He ran through my thoughts constantly.
Before I saw him, I ran to the mall and picked up 3 new shirts and a pair of pants. I hit the gym extra hard. I even made sure my sweatpants were freshly washed so they made my butt look just right.
When I saw him, it was hard to breathe. I constantly questioned whether he wanted to be together. How we could be together. When he’d just make up his mind, damn it, and make this official.
Within weeks, it had all fallen apart. I started losing sleep over him. The texts went unanswered. Reminders of “I love you” went ignored. The more I tried, the more he fled.
I couldn’t understand at the time, but he told me exactly why.
“I just wanted to talk…like old times”.
Here’s the thing.
I’ve had friends admit to liking me. Or loving me. And I’d sit there and wonder why they liked me so much but the person I really liked could hardly make eye contact.
When we are with people we like, we act like total weirdos. We watch our words. We make sure we walk a certain way. We pretend we’re interested in things we don’t even like.
A couple of months ago, a guy I was dating asked me if I liked to read. Since he told me he liked to read, I told him I was reading 3 books at the time.
I hardly got through 3 books this year.
I had become inauthentic.
The people who liked me had fallen in love with me. The truest version of myself. They didn’t mind the shortcomings. They loved the flaws.
We become so caught up in molding ourselves to other people that we lose what makes us unique. The anxiety of not having this person — of not being enough — of not finding someone…totally ruins everything.
So I’m trying something totally different.
I’m choosing to show up as myself.
Myself who still brushes their teeth and puts on a cute outfit, of course. But one who isn’t going to stare at my phone for 5 minutes trying to figure out what to say because I “don’t want them to think I’m like that”.
We deserve to have someone who loves the authentic us. Someone who loves your shortcomings because they just…love you. And if we can’t be our true selves — if we can’t just be us, that’s a pretty clear sign that they are the wrong person for you.
This post was previously published on Medium and is republished here with permission from the author.
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