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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Date & Relate > Your Self Image

Date & Relate
by Sara Hodon

Like Attracts Like:
How's Your Self Image?

My column on “Why We Settle” really got me thinking. 

Is it wrong to have your own piece of writing inspire you to do some heavy introspection?  (In this instance, the answer we’re looking for here is “No.”)

I’m always interested in finding out a couples’ story.  Even if they aren’t juicy or super-romantic, I find them interesting nonetheless.  I’m intrigued by why people are attracted to certain types, whether it’s looks, personality, etc.  The other side of that is the role that our self-image plays in the types we tend to attract.  In other words, if we’re insecure about our looks or self-worth, the greater the odds of finding someone who fits into one of two categories:  The type who needs to feel like Mr./Miss Wonderful, and your own insecurities feed their huge egos, or the type who will pick right up on your insecurities and make you feel even worse about yourself, intentionally or not.   


I’ve found that a big part of being successful on the dating scene depends on the person’s self-image.  As I’ve said in past columns, my self-image is not the greatest, and for the life of me, I can’t pinpoint why.   I’ve never been very confident in the looks department.  For one thing, I was a bit of a chubby kid but I evened out into more of an average body type, so I can’t see why I can’t get over my insecurities on that one.  I like to think that I’m intelligent.  The two things I definitely know that I have going for me are my sense of humor (dry, sarcastic, and the kind that a lot of people just don’t “get”), and my personality.  I can talk about a lot of different subjects.    I’m independent, I’m not the jealous type, I’m fun, sure I have my issues but everyone does…don’t I sound like a total catch?   Wouldn’t this describe any one of you?  Yet it was one bad date after another. 

But then it hit me.  I’m not the problem.  I’m not saying I’m perfect—I’m anything but.   By and large, I consider myself to be pretty normal.  And maybe I’m not quite where I want to be in life, but I work hard at getting there.  That alone has set me apart from many of the guys I’ve met online.  Most of them have been completely satisfied and complacent with their place in life.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, necessarily—just don’t have a problem with it if I’m constantly taking classes or attending programs that help me reach the goals I’ve set for myself.  In the past, some of my work ethic rubbed off on my exes, but sadly, it didn’t last long. (Oh well.  I tried.)  So instead of wondering “What can this guy do for me?”, ask “What do I bring to the table?”   Start making a list of your great qualities if that’s what it takes.  Sometimes if you put things in black and white, it helps to give you a little more perspective.    

If you’re feeling insecure about your physical appearance, there are a number of ways to solve that problem.  If you’ve put on a few pounds, join a gym and change your eating habits.  I guarantee you that working out will help you feel better about yourself.  Even if you start working out so you can be healthier, you’ll be looking hot in no time, which will bring you some positive feedback, which will make you want to keep looking hot, which will keep you going to the gym…you get the idea.  

If you’re shy, join a group like Toastmasters so you feel more comfortable with speaking to people.  Sometimes shyness can often be mistaken for disinterest, so you may want to think about the vibes you’re giving off to the opposite sex.  If you’ve been wearing glasses for longer than you care to remember (though I’ve been loving the fact that they’re in style), invest in contacts or Lasik eye surgery. 

The real challenge, and the most important question you have to answer, is why don’t you like yourself?  It’s hard to pinpoint sometimes.  I get down on myself all the time, and people just can’t understand why.  One of the first things I’m working on improving is my assertiveness.  I’m easygoing by nature (often to a fault), and that often translates into “doormat” or “wallflower”.  I think that if I could stand up for myself more, or at least voice my opinion more, that would make a big difference.   I’ve gotten better with asserting myself, but it’s a daily challenge.  And yet, I don’t hesitate to tell a guy that I’m not interested if that’s the case.  I suppose it’s easier to be blunt with a perfect stranger than with someone who knows your personality (like your boss).

If you aren’t attracting the kind of person you’ve always thought you would, it may not necessarily be the other person’s fault.  At least, not completely.  It might be time for you to do some heavy-duty soul searching to figure out why you’re attracting certain types, and do what’s necessary to improve your karma. 


Date & Relate is published every Thursday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Sara Hodon. She can be reached at

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