From the forums:
Now, I by no means think I am the prettiest — in fact, I have been told by many of those closest to me that I am fairly below average — nor do I think I am the smartest, funniest, or the superlative of any other attribute people look for in a mate. But I sure would like to think the guy I am dating thinks I’m special in some way. Is that too much to ask? So I am left between thinking “let it go, You’re lucky enough that someone has actually asked you out” and “I’d rather be lonely than be with a guy who thinks I am less than every women he’s very known.”
Am I blowing this out of proportion? Please help me understand. — Below Average
Oh, for Christ’s sake — YES, you are blowing this WAY out of proportion. You are LOOKING for a reason to let this guy go and end this relationship before it even begins. And I can only imagine that’s because you’re afraid of being vulnerable and getting hurt. And I can’t say I blame you if the people closest to you are the kinds of people who would tell you that you’re below average. I can’t say I blame you for being in a rush to find someone who will assure you that they’re wrong — that you’re special, actually. But I CAN blame you for testing a potential match and running because his response to some dumb rhetorical question wasn’t straight out of a rom-com. He didn’t have the perfect reply to you because he wasn’t following a script written by a screenwriter creating the shy heroine’s goofy-but-sweet love interest who is about to launch her into a whirlwind romance. But that doesn’t mean he thinks you aren’t special.
Don’t run. Give this a chance. See where it takes you. Open your heart. Let yourself risk potential hurt for the thrill of potential love. Quit looking for signs of this guy’s feelings for you and take time getting to know each other. Maybe he hasn’t even decided HOW he feels yet because he’s still learning who you are. Maybe your question threw him because it was an invitation to say something about how he sees you and he isn’t ready to share his perspective yet.
I’m sorry that you’ve been told by people closest to you, either implicitly or explicitly, that you aren’t special. I’m sorry you believe what you’ve been told, so much so that you’d let some off-the-cuff reply to a dumb question override the actions that show that this man has, as you said, “genuine interest” in you. If this guy truly thought you were nothing special, he wouldn’t have asked for your number and he wouldn’t have texted you immediately and made plans with you and invested in getting to know you. I understand you have literally zero relationship experience and that what you have with this guy so far may not look like the peeks you’ve had into other relationships, either through books or movies or Facebook posts or the things people have shared with you which are never the full picture of reality, but that doesn’t mean this can’t be great and real and wonderful.
Reality isn’t perfect. Love isn’t smooth. Relationships — even the very best ones — don’t have guarantees. And though you may think being lonely is preferable to getting hurt, it’s not. Because when you stay lonely on principle, you rob yourself of some of the great joys and simple pleasures of life: sharing a sunset with someone you care about; watching his chest rise and fall in the quiet of the morning; sharing inside jokes; having coffee made for you just the way you like it. And so many more things. Staying lonely because you’re afraid of being hurt is lame. Don’t be lame. That’s even worse than not being special.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.