Self-worth takes work.
It’s not something I often think of because I was luckily blessed, from the start, to have a relatively safe amount of self-confidence: not too much, not too little. Insecurity is a momentary thing for me, not a state of being.
But when it comes to dating, online dating, wow…it’s hard.
It’s hard because IRL (“in real life” for the uninitiated), it is never hard for me to meet, to talk, to engage, to humor, and to enjoy other people. And to not have that online cuts me to the bone. That said, I must add a real caveat to that. The people I enjoy in real life, are:
– Friends of friends
– Heterosexual men of any age and of any race
– Heterosexual women of any age and of any race
– Homosexual men of most ages and of most races
– Homosexual women who are already in long-term relationships and/or married
But, there is a problem with that, don’t you see? None of the above are part of my dating pool. And worst of all, the ones who give me back the most are the ones I least need to be around (that last category).
So, while I have never been fond of online dating, one must go along to get along, yes? Yes, so much yes, and so I have once again taken the plunge, opened myself up…
And it stings. Why?
Because I get nothing back.
I am invisible when online. I craft thoughtful messages; I use good grammar; my profile is approved (both by friends and blind review); my pictures are attractive (hell, I’m not a 10 but I am not a 5, much closer to a 7/8 and I know it); I am a good package.
(I am a good person)
But, I remain invisible. A (former) friend of mine harshly lashed out with a statistic that even if I had been straight, my chances, as a black woman, were incredibly poor to ever be married–
It grinds my soul that in the queer community, as often does as marginalized populations become mainstream, those old…biases secretly find root and home. It is only human to find ways to keep out, whether they be race, whether they be gender presentation, whether they be any stereotype we can put our hands on.
Online, I am invisible. I might as well not exist, either to be seen or to be responded to or to be contacted. I do not even merit filthy, grammar-poor messages of the “hey baby u so hott” variety. I am invisible.
Therefore, self-worth takes work so that one does not get mired in the shallow pond, becoming scum and dross on the toxic algae surface of online dating. And self-worth requires that no matter what, as long as I engage in this form of reaching out, then I must:
– Remain open and willing to be vulnerable
– Maintain a profile that is positive and not “no this and no that and no, no, no”
– Maintain my good humor about it all (and my humor is still there)
– Reach out when touched; respond when appropriately called out to
(I am a good person; I am not invisible; one day someone with the right eyes will see)