Confidence: A Love Story

Onyx Contributor:  H.T. (@517RedHood), Podcast:  Lansing Anti-Hero

I never grew up the most confident individual.  Between my mother’s ongoing need to pump me and my brother full of emasculating self doubt and people assuming that my lack of competence with women stems from the theory that I could be gay, I’ve never been the most self-assured person.

Then she came back.

Muse, as I’ll refer to her, is a long time friend I’ve known essentially since I was 18, what I didn’t realize till recently was that:  A) there’s a 4 year age gap between us and B) in the course of our friendship, there we’re many years she wasn’t even living in the same timezone as me.  But when it came to a time when I was supposed to go to Chicago to visit my family, I asked her to go with me essentially to pose as my girlfriend because I was gonna be damned if I was gonna have to suffer through my cousins giving me shitty pimp advice on how to get a woman to be with me through low level manipulation.  Well the trip got canceled, but she decided to stay with me for the weekend.  One weekend turned to a month, and in that month she basically helped free myself from the prison of self doubt I’d been living in since I was born.

Let’s just get it out of the way:  if I had to describe sex with her, I would simply say that if you tossed her vagina in the air, it would turn into sunshine.  But to be honest, the sex wasn’t what healed me.  In my life, I had never had a woman just…care for me the way she had.  Just the intimacy alone was a relief to me.  She saw what ailed me emotionally and in time, showed me that there was never a reason to fear the world around me.

The part that drove the point home was that as time went on, I truly felt that she was falling for me as she saw how she was making me better. But in my stupidity, I let my arrogance show off to my friends that I had an attractive woman in my bed at night, I showed that I hadn’t lost the need to change who I was just to gain the favor of others.  And with that, a hard lesson was learned.

I say it was a hard lesson, but it’s very much a necessary one.  Truth is in this day and age, we live in a time where posturing and putting on an act for the world around you is not only normal, it’s accepted and almost encouraged.  The problem I have is that I’ve come to the realization that the desire to want to do such things has essentially dissipated as really the two motivators to do so just don’t hold weight with me any more.

Think about it, it was my mom telling me I had to dress like this or wear this, or say this or do this to attract the “right” girl.  Meanwhile my peers were saying I need to dress and talk in a certain way to get ANY woman.  But when you look at yourself in the mirror, I can identify what actually DOES need improvement and what’s perfectly fine as is; everyone else’s demands kind of just…lose relevance.  And really, what can they hold over you?  That you won’t get sex?  That you won’t get a date?  That not going the sure route to impress women will make everyone assume I don’t like women?

“He won’t wear skinny jeans or buy $200 Jordans.  He must not like pussy.”

Really this goes to why I grew to stop caring.  Truth is, for once in my life, thanks to her and what she did for me, I can truly look myself in the mirror and not feel a need to size myself up next to others.  But to say I need to do a certain type of behavior just so women MIGHT look my way just takes me back to those days when I really didn’t know who I was because I was trying to find the next “get girls” scheme.  I can tell you, it truly is hell to completely wreck your sense of self worth and sense of inner peace because people think you’re crazy for not dressing and acting a certain way just to get a woman’s attention.

“Why do I need to buy these expensive ass clothes and dance like Chris Brown just to get her to like me?”

When you really think about it, the fact that people think I’m gay because I won’t do things I don’t really wanna do says less about me and more  about the incredibly low the standards for what’s considered sexually attractive.  It’s so ubiquitous and so many women are attracted to it that yes, to many you’d look crazy to not jump on the train that leads to sex.  But this leads me to the proverbial question everybody’s mom asked us as a kid when we wanted to do something dumb just to be like everyone else:  if everybody jumped off a bridge, would you?

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