I Thought Being Confident Would Help My Dating Life But It Had The Opposite Effect

When I was younger, I was so self-conscious and insecure on dates that I can’t believe any guy would want to date me. However, once I gained a lot of self-confidence and understood what I had to offer, my dating life got so much worse instead of better. What’s up with that?

  1. Guys told me I was “full of personality” as if it were an insult disguised as a compliment. You’d think that having a personality would be attractive, but apparently being confident and interesting is off-putting to some guys. They seemed drawn to me when I was too shy to do anything on dates but listen to them talk, but as soon as I started contributing to conversations and not simply laughing at their jokes, I seemed to become less attractive.
  2. They were annoyed when I thanked them for a compliment instead of insisting that I didn’t deserve it. I always used to argue with anyone who said I was beautiful or intelligent or interesting, but when I finally started to own my assets and thank people for their compliments instead of trying to convince them that they were wrong, a lot of guys seemed to think I was arrogant. Knowing your worth and being grateful for having it pointed out to you is not arrogant. In fact, it’s really sexy.
  3. I always had to be the one to mention a second date. Maybe it was just that they expected me to initiate a second date since I was clearly confident enough to ask for what I wanted, but so many guys used to always make the move to schedule a second date when I was insecure about myself, and now that I’ve started being more confident, they’ve stopped being assertive about seeing each other again.
  4. They acted like I was impolite. How does honesty make you impolite? Whenever I spoke my mind or gave any sort of push back on a date, a lot of guys acted like I’d just overstepped some kind of sacred etiquette line, as if the only way to show proper manners is to agree with everything the other person says and pretend you think they have all the answers.
  5. They stopped introducing me to their friends. Guys used to introduce me to their friends all the time, and in hindsight I think it was because they knew I would go along with it and not call them out for not having a one on one date like a typical couple. Now that I ask for more from guys, they seem reluctant to introduce me to their friends at all and it feels almost like they’re worried I’m going to actually talk to them and be a real person.
  6. They weren’t as gentlemanly. There are plenty of women who prefer not to have guys open doors and pull out chairs for them, but just because I’m strong and confident doesn’t mean I’m automatically one of them. Chivalry should not be contingent on whether or not the woman is in charge of herself and fully confident. It’s not about power, it’s about common courtesy.
  7. I was told I was “too intimidating.” When a man is confident and has high self-esteem, he’s seen as typical but when a woman is confident and has high self-esteem, she’s seen as being intimidating. I’ve had so many guys tell me they feel friend zoned because I’m so intimidating when really, I’m just existing as a person with a typical amount of self-esteem. Apparently insecurity makes women the perfect dating material.
  8. I learned how sexist a lot of guys are under the surface. Most men will tell you that they’re all for women being equal and that they value female empowerment, but when it comes to dating them, they seem a lot less generous. In fact, a lot of guys are terrified by strong women and only want to date the ones who are content with putting their own needs aside for the sake of the guy.
  9. It made the decent guys really stand out. Not all men are like that, of course. The world would be pretty dismal if they were. In fact, there are a lot of really decent, amazing men out there who love strong women and actively seek them out for dating. I didn’t see many of those guys when I was shy and insecure because there was no way to differentiate them from everyone else. Now that I’m confident and know what I deserve from a partner, they’re much easier to find.
  10. It taught me that being single and confident is a lot better than being attached and insecure. I used to be so afraid of being single and lonely because I needed the validation of a romantic partner to feel good about myself. But now that I’ve learned to be uncompromising about who I date, I’ve gotten very comfortable with being on my own. In fact, I kind of love it.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.