Recently, my father has been overly interested in my dating life. Nowadays, it seems not even one conversation can go by without him asking if I’m seeing anyone. I can always hear the disappointment in his tone when I tell I him that I haven’t met anyone since we last talked, and we talk almost every day.
But of course, like any father who obsesses over his daughter’s romantic ventures, a simple “no” is not a satisfactory answer. I must next tell him why.
The reason could be the result of many things. 1; I don’t have many guy friends; 2; I give off the “not-interested vibe; 3; If and when I am approached, it is usually by a man at least 15 years older than me; 4. I don’t fit the Georgetown “type.”
I know this last statement may be controversial, and even I myself hesitate to write it. I would love to be able to say that girls of all shapes, sizes and colors are loved here. And this may be true, but I don’t think there’s any denying, at least, the fact that there is a certain type that is popular. Because I don’t fit into that type, I’ve dealt with a lot of insecurity.
Even before I was even thinking about dating, the moment I stepped on this campus, I became hyper-aware of my appearance because few people here look like me. I am black, short and chubby. I wear glasses, and don’t have an athletic body in my bone. I am not the type of girl you take one look at and decide to pursue. I know this. And I try not to get caught up in this, but it’s difficult not to, especially at this age.
However, I’m not going to go on some long tangent about how everyone is beautiful in their own special way and what really matters is on the inside. As much as that statement is true, it is also false. So instead I’m going to focus on being real, because that’s what my column is all about: being honest with the reader by being honest with myself.
While compliments definitely feel good, I don’t think true confidence can come from anywhere but the individual. I think that confidence can only come when one learns to be okay with themselves. When you block out all other influences and just say “this is what I’ve got to work with, so I’ll own it,” only then can you exude real poise.
But blocking other influences is a lot more difficult to do than it seems. In fact, it may be nearly impossible, seeing as they are everywhere in our surroundings: the media, school, work, etc. However, it’s very possible to make these things less important in your everyday life. I won’t say that I’ve mastered this yet, but I’m working on it, and I think for now, that’s good enough.
And while dating is definitely an experience I’d like to have during college, it is certainly not a priority of mine. This is an age meant for having fun, for learning, for crafting and discovering. And this earth certainly is not running short of men, so I feel no need to rush, but I can understand my father’s concern.
I think he really wants me to have that full college “experience,” whatever that means.
And because of that exact reason, I’m very cautious of ridding myself of that mindset before entering the dating scene.
Because we want to have that college “experience,” the one we’ve seen in movies and heard about in our parents’ stories, there’s a pressure to do certain things at a certain speed, whether that be drinking, smoking, sex or whatever else. Since I began my freshman year at Georgetown, I’ve made sure that whenever I do or participate in anything, it’s because I want to. Not because my friends want to, and not because I’m trying to live up to some ridiculous standard as created by films like “Animal House.”
So my father will have to wait. I’m not sure when, but for now, that’ll just have to be sufficient. (Sorry, Dad.) I don’t meant come off as some wannabe motivational speaker, but it’s an issue I think is important because it’s an issue I deal with on a daily basis. And as superficial as it may come off as, it’s always really detrimental to your self-esteem when you’re consistently feeling like “the ugly-friend,” “the party-pooper” or “the third-wheel.”
I actually think this can be a large factor of everyone’s time at college. While of course your main goal here is to get a degree, there is no denying that how much you enjoy that time has a large social aspect. But any relationship you develop with anyone will be difficult if you aren’t comfortable with yourself.
“You can’t love until you’ve been loved.” It’s very cliche statement, so much that it’s almost painful to write, but it’s a very true statement about a lot of things besides love. It’s also a skill, just like how learning to be yourself and how to love yourself are skills. So take your time. I’m doing just the same.
Jasmine White is a freshman in the College. Bama Rouge appears
every other Friday.