You know when you’re clothes shopping and something doesn’t fit, and that feels really crappy? Chances are, you’ve hated your body for that lack of fit, not the clothes. One of the best things you can do for your body-related mental health is to flip that right on its head. It takes patience and time; I can’t remember when I first started having those thoughts, but now I have them all the time. It’s fantastic to stand in a fitting room, not be able to zip up a dress, and not feel bad about myself. (Instead I’m disappointed in the store, the manufacturer, the designer… and society, for good measure. Try it!)
But—surprise!—this isn’t actually a post about clothes. It’s a post about people. Because I realized recently that the same thing applies to the people in my life: I don’t have to hate myself when there’s not a fit. Let me explain.
I’ve been single for most of my life, and not because I’ve wanted to be. Part of that is because I don’t feel that I click with many men. Why? Who knows? It could be chemistry, personality, anatomy (mine, his, ours). Every now and then, though, I do meet someone and feel a click, a spark. And when they guy doesn’t feel it back, it’s pretty crushing. For decades, I hated me for that, and only me. More specifically, I hated my body. Why would so-and-so be into me? I’m fat and fat is the worst thing you can be! Obviously I need to change my body/myself so that guys will like me!
I had my first unrequited crush in fifth grade, so it’s taken me literally 30 years to finally stop hating my body/myself if a guy and I don’t fit. I don’t hate the guy, either. What’s the point in hate just because two people don’t click? Being compatible is easy for some, and really difficult for others, and my lot in life seems to be the latter.
That’s not to say you can’t be disappointed when something doesn’t fit—clothing or otherwise. I’ve been plenty disappointed by dresses, pants, shoes, and handsome men. Disappointment is different from hating something, be that your body or your heart, yourself or someone else.
I don’t hate so-and-so for not liking me. But I also don’t hate myself, and that fits me just right.