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The (Unnecessarily) Self-Conscious Man

I went out recently on a date with a guy. I put in my cutest summer dress with my French pedicure visible in Via Spiga sandals. My makeup was fresh and nude…and my nervousness was pretty apparent but I was so excited. After a pretty dissapointing outcome with the last guy (we just never communicated well...), I was glad to be getting out again. My summer dating goal was still on......
When I walked outside, I saw the guy get out his SUV. And I froze. When I say dude was fine, that was an understatement.  I probably couldnt wipe the cheese-eating grin off my face. Let me give you all an example of how fine he was. As you all know, I LOVE football. So the best example of how dude looked is probably closer to this:

(This is Brian Westbrook of the Eagles...ok this is about as CLOSE as I could get! *shrug*)

Yeah…..he was all that and a bag of Doritos. *wipes brow* I sent my girl Candi a text and said “Guuurrrrl…dude is thicker than a Snickers!!” (Yes…we ladies to talk like we are in a locker room at times too!) Not to mention, to be on the safe side and as a first date precaution...I was texting dude’s tag number and car description. (Ladies, please and ALWAYS do this…)

We had an AWESOME date. Good conversation. He was a gentleman. And unlike dates of before, I felt totally at ease after a while. The nervousness faded and we were really able to loosen up. Luckily for me, he liked to talk and he made jokes and laughed. We saw a dude that came into a pretty nice place with pants sagging, hat to the back, etc. like he was a drug dealer taking his chick out to a fancy spot to impress her. It was obvious neither one of them had any class. My date said “C’mon man! When are we going to dress better?” I said...”That’s true…I’m glad you don’t sag or anything”. He goes...”Me? Sag? Naw…I’m too big for all of that”. I kind of laughed and so did he.

A few conversations later, dude brings up his size again. He’s like 5’9”/10 and about 240 lbs. All muscle. Arms like a boxer. He asked me was I OK with dating big guys, was he too big for me, and when I first saw him did I think “Wow...this joker is too big!” Say what? For one...didn’t I tell him how much I LOVED football? His size was definitely an asset and not a detriment. Secondly, I’m not a skinny chick what I look like with some rail thin dude? (Not that there is anything wrong with that...but if some sh*t pops off, I want to feel like I’m with a cat who can knock a muthafucka out!) Lastly, I’m southern. When do we ever like anything small? I tried to assure him that his size wasn’t a factor and part of me thought this was a joke. The tone in his voice changed...and he said “Well...I just asked. Some women just think I’m too big for them. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea”

I couldn’t believe it. The guy sounded totally deflated and defeated. I didn’t understand. A self-conscious man? An attractive, self-conscious man? That’s like a unicorn to me. Maybe I’ve just been around super cocky dudes who KNOW they are fine or super humble dudes (or ugly dudes who are neither humble NOR fine) but I had no idea men battled with issues of body image and etc. maybe even more so than some women do. I hugged dude 3 times on the date…I might have even sank into his big old arms. What part of that made it seem like I felt his size was a factor?

After a while, the self-deprecating humor about his size and etc became a turn off which made me realize something about myself: Am I guilty of this too? Some man HAS to be just as turned off as I am of this! (And some woman has to be turned off by hunky dude’s talking down about himself). I know I’m guilty. I’m ALWAYS talking about how I got jiggle here and there. How I have no butt or my locs aren’t appealing to some men. Now I realize I need to totally check myself. I don’t want to be perceived as not liking myself (because I do). You really have no reason to do this. It doesn’t show humility or anything. Quite the opposite, actually. It shows that you have a permeating fear of rejection and that your self-consciousness can eventually be the downfall of a relationship. If you are that self-conscious, it can translate into you being self-conscious about your partner, being fearful of them leaving you for someone better or cheating on you. It’s a shame spiral that doesn’t end. I remember being married and in counseling and I told the counselor I had a hard time taking compliments from my husband, when he said I was beautiful. I was like…”Gosh..I’m right back there…right now…except this time it’s the dude….not me…having such self-doubt.” Women aren’t the only ones who need reassuring.

I stopped the conversation:

“I’m sorry. I just don’t feel that way about you…or your size”


“Yes really. I think you’re handsome….”

“REALLY??? I mean….big as I am..”

“Dude…trust’s not an issue”

While I listened to super-hunky footballer talk, I smiled to myself and thought…

“Hmpf….He just doesn’t know how fine he truly is….”

And that may be a good thing :)


  1. As they say, you gotta love yourself before anyone else will. That definitely would've been a turn-off.

  2. Girl.. swoon swoon at Brian Westbrook.. they say he may come to the Redskins and if that is the CASE I'm in somebody's club trying to holler at THAT. Even his brother who is a Redskin is a looker.

    Anyway.. can I just say *message*. I was told that my self esteem issues were a major turn off and it is so sad because you don't want them to be.. but when they are so intertwined in your psych.. *like it seems with this guy* it is hard to make that change.

    Perhaps you should say something to him.. maybe he doesn't even realize it.. and you can be the purpose who sparks that change within him.

  3. Too funny @ I was texting dude’s tag number and car description. Continue to enjoy yourself and, though I only see it here/on Twitter, I never pay any attention to your self consciousness.

    I believe you to be a very smart and attractive woman. Although it's never truly about the looks. It's all about how people treat one another, I believe.

  4. Wow, it's incredible to me that he doesnt know how sexy a big, thick body is. I agree, a little bit of humility is attractive... but when it crosses over into self-consciousness it can be a little uncomfortable to deal with. I've had to check myself on this in the past as well!


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