Today on Reddit, user SavageHenry0311 responded to a girl's question about self-esteem by trying to describe what it's like for a guy to fall in love. It was so great I thought I'd share it with you...
I am not pretty, and I never will be. I can wear make up, do my hair, wear a lovely dress and heels and I'll never look like a 9/10. I know it shouldn't bother me but it does- I want to be beautiful, and I get so jealous that these other girls are born pretty. How do you deal with not being attractive to most men? How do you accept how you look and learn to love yourself regardless? I've always hated myself because of it and I feel like this is wrong because I'm a good person, so why should it matter? I blame everything on my looks- she doesn't like me because I'm ugly, I wasn't invited because I'm ugly, that person walking past me sniggered because I'm ugly etc etc.
I'm not "mansplaining" or trying to discount how you feel - I'm offering a perspective that might help. Believe me - I know what it's like to dislike your body. I got zapped in Iraq and I've got some unsightly scars, and I sometimes struggle to accept that I'll never be as physically capable as I used to be. Fucking sucks sometimes.
Anyway...I wish I could let you into a man's head as he's falling in love with a woman. It's a process that's so alien, so strange, that I'm afraid you've got to experience it to believe it. But it's as real as death and taxes....
Sometimes, a guy will meet a gal and think nothing of it. Maybe she's a co-worker, classmate, or his buddy's friend. She gets mentally categorized as "Female, acquaintance, feelings neutral". Then, he gets to know her better. If they mesh personality-wise, something fascinating happens in the man's mind. He starts to notice things about her appearance - pleasant things. It starts small - one day he realizes he likes looking at the curve of her nose, or where her ear lobe meets her face.
It's nothing he can put his finger on or describe, really...just that looking at that part of her makes him feel good. He starts wanting to do that more. Then, he notices an expression she makes - could be her genuine belly-laugh, or the way she furrows her brow in concern - and he gets a little flutter in his chest.
They stay friendly for awhile, get to know each other better.
Then, one day, she hugs him goodbye....and he can't stop thinking about it. He plays it over and over in his head - the feel of her breasts through two shirts, her arms around his back, her smell...he finds these little mental movies of her playing unbidden when he's driving somewhere, squeezing out his other usual daydreams.
Shortly thereafter, the guy realizes that whenever he looks at this woman, he feels good. He likes her lines, her curves, her sounds and smells...
It's like she's gradually turned from a black-and-white photo into a 3D color movie with surround-sound - a perfect movie that makes him feel good. He starts wondering what he can do to keep her around, to make her happy. He realizes that he likes looking at her more than any other human being in the world. To him, she is perfect and beautiful.
A man in love with a woman doesn't see her objectively. There is a filter there, or some kind of participatory illusion. He does not see who you see in the mirror. He is seeing someone beautiful and perfect and sublime, and it's one of the most powerful things in his life.
Go watch a happy old couple that's been married for decades. Watch the man's eyes. Sure, he may appreciate some young woman's ass in yoga pants or whatever...but watch his eyes when he's looking at his spouse. If you're paying close enough attention, you can almost see the filter click on when his gaze settles on her. In that moment, he's not seeing the same frumpy empty-nester that you or I see - he's seeing something wonderful.
No shit. If I hadn't lived this stuff, I wouldn't believe it either. But it's true.
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