Dating can often feel like a daunting affair. It often brings up feelings of insecurity as we wonder if another person will like us or accept us for who we are. When you feel ashamed about your body (or yourself) in any way this can really shake your dating confidence. Body shaming can often go unnoticed in ourselves as we may have become so used to putting yourself down or talking and thinking about our body in ways that are unkind, or insensitive. When we don’t feel comfortable or confident in the skin we’re in, we tend to hold back from putting ourselves in positions where we will be noticed.
When we don’t like our own body, it is hard to allow anyone else to like it or even be intimate with us. The message that we put across, is “Stay back - don’t come too close!” No matter how much you may desire the relationship of your dreams, body shaming will stop this in its tracks.
Some of the behaviours associated when we body shame ourselves are:1. Feeling uncomfortable when someone pays you a compliment.
2. Being super conscious of how much you eat on a date as you are worried if your date might be judging you.
3. Closing down your body expression for example, crossing your arms over your belly or continually pulling your skirt over your hips or hugging your jacket around you to cover up your body.
4. Apologising for how you look or pointing out parts of your body that you are unhappy with.
5. Worrying about what your date is thinking of you instead of being engaged in the conversation.
6. Trying to find out what your date is looking for and then mentally judging yourself negatively when you don’t seem to fit the bill.
7. Consistently disappearing to the rest room to check how you look
8. Unconsciously having the belief that if you don’t like you, how can anyone else possibly find you attractive!
9. Using your own body as a focus of jokes. Poking fun at yourself often feels harmless. It’s often done subconsciously as a way to have people laughing with you, rather than at you. However, it strips you of self-confidence, lowers your self-esteem and gives out the message that it’s okay for your body to be laughed at and made fun of.
10. Self-sabotaging your dates by continually putting off going on a date because you have gained weight or don’t feel good enough. Or, if you do arrange a date, you find yourself cancelling at the last moment.
Create the greatest relationship with YOU first!
When you love and appreciate all of who you are, every other relationship in your life works better. Before you go on any dates, check your own relationship with yourself first and make sure that even if your date is unsuccessful that you have had a wonderful time being with YOU!
Article and tips by Astrid Longhurst, life & body confidence expert, coach and author of Romancing your body: How to fall deeply, passionately and wildly in love with your body and your life!
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