfit so as to show off my um…attributes, angled my body in the best position possible, snapped the picture and sent it to him.

And you probably would have guessed by now…

I never heard from him again.

First, I think we can all agree that this is the nature of dating sites; you meet some pretty superficial people who try to come off as all cool and everything, but in reality are just as messed up as anyone.

But damn…this picture has sooooo much more meaning for me.

I look at the tilt of my head, and the set of my jaw…I see myself trying to look pleasant but…not catching on to the fact that the guy was an asshole. I remember how desperate I was to make a connection and how I justified his asking. The truth is, deep down inside I WANTED to be seen but was terrified of actually being seen.

So many contradictions, such sadness, such futility.

The truth is…yes, there are A LOT of these kinds of interactions on dating sites every single day. People are objectified and judged harshly and it usually happens in a matter of milliseconds.

And

I met my husband on a dating site too.

We connected on a lot of levels. But his request was different….

He offered bonus points if I could speak intelligently about Piers Anthony, his favorite author.

Yes there was flirting and certainly we were physically attracted to each other, but ahead of all of that was respect.

By that time I had learned a thing or two and respect was a requirement for anyone who I dated.

I had other requirements too…kindness, emotional intelligence, a sense of humor, the ability to listen, the ability to own their shit and do the work on themselves just as I had.

I had standards and if they weren’t met, I learned to gently, but firmly, let them go. (a foreign concept to the woman in the picture)

I learned to value myself and I am on a mission to help other women to do the same.

If you have struggled with dating and think there are no good men out there, if you’re frustrated by the “meat market” feel of dating sites, I can help.  Send me a message and let’s set up a time to have a conversation about it.

And remember…

You are never too much and you are ALWAYS enough.