I’ve been in a committed, long-distance relationship for a long time now. We met during my senior year of high school at the Top of the Rock in New York City, which is arguably one of the most romantic places in the world. My significant other is everything I could want in a person— smart, caring, funny and handsome. Some might even call him my soulmate.
But recently, I started seeing someone else.
As a woman who has dealt with negative body image since I was 12 years old, I am just now forming a good relationship with my body. It has taken years of denial, silence and anger to get to this point, but I am finally in a place where I am ready to learn to love myself again.
You see, dating yourself with yourself is the most significant relationship you'll ever be in. It will control how and if you can give love to others, how successful other relationships will be and what kind of person you will be.
Forming a good relationship with your body is uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and sometimes awkward, much like when you first start seeing someone. However, it is also one of the most amazing relationships I’ve ever had. I never knew what it was like to look in the mirror and not hate what I saw. I never imagined how good it would feel to go shopping and not cry in the fitting room. I never truly recognized my worth before.
This new-founded self-love has opened many doors. I am having more fun, I’m a better daughter, sister and friend and am finally confident in myself.
However, this relationship is not easy. As I always say, the road to body positivity is a 24/7 uphill battle. Unfortunately, there are more things in this world that will try to tear you apart than build you up. People in this twisted society will try to convince you that you are not ideal, you need to lose weight or you aren’t enough being yourself. They’ll go after your hair, the size of your hips, your height, just about anything in order to make them feel better about themselves— and they are everywhere, in the media, in classrooms, on the street.
Luckily, there are tons of outlets to help you combat this negativity. One major step is to be okay with being alone. I like to take myself out to dinner or go shopping or treat myself. This time with yourself is great for self-reflecting and getting to know yourself better in order to make the weird inner dialogue you have with your body less destructive. I also believe in the power of trying to admire what you se in the mirror. It’s not narcissistic, it’s therapeutic and allows you to try to see what others see in you, something you maybe have never seen for yourself.
I encourage every woman who has ever questioned her worth, been told she’s not good enough or disliked a part or all of her appearance to date herself. It sounds crazy, but if we all tried to put ourselves first, treat our body like a friend, not an object, and realize our worth, well, we would produce an entire generation of strong, confident, powerful women.
First impressions are never easy, but I encourage you to give your body a second chance. You may realize you’ve been missing out on the most special relationship you could ever be a part of.
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. – Buddha