I received a letter from a lovely friend who has been doing some online dating and needed some love advice, and I think you’ll find my answer – even though it’s very specific love advice for a very specific situation – useful in a lot of your own scenarios.
Recently she’s been inundated with communications from interested men. And yes, this feels great to her. Yes, she feels anticipatory.
She does indeed feel a bit overwhelmed by all the responses, but this isn’t her problem.
She’s feeling worried that her profile pictures look TOO good!
Why Would She Need Love Advice?
How could this possibly be a problem you might ask. Here’s a woman who looks fabulous in her images, yet she is feeling anxiety and distress.
What she’s feeling concerned about is having the actual in person, face to face encounter with the men from whom she accepts an invitation.
She fears that the real deal, she in all her alive and splendid glory, this beautiful soul who I feel honored to call my friend will be disappointed in what they see. That her true self won’t live up to her gorgeous photos.
She’s all tied up in knots worrying that her dates will dismiss her because she thinks she’s not as advertised. That her pictures will have built up an anticipation and excitement that she won’t be able to fulfill.
She’s telling me her pictures are not telling the truth.
And now she’s finding herself not wanting to smile in her pictures or pose to her best advantage so that she maybe doesn’t look quite as attractive.
So then if a man responds to the less than flattering shots, he must really like her through what she wrote in her profile and through her energy.
Maybe if she presents herself unflatteringly, they will instead be pleasantly surprised when they meet her for the first time.
Do you do have thoughts like this?
My Love Advice:
Though I’m not dating, I go through very much the same thing sometimes.
These thoughts seem to feel more oppressive when I’m not feeling so good about myself, when my gremlins are talking to me.
I can also feel this way more prevalently when I’m in process, peeling back yet another layer since the same old triggers surface though dressed in a new costume. This is one of my triggers.
A piece of this is that you have absolutely no idea what others see. You will NEVER know, not really.
Even if they are radically honest with you, you are not in their heads; you can’t see what they see.
I have often thought what it would be like to be behind another person’s eyes, to see the world as they do, to see me as they see me. But the chances of this ever happening are remote at best, so let this one go.
What I have learned from every experience I have ever had with this (unless every single person who has told me I look good or attractive or beautiful even is lying to me or humoring me or coddling me or is too polite to tell me otherwise which is highly unlikely since their comments were usually unsolicited) is that apparently what others see is not at all what I THINK I see.
I want to repeat this. WHAT OTHERS SEE WHEN THEY SEE YOU IS VERY, VERY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR OR AT PHOTOS OF YOURSELF.
If you are like most women, you have been through this more than once.
Maybe this will help you, giving you a little taste of what I go through and seeing that you ARE SO NOT alone in this.
I can see one photo of myself, and I think I look gorgeous.
I can even feel startled at how pretty I look.
BUT I can then see another picture, and I feel startled in a completely different way. In this image I may think I look old and ugly.
I can look in one mirror, and I think I look beautiful. I can look in another and see a homely, scary looking woman. So what’s the truth? I have no idea.
But I do know this, and I want you to REALLY, REALLY hear this love advice.
MIRRORS LIE. PICTURES LIE.
And another thing: