Should I date before I love myself?


^just in case, not really sure if it counts

I'm 19 and I've never dated and never kissed anyone.

Long story short I was sexually abused online between the ages of 10 and 15. It started because I hated my body and it was the only way I felt like someone found me attractive. I ended up stuck in it because of blackmail and a lot of other fucked up stuff but I'm finally out of all that.

I still have some self confidence issues though and although it's not as bad as it used to be (i.e. I'm no longer trying to kill myself and some days I actually feel attractive) I still have a long way to go. Most days I'm not too bad but every now and then I'll literally break down crying because of my low self esteem and literally struggle to find one single thing I like about myself.

I've always felt like I should love myself before getting into any sort of dating relationship but for the past two years or so I've really, really wanted to start dating. I want a relationship, I want sex and I want to learn. I feel like I missed out on that part of my teen years and I want to catch up.

I have seriously considered going for a ONS to just get it over with because my main concern with dating is I wouldn't feel comfortable with a guy having his hands on me. Even if someone just touches my back I'm scared they'll feel my back fat or something, I'm a healthy weight but I haven't been able to shed the last couple kilograms but I have extra fat in odd places left over from when I used to be overweight. It would be pretty easy for me to do cause every time I go out to a bar or club I have guys hitting on me but I think I'd regret it so that's not happening.

For the past 4 months I've been flirting with this guy-friend I like and it's mutual. It's the first time I've ever had a 'proper' crush but I'm stuck. Do I go for it and see if he's interested in dating, risking some awkward problems because of my low confidence? Or stop leading him on, or any other guy, until I'm comfortable with myself?

Were you fully comfortable in your own skin before you started dating? How did it affect you?

Vote below to see results!