Lizzie Velasquez is wary whenever she starts up a relationship with a new guy.
“You see, dating isn’t as straightforward for me as it is for most people my age,” Velasquez, 28, writes in her new book, Dare to Be Kind, out Tuesday. “When I meet someone, whether in person or online, I always have to wonder, ‘What’s their real motive?’ “
Conscious that her “looks are a bit unique,” Velasquez says she often doubts a guy’s interest at first, but admits that “this concern probably says more about me and my own insecurities than it does about the guys I’ve dated.”
She wondered if a lack of confidence was the reason for her dating trouble, but Velasquez decided not to put too much pressure on herself.
“We have these self-loathing narratives on autoplay, and we constantly beat ourselves up with them, but they are not true,” she says. “False reasoning should not hold you back from pursuing a serious connection.”
RELATED VIDEO: Lizzie Velasquez Gives Her Best Advice on Standing Up to Bullies
Velasquez talks about the two major relationships she’s been in so far, explaining it’s a question that she gets “often.”
The first was with her college friend and eventual roommate, whom she nicknames Blake for privacy.
“We were so incredibly close for so many years that still, a decade later, I look back on my relationship with him and wonder why things went the way they did,” she writes. “We shared an undeniable chemistry from the very beginning, which blurred the lines of our friendship.”
Velasquez says she can still text him and he knows immediately how she’s feeling, but their relationship never progressed further than friendship.
“Even though Blake and I were never officially a couple, I consider him my first love,” she says.
She also dated Kyle, a guy she met on a dating app, for close to a year, but says they were on different paths.
Velasquez says she’s “still searching for my person” now.
“Whether I find him or not may be irrelevant; it’s more important that I value myself enough to know it’s possible.”