That’s a photograph of me some twenty-five years ago with my Demi Moore haircut. I had just seen her in the movie, Ghost and I couldn’t wait to get my long hair chopped off.
I shared this photo with my husband recently and he said: You look so cute – I bet you had no trouble finding a guy!
And he would be right about that – no trouble at all. Except, here’s what you don’t know. Yes, the girl in that picture does look cute. I was fifteen pounds lighter; I had a waist back then - I was in my prime. And I had just moved in with a guy who I would soon discover was all-wrong for me. That relationship would endure for thirteen years!
I marvel at the years I hung out in a life I didn’t want. Why did I put up with the constant bickering, jealousy, and his gaslighting? Why did it take me thirteen years to move out?
I know the answer to that question now.
As much as I looked great on the outside, on the inside I was scared, insecure, and afraid of being on my own. I had no clue who I was. I didn’t know my worth. And I was always looking for someone else to complete me, rescue me, and make me happy. Isn’t that what most women did?
And it was that combination – that set of beliefs that I lived with - that would go on to create the perfect storm of a relationship that was doomed from the start.
Expecting someone to love you when you don’t even know who you are – when you don’t know how to love yourself doesn’t make sense, does it? And yet, many of us continue to look outward and beyond ourselves in search of love.
The big irony of my own relationship journey is that I thought it was my cuteness, my thin body, my waist, my Demi Moore haircut that would bring me the happiness I was longing for. The truth is that I would come to see that none of that was sustainable – it was all so fleeting and flimsy. Years later I would find out that the thing that I had been side-stepping for so many years; the thing that would have made my life so much easier, joyful, and help me find my right partner was to first fall in love with myself.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be physically attractive and cute, but don’t make the mistake of believing that it’s going to necessarily lead you to a wonderful relationship.
You can have all of that but you’ll never be able to disguise your neediness and insecurity. People will sniff you out and walk right over you.
You can get that wonderful relationship, but only if you’re willing and have the courage to first discover and claim your own value and worth.
The best way to find an amazing person is to be an amazing person. And there’s nothing more amazing, nothing more seductive, nothing more alluring than someone who truly loves themself - someone who can take it or leave it. That’s what makes someone attractive.