Summary: The more you love yourself, the easier it is for others to love you as well.
Bring to mind, if you will, two mental images:
Exhibit A: Chris Hemsworth
Exhibit B: Michael Cera
These will be two case studies for the duration of this exercise. That said, let us begin with a question: What do these two persons have in common? They are both actors, yes. They are both men. Their characters also both set some pretty loft expectations for the average American male.
Take Chris Hemsworth for example, especially in the Thor movies. I have to hand it to the guy. He looks amazing. BUT! It takes a lot of effort to look like he does. Hours in the gym, a personal trainer, a dietitian, the works. Not all of us are able to match this level of commitment.
Then, there is Michael Cera. He is nerdy, thin, and pale. Most guys have no problem achieving this standard. And his characters end up getting the girl anyways, especially in Zombieland, where he is the proverbial the last guy left on Earth. But, as you probably have already noticed, simply existing does not win you any brownie points with the opposite sex. (Side note: Making brownies, on the other hand, wins you brownie points with everybody.)
Does this mean you have to look like Chris Hemsworth to have any success on the dating scene, or in comparable social engagements? No. Does this mean that you have to put some effort into your appearance before hitting the town? Yes. A bit of muscle tone, matched with a sharp sense of humor, can go a long way.
Truth be told, there are women out there who would prefer a man with a little bit of squish on him over say, a more steroid-happy dude. (The former is, after all, more fun to hug.) So, don’t sweat bullets over stubborn fluff.
Are you presentable? Can you strike up a decent conversation? These are two great places to start off with. Then go from there. Remember: It’s like Bill Murray said in What About Bob?: “Baby steps….”
Even if you don’t look like your favorite superhero, still make every effort to be a superhero in your own, real-world way. And keep in mind: if you struggle with body image issues, she most likely does too. Extend her all the grace you would give yourself and more. Your relationship with benefit greatly from this.
Blessings to you in Christ,