If you really knew me, you would know that I love cupcakes.

Sometimes I will eat six in a row. Six cupcakes. You heard me.

Unfortunately, there was a time when I didn’t love cupcakes. There was a time when I pretended to be dainty and little and small. I thought it would make me more appealing and attractive. I so desperately wanted to be loved that I not only stopped enjoying cupcakes, but I also stopped enjoying food in general.

Which is crazy because I love food, but I’m afraid I loved love more.

And I thought the only way to be loved was to be pretty and little. I really hope I’m not alone in this. In fact, I know I’m not. I think every girl can point to a moment when she started thinking that being small and skinny would make her dateable and lovable. Maybe it was a TV show. Maybe it was a stick thin Barbie doll. We experience little half-truths in our brains affirming the lies that if we’re just skinny enough, if we cut enough carbs, then we’ll finally be worthy of affection.

And I bought into the lie. I was dating a guy, and I wanted him to like me, so I turned my back on my cupcakes. But when you have to make yourself be continually smaller and smaller (physically, emotionally, spiritually) just so the other person isn’t insecure then you end up guaranteeing the very thing you feared: loneliness.

Thankfully that relationship ended. But I had lost myself in a deep way, and I was having a hard time finding my way back to being the girl who loved the cupcakes.

Until the other day my friend and I had a great conversation about dating, and he said something that every last girl on the planet needs to know.

He said, “No guy wants to date a girl he can’t eat a cupcake with.”

You heard it from a guy: more girls need to know that guys want to date girls who eat cupcakes.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Those extra 5 pounds we’re dying to lose aren’t worth killing the vibe at the end of a really great date. They aren’t worth the stress and the anxiety and the ugly things we produce inside of ourselves when we’re consumed with not consuming things. It’s not worth ending the night early because we’re worried about how we’re going to look in a bathing suit.

It doesn’t matter what you eat when insecurity and doubt are eating you alive. Those qualities are infinitely less attractive than an extra pound or two hanging around our waistlines. And I get it, I do, it’s been a part of us for so long that it’s really hard to believe.

It’s possible to be in a relationship and be completely alone because in reality you’re divorced from yourself.

Any relationship, marriage in particular, requires oneness. You can’t have a sense of oneness with another person if you’re divorced from yourself. Who are you around your friends or your boyfriend or your coworkers? If we’re not willing to commit to ourselves then who will?

Those parts you’re divorcing from yourself just might be the best part about you.

Intimacy and vulnerability say, “Here I am, mess and all. Will you commit to me as I commit to myself?” And if that’s not the most attractive thing someone can offer you then I don’t know what is.

At least, that’s what I’m learning about the cupcakes. Because in my mind the cupcakes show I’m messy and I have big appetites.

But I’m learning to own those parts of myself because maybe on my best days the cupcakes show that I don’t take myself too seriously. They’re a little bit of spontaneity and whimsy and passion and creativity. They show a willingness to be me, to be unarmed, to be unashamed. All of those things are just as much a part of me as the bad and the ugly.

I don’t know what your cupcakes are, the pieces of you that you’re ashamed to be married to, but I do know that they’re not so scary. Owning who you are is the very best part of you. In fact, it’s essential to the very intimacy you crave with yourself, with others, and with the One who made you.

Be the girl who can eat the cupcakes (real or metaphorical.) Be with the guy who you can eat cupcakes with.