At this moment there are 7.2 billion people in the world. Give or take a few. And sometimes all you need is one…to ruin your day.

It’s no secret that I have the metabolism of an adult hippopotamus, and those that have known me through literal thick and thin, know that even the food I DON’T eat, goes straight to my thighs. The last time I checked, sixty-eight percent of American’s are considered ‘overweight’. That means that if I’m not the one lucky skinny friend of four, I’m sitting in the pseudo-fat boat with at least two other women who often times just barely tip the scales. So why do I always feel so exposed? Why does this journey feel so solitary? Where do you keep all of your insecurities?

The other day I made small talk with a stranger I hadn’t seen in a while, because from time to time I enjoy the feeling of connecting with like minds. I sometimes forget that the people who are the most in despair are the same ones who strive to take the wind out of other peoples sails. I knew he wasn’t going to give me anything I needed, but I sent the text anyway because well,  I like to gamble. (You know, the text that’s either going to get no response and spiral you into depression or warrant an unexpected response and send you directly to cloud nine.) It’s safe to say I got neither.

“You’re fat and you’re ugly, and at best you were good for a laugh” I read. I glanced around for the Play-Doh. Apparently I’d been transported back to grade school and not appropriately warned of the time travel. At what point in the three months that I haven’t conversed with this “nobody” did I warrant a lashing so personal and vindictive? The answer is, never. I’m writing this three days post textual beat down and am still in complete shock. I guess it’s fair to say he won, because I cry every time I think about it.

Between the self pity and desire to be insecure-free I find myself wondering how many other women like myself get bullied while dating. I knowingly put myself in a position to automatically be critiqued daily by the opposite sex just by merely being single and I do it because I believe that at one point pain has it’s purpose. Not everyone is going to love you Taryn, and that’s ok. You’re ok.

As my desire for acceptance is profoundly more sensitive to criticism I often take the verbal abuse to heart, and I have no clue why. Why does anybody care what other people think? Because being resistant to opinions is not in our nature. Nobody is ever so sure of themselves that they give less fucks than the tree they are standing in front of.

Body image is a can of worms I just don’t even want to tap into tonight, but I have to at least touch on the fact that most people are going to think the world of me, and when I least expect it, someone won’t. Just as it takes only one person to ruin my day, it takes just one person to love me beyond any hurtful words can scar. Dating is a tricky stage of on going assessment; all eyes are on you as you aim to meet expectations you didn’t know exist. We are at war for love, did you bring your bullet proof vest?

One thought on “Don’t Forget Your Bullet Proof Vest

  1. ‘I knowingly put myself in a position to automatically be critiqued daily by the opposite sex just by merely being single and I do it because I believe that at one point pain has it’s purpose.’

    well said. people are so quick to tell a friend ” everything happens for a reason”, yet the hard part is waiting for that reason. There is someone amazing out there for you, and for me.


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