It took me a long time to understand what “you define your worth” means. If I’m being totally honest, I’m still trying to figure it out.
In school, you can define your worth when you pitch yourself to potential employers during an interview. Even if you don’t have a fixed set of skills, are you willing to learn on the job? Do you have other skills that could translate well to the position?
Basically, what do you bring that could add value to the team and/or to the company?
You can measure your worth by classes taken, skills acquired, and experience gained.
Another place you might find yourself “defining your worth” is while dating, and then later on during a relationship, should something become of said dating.
Whether you’re swiping on apps or approaching a stranger in a mask at a bar (something unique to dating during COVID), you’re pitching yourself by the way you’re dressed, your opening line, smizing under your mask, etc.
I’d be lying if I said dating during a pandemic is fun. Scratch that. Dating after almost a decade of serious relationships isn’t really fun, between the ghosting, crass messages, and dumpster fire first dates (keep reading), but here we are.
I suppose it can be fun in the sense there appears to be endless possibilities of potential matches. But the flip side to that is this inquietude that there might be a better, more attractive, etc. etc. match out there, so you shouldn’t settle for the first dude who slides into your dms.
That, or you’ll have my luck, which has been dumpster fire after dumpster fire of first dates. The very first date I went on after the most recent breakup was with a guy who looked better than his photos (is that even possible?) but spent two hours talking exclusively about himself.
The most recent date was the opposite, which I knew was bound to happen between people who use old photos (because, hey, I looked spiffy in my early 20’s, too) and the mere fact that people haven’t been out and about to take new photos much in the last few months…but beyond the superficial let down, there were so many other red flags. Even though we had a riveting series of conversations leading up to the first date, the in-person experience was not what I was/am looking for.
I have to keep reminding myself that a good relationship is worth waiting for, and I am under no obligation to commit to another date, let alone anything more.
In case you’re wondering what some of the red flags were:
-when we met, he rushed in for a hug, which maybe under normal circumstances would not have been so offensive, but during a global pandemic with a mask on, it’s not the best way to start a date.
-he had four drinks in the span of two hours, one of which he ordered and chugged while I was in the bathroom. Mind you, we didn’t have food, so it seemed more like he was gunning for a wild night with a stranger, rather than trying to get to know me.
-he pulled out his vape pen promptly every fifteen minutes, sometimes two or three times in that time span, especially if I asked a particularly provoking question (even though his profile said he didn’t smoke at all…apparently pens don’t count?). He continued to do this even after I pointed out that it made me uncomfortable because I have a family history of lung cancer and the smell triggers my asthma…
-and last but certainly not least, when I got home and thanked him for the date (as he picked up the check, even though I offered), he bluntly said “didn’t quite feel chemistry and…guessing you didn’t either,” even though he asked me out for a second date multiple times during the first one. But I replied honestly to the text and said that I didn’t feel that way either, but apparently mutual revulsion warranted him to say that he’d “love to see me again, maybe the chemistry grows?”
Needless to say there won’t be a second date and I am a-okay with that. My specific words to his bizarre pivot of a “I’m not attracted to you but let’s try again” was “I appreciate the offer, but I will have to politely decline.” To which, I have not, nor do I expect a response.
Luckily, I have been on first dates where there was a spark. Like, you don’t want to stop talking to this person and when you get home you’re on cloud nine and you can’t wait to see them again (and you not so secretly hope they feel the same way, too). That feeling is straight magic and I had it with the last person I dated, so I’m not so secretly hoping I’m able to find it again, even if it’s not today, next week, or even next year.
At least I can say that I’ve put myself out there and I won’t settle for something that doesn’t feel right. While I’m still trying to parse out my “worth,” so to say, I do know I am worth someone’s time to get to know (rather than recount every drunken, debaucherous night since 2010), and even if someone has vices, that they won’t be so front and center the very first time that we meet. I’m sure nerves and whatnot played a part for both guys, but I also know when it works, it works.
That’s all I’ve got. Wise words on a Sunday afternoon.