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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ainscough

No Love, but a Little Lovin'

Those of you that follow me on insta will know that there was a blissful interlude to my dry spell this week. I had told myself that I didn't want to have sex before I had real feelings for someone for a little while but it felt right and I don't regret it. Unfortunately the lovely bloke of note would rather I didn't blog about it, so all I will let you know is that the sex was wonderful, I finished it off with a lot of celebratory Quorn nuggets dipped in salad cream (don't knock it till you try it) and then two days later I got friend-zoned.

It's a shame...because I did see some potential, but it didn't really hurt because I only just met the guy so there were no actual feelings involved. All that did happen is that I had to keep a watch on my train of thoughts to make sure I didn't fall into the trap of letting someone else's choice affect my self esteem. Most of us know intellectually now that rejection tells us jack shit about our worth or sex appeal, but it's often still the case that whilst you know that in your head, your heart and body still takes a little longer to remember the truth. This is one of the most challenging things about dating with or without a disability, but due to society's prejudices it often hurts the disabled and other minorities the most because we have to put in a lot more effort to protect our self esteem in the face of ubiquitous judgments.

So, if you've been dating for a little while and are struggling to convince your feelings that rejection isn't about you, let me tell you what I did yesterday to keep that confidence on track...

  1. First of all, it's important to let yourself feel the shit feeling for a little while. Sometimes feelings aren't reflective of truth, we don't agree with them and we know we have no reason to feel them...but that's no excuse to bully them out of you. Let your heart express itself. Comfort it, give it space, breathe.

  2. Whenever it feels natural to close that door, remember that the reason you felt a little shitty is because you were brave enough to try, and that's really cool. You put yourself out there and this time it didn't work, but you still need to celebrate showing up for yourself.

  3. Crank up the Lizzo. Lizzo is a queen, and her songs sing those truths that we know but don't feel. Actually singing them out loud, that's one sure fire way to make progress in feeling it. Do it in front of a mirror! It may feel cheesy at first but that's just your ego talking. By the end of the song that negative nelly of an ego will melt away and you will be watching yourself be a badass boss bitch boogieing bolder than ever and your heart will notice that.

  4. Say it out loud. You know you're hot as fuck, brave, kind and capable? Then say it. We assume people know whats in our minds but they aren't mind readers... our hearts aren't mind readers either. You need to make it as easy as possible for your heart to interpret the message of self love, so, don't just think it, say it out loud.

  5. Get your body moving. I am not a natural fitness junkie (I'm closer to a couch potato, and that's before the debilitating mobility issues), but more and more these days I'm realising that bodies want to be moved. You don't need to do a big sweat work-out but going for a little walk (if this isn't safe for you, walk on the spot!), doing some stretches, having a little dance or lifting some light weights (baked beans if you don't own any!) can have such an impact on the way you feel. God knows I didn't want it to be true, but adding a little exercise to your day at a level appropriate to you is good for your mood, your confidence, your sleep and your sex life (yup - even masturbation!)

Sometimes one of these things is enough, sometimes you do it all and you still feel shit - that doesn't make it a waste of time, if you make a habit out of responding to low confidence like this then each time your body and heart are slowly learning their own worth. With nuggets man, I felt fine after step 1, but I did the rest of the list anyway because it never hurts. There are so many reasons people reject people and not one of them is about your worth or sex appeal. Most of them are about their random affinities (and it would be bonkers to try and cater for everyone's), but a lot of them are about where they are on their dating journey.

If someone doesn't want you, then they aren't the right one for you right now. You owe it to yourself and to the people who are actually right for you not to waste time with the wrong people. Every rejection sends you marching towards the life that is meant for you at a faster and faster speed. So thank you, sexy nuggets man, for the orgasms and the rejection, and I wish you love and luck for whatever the future has in store.

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