I Used To Avoid Dating Because I Hated How I Looked — Here’s How I Got Over It

I Used To Avoid Dating Because I Hated How I Looked — Here’s How I Got Over It

It pains me to admit that I used to avoid dating because I hated my appearance. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough or thin enough for the kinds of guys I liked to like me back. I assumed they’d want women that had all the qualities I lacked, so I took myself out of the running without giving myself a chance. Thankfully, I was able to change that toxic mentality and turn things around. Here’s how I got back out there — only this time with a lot more confidence and self-worth.

  1. I took a good hard look in the mirror. I used to avoid not just dating but looking in the mirror. When I did, I saw someone ugly and unworthy of love staring back at me. I hated my nose, which I thought was too big. I detested my eyebrows, which I was sure were too bushy. My lips were too small and my eyes too dull of a color. I was constantly tearing myself down for my perceived imperfections instead of recognizing all the things that made me beautiful. Once I really studied my face and forced myself to pick out at least one thing a day I liked, I was shocked. My lips may be on the smaller side, but they’re perfectly heart-shaped, which I love. My eyes are actually a watery hazel that’s extremely unique. My hairline has a widow’s peak which I really love. Turns out, I’m nowhere near as “ugly” as I’d been calling myself.
  2. I began repeating positive affirmations every morning. It sounds corny but this was pivotal for me. I bought a book full of self-love affirmations and would read through them every morning before I started my day. Admittedly, I felt really silly at first saying kind, caring things about myself aloud, but eventually, those little tidbits began to take root in my brain and I realized I started carrying myself a bit differently.
  3. I went to therapy. When I decided to avoid dating because of how I felt about the way I looked, I knew I had a problem that ran deeper than the general dissatisfaction a lot of women feel about their bodies. This was, without a doubt, a game-changer. Working through some of my more deep-seated issues made me realize that not only was I trying to avoid dating because of low self-esteem, but I was avoiding giving myself the life I deserved because I didn’t feel I was worthy of it. I’m still see my therapist every week and I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
  4. I started moving my body more. The purpose of this wasn’t to lose weight by any means, though I can’t lie and say I don’t love looking in the mirror and seeing more muscle definition and feeling stronger now. Instead, I began lifting weights and jogging because it made me feel alive and healthy. These days, I love doing physically hard things and getting a boost of confidence knowing how capable I am.
  5. I practiced self-care more regularly. Because I decided to avoid dating, I had plenty of time to engage in self-care. That meant doing things for myself that made me feel good. I booked myself in for massages, started taking long baths at night after work, spent Sundays doing face masks and watching TV in my PJs all day, etc. Anything that made me feel sorta centered and at peace was something I made time for. And to be honest, I wished I’d started sooner!
  6. I bought clothes that made me feel sexy as hell. I think part of the reason I used to get so down on myself is that I never thought I looked good in anything. I would see all these amazing women on social media looking incredible even with curves and I wondered why I looked so frumpy in comparison. As it turns out, it was because I would always avoid wearing form-fitting clothes in order to hide my body. Once I started wearing things that fit me better and that I felt good in, my confidence skyrocketed.
  7. I stopped caring about “conventional beauty.” Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, but I used to subscribe to the ideals of traditional beauty, which is one of the reasons I decided to avoid dating for so long. I thought because I didn’t look like a Kardashian, men weren’t going to be into me, but that’s dumb. There are so many different types of women I find beautiful, and they all look unique. Eventually, I realized that it didn’t matter if I fit society’s standards of what it means to be “hot.” I’m beautiful just as I am.
  8. I decided to back myself. At the end of the day, no one’s ever going to have your back like you will, and if I didn’t love myself, how could I ever expect anyone else to? I decided to throw all of my self-doubts away and instead embrace myself where I am now, and to be honest, I feel so much better. I’ve even started dating again, and while I haven’t found Mr. Right or anything close quite yet, I no longer think that my appearance is going to keep that from happening. These days, I know better.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love.