Sunday, September 13, 2015

That Time I Dated Someone

The first time he sneaked up behind me, wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed my cheek in public felt incredibly strange. It was our third date and we were at the local grocery store by his house.  Waiting in line for rides at Disney World during week 2 of dating felt like someone else’s life. Walking hand in hand with him down the streets of St. Augustine on our first trip together, I realized how happy I was. I never thought someone else could supplement my happiness in such a way. I’m still blown away by the fact that he’s attracted to me. The first time he called me beautiful, I about fell over. Then there’s the day he told me I looked the, “prettiest [he’d] ever seen,” when I was wearing a loose plaid button up, cuffed skinny jeans and Chucks. Nothing revealing, tight or short. He’s seen me without makeup, in a bathing suit, hanging out in pajamas, covered in sweat-- and he hasn't run away. I sometimes catch him staring at me and I panic into a full-body check to make sure my fly isn’t down, I don’t have a booger or something else embarrassing isn’t going on. Nope, he stares because he’s just that in to me. I’ve cried tears of pure joy, multiple times, over how excited I am that I found him.  This guy, who feels completely out of my league, sees the girl I’ve been all along.  We’ve all done it, because we’re bitches, we’ve seen the girl who is overweight or unattractive with a good looking guy and think, “What’s wrong with me? How did she get him?” Whenever we’re in public, I can’t help but wonder if girls are thinking this about me.  When I gather the nerve to tell him I’ve never been in a relationship before, he’s puzzled and confused. I remind him of my self-esteem issues and how I was 90 pounds heavier. His response, “Yeah, I mean, I saw photos of you before but I still don’t get it.” I also warn him that my self-consciousness might be an issue in our relationship. I explain that I’m not used to being vulnerable and I tend to be shy at first. I caution him I might pull back because I’m new at this and am so scared to mess it up.

I wrote this just 4 weeks after meeting him and finally decided it was time to share.  Well, dear reader, after 4 months together we just couldn't make it work.  I'm basically putting my heart out on display here but I need everyone to know that I am beyond grateful to him and for our relationship.  Yes, there are many reasons why we didn't work but at the root of everything he taught me that it is possible for someone to love me for who I am and what I look like (no, not you mom/dad/bestest of friends).  I lost hope in that and thought I would never find anyone to accept me as the work in progress that I am.  I will always love him for loving me.  The honest truth is, I lost myself in this relationship.  I frequently skipped the gym, lost countless hours of sleep, and put someone else's needs above mine.  I don't regret anything because I've learned so much from him and who we were.  I spent the last week embracing carbs, eating my feelings, sleeping in, and not going to the gym.  When you start feeling weak, you have to do something to prove to yourself how strong you are.  The last time I got my heartbroken, I started this blog.  This time, I signed up for a 15K, which is 10 weeks from yesterday!  Pray for me, y'all!  The last heartbreak healed and I know this one will, too, I just need time.  I am slowly getting back to focusing on me.  Eating right and exercising starts tomorrow, another juice cleanse will come next week, and I (and Oliver) am my only priority.  To quote a very wise friend, "You lost like 100 pounds, getting over this is like nothing."  Thank you, Candice, and you're right.  Losing weight and changing my life are my most proud accomplishments, and it's going to take something really big to top the challenge that it was and still is.  Without it, there never would have been a him or anyone else.  It's totally true, friends, you can't love anyone until you love yourself.  Very often, love isn't enough in a relationship, which is why I have to hold on to the love I have for myself so tightly.