There is a phrase that I'm working on eliminating from my vocabulary, and it's one that we all use too frequently. When analyzing the potential compatibility between ourselves and a suitor, oftentimes, the "he's out of my league" excuse comes into play. He (or she) is too tall, too attractive, too smart, too funny, too ambitious or just too plain awesome to be interested in you, right? Wrong. I've come to the realization that no one is truly "out of my league," and here's why.
Let's get this straight: this is no self-serving, pretentious piece proclaiming my alluring charm and dashing good looks. Nope, not at all. I still struggle with my body image issues and self-esteem just like many others do. But I've realized how a iterating simple phrase can become a concept that we really buy into and believe -- we contribute to damaging our self-perception.
The problem is, when we say that someone is "out of our league," we begin believing it. I used to say that guys were out of my league all the time.
"He's too handsome and I'm so average."
"He's hilarious and outgoing; my awkward and goofy sense of humor is no match."
I put myself down despite the other redeeming qualities I have. I viewed my worth as based on how attractive other people thought I was. You can say you don't do this, but you probably do. When we're rejected by someone, we never say, "It must be because I have a really awesome future ahead of me and I'm a really motivated person." No. It's always something along the lines of, "I guess I am not hot enough/fit enough/fun enough/smart enough" for this person's attention.
Even when the situation doesn't apply to ourselves, we apply the method of thinking that people are grouped into leagues. I, too, am guilty of sitting with friends (or hey, even people-watching by myself) and seeing a couple go by with one very attractive partner and one average or "below-average" partner while thinking, "Wow, how did they end up together?"
As someone who genuinely strives to be pro-heathy body image and socially conscious, I realize that I'm contributing to a huge problem in a way that I never realized. I am equating myself and others to a subjective sense of beauty and worth that can't be standardized or wholly assessed by anybody. No one can determine who is in a certain league, because leagues don't exist.
So here's what it comes down to: We are all beings with worth, beauty and charm, even though our insecurities may tell us otherwise. As I continue this journey of resisting what I call "League Theory," I've realized that everyone should feel the same.
I am smart, wildly ambitious, self-motivated, silly, fun-loving and energetic. If someone doesn't find value in those attributes, then we weren't meant to be in the first place. It didn't work out with that super hot guy because it wasn't meant to work out. And I don't mean that in some fate-oriented, "true love will come one day," way. I mean purely in the sense that no matter how physically attractive someone is, if they don't have the values to appreciate things like intelligence, ambition and laughter, then we never would have worked out anyway.
Now, that's not to say that all "hot" people are superficial and that everyone who is not stereotypically "hot" is a genuine person. If you're thinking this right now, then you're still in the mindset of League Theory. On the contrary, the point is that the combination of those attributes -- physical attraction and emotional suitability -- is what makes someone attractive. We need to stop forming silly little leagues based on the shape of someone's cheekbones.
When you think like this, you can save yourself the heartbreak, time and energy that would have been associated if the person did pursue you and then you realized that you weren't a great fit together. I have absolutely no interest in dating a shallow robot whose only redeeming qualities are their abilities to dress well and grow a nice set of facial hair. I'm way more interested in being with someone who has similar interests and is oriented around the same values that I am passionate about.
Now, everyone is not like me. We all have a different idea in mind for the type of personality and emotional and intellectual attributes that we desire in our "ideal" partner. But the point is that one thing is true for all of us: someone's face shouldn't hold more value than their heart, and someone's body shouldn't be considered more important than their mind.
Compatibility isn't founded purely on how attractive you and your partner are in respect to each other; that's the number one aspect of League Theory that we seem to succumb to unknowingly. Beautiful people aren't beautiful based solely on how they look, but more so on who they are.
Let's stop buying into ideas about who we should date and who should be interested in dating us. Take the first step towards combatting League Theory and look in the mirror. The face you see is beautiful. Remind yourself of that fact until you believe it as emphatically true. But more than that, think about your talents, interests, passions, and values. If you're innovative/curious/passionate/smart/funny/creative raise your hand!
Now remind yourself that no one is out of your league, either.
This blog post originally appeared on The Miss Information.