Letters

eryc perez de tagle

Him: I’ve been following your blog for awhile now, not only because I enjoy reading it, but because I think I’ve projected a fantasy onto you and admire you for everything I am not – handsome, talented, comfortable with their own body, freely pursuing their passion. I admire someone who is not afraid to put themselves out there – mentally and physically (in your case, literally, via photos). Do you have any advice for someone that has pretty low self esteem on how to get a shred of that? Also, any workout tips would be appreciated.

– clue do

Me: Hey Clue.

I need you to listen to me for a second, okay? Are you listening?

You’re beautiful.

I know you are. I’ve never seen you or met you but I know you’re beautiful. You might not be everyone’s type, but trust me- there are people in your life who already stand in awe of you.  I know that. You’re unique and perfect and beautiful.

And I know how you can become more beautiful:

Identify your passion, and pursue it.

Stop listening to the reasons why you can’t succeed. That critical inner voice that says you can’t do it? That voice is the devil. It’s the closest thing to pure evil on this planet.

Don’t compare yourself to other people.

Most people who feel inadequate have a little mental list of people who have done more, achieved more, are better looking, more talented, or deserve more than they do. Keep things in perspective. Even huge movie stars have a list of artists they think they’ll never measure up to.

(In Anna Paquin’s case, that list must be very, very long.)

(we can still see your vagina, anna)

Realize that everyone’s just faking it.

All these photos you see of me running around my kitchen with cute boys in the gorgeous late afternoon light? Carefully staged. I’m a guy who constantly doubts himself, too. I’m faking it as much as Meryl Streep, Barack Obama, or your mailman. We’re all faking it. But if you start behaving like someone who believes in themselves, eventually you trick yourself into having moments where you actually do believe in yourself. Then after a few years, you forget why you were terrible in the first place.

Work.

There’s not much we can do to alter our circumstances, besides working. Some people were born rich, good looking, unnaturally talented. Good for them. The rest of us have to work at it. Identify the thing you love, or are passionate about, and go for it. Don’t expect to master it overnight. Just take the slow steps you need to take for your passion to flower. Work toward goals. Set attainable ones. When you attain them, set loftier ones.

You might not wind up getting what you want, but I guarantee – the very act of pursuing a goal will take you places that astound you. You’ll never believe how much good fortune you have if you work every day toward a simple goal.

I never met anyone who was ‘lucky’ that didn’t work their ass off.

Oh, also – if you want to be more ‘cut’ then lift weights. Free weights. Not machines. Aim for five days a week, and be happy when you go four days. Get mad if you’re only doing three. If you want to slim down, then do cardio. Run outside, or swim. Again, try five days a week.

Aw. Clue. You’re adorable. I want to find a way to end this post where I call you a Jerk, but I just like you too much to do that.

Jerk.

See? I did it anyway. Sorry.

Advice

photos by ryosuke kumakura

Dear Michael,

I’ve been trying expand my horizons as some might say, and have gone on dates with a few guys I’ve met (relatively new for me); however, this hasn’t been working out very well. I went on a few dates with a guy that I really like (very handsome and refreshingly articulate) and I would say they went well; he seemed more than happy too. After our last one, we couldn’t help but fool around – which was overly enjoyable to say the least. After this though, our communication kinda just stopped. 

We both were visiting our home town for the holidays (Neither of us live there anymore – semi long distance type of thing) and he just left without saying anything and I haven’t heard from him since. Being the type of person that doesn’t like to serial text, I sent him a message and he never responded; thus, I am assuming that he is not going to – being that it has been a week and we used to chat all the time.

My fear is that people just use me because of my face in order to get what they want and then toss me aside. This leads me to the point of advice. How do I know if a guy’s intention is to simply get into my pants and ditch, or if someone actually wants to go on dates with the intention of dating? And, if you have any idea, what should I make of the above situation?  
 
Thanks, 
Duke 
The attached pic is me – sorry I don’t have any fun baking pics 😉
Hey Duke,
Thanks for writing in.  I’m sorry to hear that you recently experienced disappointment in the dating world.  Dating it tough, and being able to process and manage a certain level of disappointment will help you in the process.  It sounds like you’re already on the right track –  if you’re looking for a guy to date for  a while, rather than just fool around with a few times.  Making him wait until the second or third date is a good strategy.  As far as being able to tell whether the guy is just looking to date or just fool around, that’s difficult – most of the time people don’t quite know what they’re looking for, even as they’re out and about in the dating world.
My main piece of advice to you is this:  even as you’re looking for a suitable long term partner, try not to be goal-oriented when you’re dating.  Just see each date as a chance to get to know the other person and have fun.  Try not to read too much into an experience, even if you do wind up fooling around with your date.  People don’t respond well when they can palpably feel your expectations.
Why not consider yourself the commodity?  Be friendly, and have fun, but ultimately make the other person prove to you why they deserve your time.  Always value your own self and what you want most of all.
I’m not exactly sure what it means when you say that people just want to use you because of your face, but as far as faces go, it’s a pretty cute one.  Don’t be surprised if people want to use it for kissing, or other more aggressive activity.
Duke, you’re young and attractive.  Keep your chin up and have a good time.  If you look like you’re having a good time that breeds an attractive energy.  I’m sure there’s plenty more crushes, dates, and foolings-around in your future.
Thanks again for writing in – Jerk.