Originally posted in FDS subreddit. All rights reserved to u/throwawayy92838383on reddit.
Before getting into the dating world again, I was in a LTR with a terrible person. Classic cheater who also sexually and emotionally abused me from time to time (though I didn't realize it was abuse while I was with him). After finally leaving him, I started dating again. I took about eight months to try to repair myself, but I ultimately still had low self-esteem and self-worth after all I had been through with my ex.
This reflected in my dating life. The last guy I dated was a prime example of what you don't do. I chased, I texted first, and I put him on a pedestal. I was his therapist and dotted on him. I treated him to outings. I did anything he wanted. I was down to hang out whenever he wanted, even it was a last minute date. I thought about him all the time. I was eager and tried very hard to please him without expecting him to please me.
What ended up happening?
Despite being the nice, considerate girl, I was slow faded after we had sex a couple times. That sucked and I was convinced it was me. I was convinced I was ugly. I wasn't attractive enough. There had to be something wrong with me physically, right? Why else would a man you treated well and did everything for walk out of your life? Sure, I had men at work hitting me up all the time. Yeah, a man on the street corner chased me down just to tell me I was beautiful. But if I was actually attractive, it didn't add up.
That's when I found this sub.
Instantly, I totally overhauled everything. Everything I'd been taught. Everything I thought was "right" was now turned on its head. I immediately got busy. I started up with my old hobbies I had relinquished after getting serious with my ex. I started salsa dancing again. I rekindled my love for French. I connected with friends I was isolated from in my relationship. I lived my life for me.
What ended up happening?
The same thing that always did.
Men asked me out.
Only this time, I changed the way I approached the men who asked me out.
I wasn't always available. I didn't stop time and space to go out with them. If I had plans already? I stuck to them. If they asked me out at the last minute? I turned them down. If they wanted to see me then they needed to show me they planned our date in advance. My time is valuable. I would not be available whenever for their convenience.
Also, I didn't put them on a pedestal. These were just men. They had proven nothing to me. Had they proven their value? Had they demonstrated their commitment to me? No, and I could easily live with or without them. I had my own life to live. My world no longer revolved around the men in my life. I was no longer interested in chasing because I could take them or leave them.
Last, and most importantly, I valued myself. As I got out into the world more and did the things that once made happy again, I realized how valuable I was. I was smart, I was interesting, I was healthy, and I was kind. Before, with the last man I dated, I did not feel that was enough. I felt that despite all I had accomplished in my life, I was still lacking something. And what did I do? I compensated by chasing him and doting on him. Hoping that he would overlook the false deficiency I made up in my head.
Now, I knew my worth. I knew how much of catch I was. Instead feeling lucky to have a man who had proven nothing to me, I now felt that a man would be lucky to have me. This subtle switch in my frame of mind made all the difference. I had upped my standards. I knew all I brought to the table. What did he bring? And more importantly, how was he going to show it?
So thanks to everyone for this sub! Thanks for the advice and the amazing book recommendations. In just a couple months, so much has changed. I went from depressed and doubting my appearance/worth, to having two high-value men chasing after me. I hope I can continue to pass this knowledge down to other women!