We had agreed to be honest with each other. We had both been hurt by infidelity in our previous marriages and agreed to promote trust and safety with each other as best we could. We hadn’t been dating long; it was actually only our third date. Our second ‘real’ time together. The first date, I had come down with a stomach bug. He was super sweet, bringing me flowers and sprite and hanging out for a visit. I still am not sure if he brought those flowers to make sure I was being honest about being sick or out of genuine kindness. Either way, I was impressed.
We seemed to click fairly well, yet we definitely were still in the stage of figuring out if we enjoyed each other. I had noticed a rapid change in his behavior. Within a week, he had gone from “good morning beautiful”, “your mind is brilliant”, “you are amazing”; to a more formal style of communication minus the flirting. I obviously noticed this, right? It’s that gut check that says something is off.
Fast forward to the third (and final) date. We were in the middle of a rather intimate moment and involved in a deep conversation. I had mentioned the change that I noticed. He was quiet for a moment, I encouraged him to just share what was on his mind.
He hesitated for a brief moment before he said, “you are just bigger than the girls I date”. His words jolted my heart. In that moment, it was no longer he and I in the room. Instead, it was rejection. It was every single person who had ever said anything ugly about my body. It was wound upon wound about the very thing I am most sensitive about.
I cried. He apologized. I was trying to decipher whether he meant he wasn’t physically attracted to me, or if he was being intentionally unkind or something else. He assured me, he only wanted to be ‘honest’. I don’t want to pick and choose honesty, it just seemed like such an intensely vulnerable moment to choose this brand of honesty. To my own regret, I did not stop the evening there. We continued down a path I wish we would’ve not traveled down. The journey was less than remarkable. Of course it was.
He left in the morning. I spent two days looking at myself in the mirror; seeing not a beautiful woman but a little head with a huge, outrageously large body. I didn’t eat much that weekend, because ‘bigger girls’ don’t deserve to eat. I punished myself with disdain and a refusal to acknowledge any of the progress I have made in the past few years. I spoke of this only to a very small group of friends that know my heart more than I know it myself sometimes. I was devastated, disgusted and ashamed of me. I took myself to a place I haven’t traveled in an extraordinarily long time. His apologies were texted through out the weekend. I remained the nice girl and said I understood. In the moment, I did understand because I myself, agreed with him. I was more than I should be and less than enough.
The more I thought about it and received ‘medicine’ from the people who love me, the more I came to a different conclusion. Today, nearly a week later, I am acknowledging that it’s okay to think he was incredibly shallow and wrong in that moment. I am going inside of myself and asking why I skimmed right over the pain when it happened and continued with a path I didn’t really want to go down. I am horribly sad that my size determined my value to him. I am even more sad that I have spent any time of this precious life aching to be who he wished I was.
As I mentioned, we are each entitled and encouraged to have preferences and know what we are attracted to. What I cannot fathom is why someone would in essence, attack someone in a most vulnerable situation. What is the ‘reward’ of that kind of honesty?
He withdrew, going from several conversations a day to perhaps a goodnight or “how are you?” text. I had no idea what was going on in his head. Was he feeling so bad he didn’t know how to recover this? Was he trying to ghost me? I don’t know. I finally just told him that his behavior was extremely confusing to me. I received a quick response, “I am sorry, we are still friends, right?”
I explained that I was happy to explore a friendship but didn’t need a pen pal. I sent him a video with my very real perspective. He’s missing out. His opinion does not determine my value…though it took me a while to get there and I’m still working on it. I am the unique kind of beautiful that I love. My heart is pure, my mind is inquisitive, my spirit is genuine and real, I am compassionate, funny, smart and though I am not Ms. Universe, I am the kind of beautiful only I can be. He doesn’t see and that’s okay…he is not for me. My last text to him was to let him know that I had his really cool wine tumblers if he wanted them back.
Truly, I don’t think this is a bad guy. I think he has parts of him that are super cool. He is intelligent, attractive on the outside and a great conversationalist. I do believe he is sorry for hurting me. I am sorry he hurt me too, yet I’m thankful that I was forced through this ugliness to face some feelings I’ve been burying for too long.
Since my ex- husband left our home, it was my prayer and my desire to learn to love and accept myself. Fully. Always. I will continue to strive to be the best version of me, and I am lovely right where I am…not just when I arrive.
The pursuit of health and healthy living is of the upmost importance. I have worked my ass off the past two years to get to a healthy place…inside and out. I’m still a work in progress and hope to God I always will be.
I wonder about our world. I wonder what it would be like if the pursuit of kindness, character development, compassion, humor and gentleness were more important than the pursuit of a hot body. Maybe they are; I just haven’t found that person in my dating life.
If someone had to choose to love my mind and heart or my appearance, I would choose my heart and mind; no contest. I know that while I have my physical preferences, heart, mind, compassion and character are my ultimate deciders. I hope and pray that there is someone who loves ALL of me, not in spite of my uniqueness, but because of it.
Also…I am keeping the wine tumblers.