Confidence exists on a spectrum. On one end, insecure. On the other, confident. I’d say I lean towards the confident side. In a conversation about solo travel, my friend once remarked that I’m one of the most fearless people she knows. And she’d be right. I went through my insecure phase in my teens, travelled alone in my early twenties, dealt with a lot of hardship along with way, and those things combined made me blossom out of my cocoon into the glorious self-assured mid-twenties woman I am today. I’m not walking around with my nose in the air, but I know my own worth. I’m what you call quietly confident.
However, that confidence quickly begins to evaporate when it comes to men.
Overall, I’m satisfied when I look in the mirror. I’m not a supermodel, but I like to think I look good. On the classic 1-10 scale, I’d probably rate myself about a 7. Actually, maybe an 8 with the new nose. Hmm maybe not quite an 8. Let’s go with 7.5. That should be good enough right?
Except it’s not. I’ve been single for 5 years. Before that, I was in a relationship for 5 weeks. Before that, I was single for 20 years. When I’ve liked people, they weren’t interested. When people like me, it’s always people I wouldn’t consider. I get some messages online and via dating apps, but I’m not inundated with them the way men claim women are. Usually, the matches I’m more keen on fizzle out on me, and I’m left with the matches I’m less keen on who come in for dates. I hardly ever fancy the people I meet.
My friend is an 8, maybe a 9. Whenever I go out with her, she always gets approached by guys and I don’t. At a dating event, we were talking to these guys, and one of them I ended up speaking to for a while, and he seemed entertained by my witty anecdotes. Then he asked my friend for her number. So maybe I’m just… not quite pretty enough? Maybe you need to be… a 9. So I end up poring over my reflection in the mirror. What can I do to improve? Maybe I should get more plastic surgery. Maybe I need bigger boobs, or fuller lips, or a bigger bum… I look at pictures of Taylor Swift and her squad and wish I could be that beautiful. Maybe then I could have the love life I want.
But maybe it’s my personality that’s the problem. I mean, there are girls less pretty than me who have guys fawning over them. But they have Great Personalities. I clearly, don’t. I was the shy one in school. Not so much now. I mean, I like my personality, and usually seek out similar women for friendships. I’m kind, loyal, down-to-earth, and confident enough to speak up and voice my opinion. But when I get crushes, I don’t get liked back. When I use friendship apps, I usually get “friend-ghosted” after promising meetups. So maybe… I have a shit personality. Maybe I come across as too quiet. Or too boring. Or too annoying. But as much as I try… it’s not enough.
But maybe… I just haven’t met the right one. I mean, over my five years how many guys have I actually really liked? A couple, but one lived on the other side of the country and one lived on another continent. And how many did I really connect with? Hmm, not really any. I’ve been fuckzoned a few times, after promising and not-so-promising first dates. But then… those weren’t people I really liked. Maybe if it was someone I really got on with and had stuff in common with, I wouldn’t be in the fuckzone. I could be in the relationshipzone. Perhaps it’s not about wanting something better, it’s about wanting something different.
There’s no denying it’s much harder to be confident when you’re single. Anyone can be confident when they’ve got someone there who thinks they’re the best think since avotoast. But you are still the same person you were when you were in a relationship. And if you find a new relationship, you’ll still be the same person you were when you were single. The only difference is your circumstances, and the people you’ve met. So make sure to remind yourself how fabulous you are, and focus on meeting your match.