This original question has been edited to protect the identity of the submitter.
Q: “Hi Danielle, my name is Emily and I’m an incredibly shy and awkward 22 year old that recently graduated college. I’ve never had a boyfriend, never been kissed or gone on a date and never even been flirted with. I know I don’t “need” a boyfriend but I feel like if I don’t have any dating experience nobody’s going to want to date me. I have an online dating profile but haven’t had any luck and when I told someone I’d never been on a date, I never heard from them again. Do you think I will ever find love or should I just give up looking?”
Dear D: Will I Ever Find Love?
A: Dear Emily,
Thank you so much for you candor and vulnerability. I can imagine that feeling painfully awkward and never having had a boyfriend, let alone being kissed can bring up much insecurity and self-doubt. And for this, I am sorry.
However, you will never have my permission to give up and shut yourself off to love. Never.
Here and now you must decide to do everything you can to find and experience the love you most desire. It is, of course, out there for you. For all of us. And you must commit to decimating the doubt that has you think otherwise. We are all here—wallflowers, beauty queens, adventurous and quiet souls alike to be and do the absolute best we can. And that makes losing hope and giving up unacceptable for any of us.
We can do better.
You can do better.
No matter how shy, awkward and undesirable you may feel none of us are average on the inside. And because of this knowing the journey to love must be lived from the vantage point of that spectacular internal presence. The belief that no matter what my superficial presentation and behavior before, today, I turn the page and recognize my inner reality.
Maybe you aren’t traditionally attractive? Your “shy and awkward” nature might discourage possible suitors from relaxing in your company. You already know that a handful of people will immediately eliminate you as a romantic partner for this reason. Well, alright then! You don’t need them. By stepping aside and departing they are giving you a gift! Because what is left in their absence are the pure hearts and wise beings who are worthy of your spectacular nature and your love because they recognize what makes you special.
You will need to be brave.
Who are you interested in?
Have you ever asked anyone out on a date or to kiss you?
What if the single, largest barrier between you and the love that’s possible is not your shy, awkward nature or exterior but your apprehensive, vulnerable interior? Are you truly ready to give and receive love? Do you believe it is possible and is worth it?
I know the most sought after answer to such inquiries is a handful of dating techniques. However, I believe once you fully embrace the beauty of what it is you have to offer, love will flow.
How to Find Love by Leaning In to Your True Self
:: What could you do all day long and not notice time pass? Do this more often.
:: What activities do you hold childlike wonder around? Play in this space today and tomorrow + forever.
:: How do you show honor and respect for your body? Do you move? Do you feed it well? It needs you to.
:: Show up to occasions you are invited to.
:: Practice being fearless and invite others to join you in all of the above.
:: Say yes.
:: Buy the sexy, red lipstick. (or whatever makes you feel attractive!)
:: Lean in like you have never leaned in before.
Strive to see what makes you gorgeous and desirable as well as the beauty in others. It’s miraculous how we can become keenly present to our own beauty while standing in the awareness of another’s. Sweet friend, put your best self out there with as much honesty and humor as you can muster. Both online and in person. And never, never stop believing in love.