I had an epiphany recently, and I have an ex-boyfriend to thank for that. Oddly enough, it was when he dumped me that I finally found confidence in dating.
Two years ago I wrote a post titled “Why would anyone want to date me?” and it was just what it sounds like. Now that I’ve had my epiphany, it’s painful to go back and read that. My mindset has changed, and I hope it never goes back.
I thought I’d struck paydirt with a guy who seemed ok with my health issues. In the end, though, he was overwhelmed. So you’d think that would have reinforced my fears that I’d never find someone who could handle my health problems. Instead, it was the opposite. When he dumped me, I asked why, and every time he listed a reason, I realized that really, I was too good for him. He was mainly concerned that I couldn’t “keep up with his lifestyle.” The funny thing was, I’d been worried that he couldn’t keep up with mine! While he was worried I couldn’t keep up physically, I was worried he couldn’t keep up socially, since he spent his free time alone at home, and I love being around people and doing things. I’m an introvert, so I love quiet time at home, but I also like to get out and do things either alone or with other people, whenever I feel up to it. Every single thing we did out of the house was planned by me. All he ever suggested was staying in and watching movies.
He also didn’t have many interests. Sure, he had less free time, since he was busy with his job and his kids, who he has part time. But I was busy taking care of my health, also a full time job. And I read books, both fiction and nonfiction, on a wide range of topics. I write multiple blogs. I’m working on several big projects. I do crafts. I follow local, national, and international news. I do consulting work when I feel up to it, more for fun than for money. I volunteer. I have many close friends who I spend time with. I am very much involved with multiple social groups. I’m interesting, damn it! I’m a catch!
There were more things about that relationship, but you’re probably getting the point. When he dumped me, I had to admit to myself that I was trying very hard to overlook my own concerns, mostly because I felt I should “settle” for anyone who treated me well and would have me. And when he started listing his concerns I had to admit to myself that I had many of my own. And when I really thought about his concerns and mine, and which were valid and which weren’t, I realized that I actually had a whole lot to offer someone. Maybe this guy wasn’t the right person, but someone else out there will be.
Obviously dating will still be harder because of my health issues. I don’t get out much, so it’s hard to meet people. Dating takes more energy than I have some days. And I need people to see past my health problems, to who I really am, so they can see that I’m more than just a “burden”. We’re all more than our health issues.
I won’t assume that the next person will see what a great catch I am. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. The point is that I see it. I’m going to try to keep seeing it. When my confidence slips, I’m going to come here and read this post over and over again. I’m going to completely ignore that old one from a couple years ago. I’m not going to feel “unworthy” just because I have some health issues. Ok, they’re real problems, I’m not denying that.
But I’m also funny and smart and interesting and caring, and so what are some life-long health conditions compared to all of that?