Do You Really Need to Love Yourself First?

That’s the burning question many people had from my last article for the Huffington Post on self-esteem. Thanks to all who shared their stories, feedback, comments and insights. It inspired me to write this article. I know you’ve been told you need to love yourself first before you can love someone else. I disagree. Can love exist without self-love? Yes. Let me explain by asking you to ask yourself the following things:  
  1. Do you prioritize others over yourself?
  2. Do you tell yourself the truth?
  3. Do you accept the past or do you ruminate about it?
  4. Do you blame others (parents, ex-partner/spouse) for your past failures?
  5. Do you follow your gut the majority of the time?
  6. Do you carve out “me” time consistently?

Do you do any of these things and still want and find love? Of course you do. We all do. Does it stop us from loving others?

Still think you need to love yourself first? Ok, let’s look at the latest dating trend Benching. In this article, Jason Chen is writing about his experience with rejection and how common it is for people to start dating then blow them off and re-surface months later and resume dating again. So, he became a bench-warmer waiting to get picked; while the other person is dating other people. He’s wondering why he got blown off, but the person comes back and you give them a chance, right? What does this say about what people feel about themselves? Why do they allow it? Should you give people the benefit of the doubt? Sure. But, what’s the cut off? Should your ego, sense of self, or self-respect take a hit? And even when it does take a hit, don’t we still seek love? Isn’t that the opposite of loving yourself first?

What does it say about self-love? If you ask people do you love yourself, they’ll likely tell you yes.

Here’s my burning question: If you love yourself first, then what explains the faulty decision-making in relationships?

It’s not about self-love, it’s about self-awareness. I think that self-awareness PKNFYSTO4Eis one of the keys to our relationship decision-making process. When you’re self-aware and ask yourself the same above questions, you’ll find what you accept for yourself and what helps you decide on who, when, and how to love. The interesting part of self-awareness is that it becomes most challenged while you are in a relationship. 🙂 Have you ever realized that thing that s/he did that annoyed you triggered another aspect of you?

The heated you: It’s not about the toilet seat! It’s about you having no consideration for me whatsoever! 

Your inner voice: OMG! Who can’t put down a damn toilet seat?! I’m gonna be miserable the rest of my life putting up with this shit!

The over-reaction to a small thing triggered larger issues: lack of consideration and poor communication. The irony is that people become aware of the lack of self-love in relationship to others. 🙂 Self-love is cultivated over time. With each relationship we hope to get a better understanding of our needs and what we will seek out in the future. Our sense of self is challenged in each break-up because we’re trying to understand why it happened, why we allowed it to happen, or what was wrong with that person that they didn’t see the greatness in us. 🙂 Either way, we walk away wondering is this person kidding me with their bullshit behavior or was I kidding myself?

 

Why men are not idiots and women are not crazy

We often talk about the differences between men and women’s communication style. I really think the key to this difference are due to our biology. Men behave the way they do because they can’t give birth, so they try to provide material things. Their orientation to the world is far less emotional and more about material acquisition. Women deliver life which is a spiritual experience that makes us more aware of our mortality and our life choices. Women tend to think and act beyond themselves. Both genders seek permanence, stability and security; but our definitions of these things are sometimes different. Men don’t require the same level of permanence, stability and security as women do. The male ego is far more driven to preserve itself, while the female ego seeks to create stability around her.

Women feel they need to maximize their situations and want to project that moment into the future. Men take their situations and project it just to that space and time. They evaluate personality and character flaws; women evaluate the emotional content that was created in that moment. Women can take that situation and begin to think about what the future will be based on that situation. i.e., if you didn’t wash the dishes after dinner was prepared, we think that you either: a) devalue us on some level; b) don’t want to create an equitable partnership; and/or c) are acting selfishly. All of these choices lead us to believe that our lives will include elements of being devalued, treated inconsiderately, and acting against our self-interest.

Men can examine the situation, deal with the moment, adapt accordingly, and move on. They don’t project that situation onto a lifetime of misery. Most times they have already balanced out what they need before they met you. They don’t dwell on minor details like we do. Men fantasize about the physical; women fantasize about their lifestyle. This is why we are obsessed with shoes 😉

You couldn’t even turn off the porn?

The stats on this guy:
Age: 40
Occupation: MD
Seeking: Long Term Relationship

Lavalife, like most online dating sites, has several search options. I met him in the LTR chat section. We had a lot in common, we were getting along, he seemed really interesting and it was mutual. So, we decide to have a phone conversation, where we talked for an hour! We were intrigued and excited to see each other based on a really interesting conversation.

We decide to meet up a week later. Chemistry was great, we were both very attracted to each other, very free-flowing conversation, overall had a great date. He called me that same night reiterated his interest and wanted to go on a second date. Cool. The whole week we we’re texting each other every day. Second date was better than the first. I mean he not only practices medicine, he also wants to perfect a technique to improve recovery time on patients. [You can just picture small kittens at this point]. Really nice guy, sweet, compassionate, a little bit of a homebody for me, but all around good guy. Definitely looking forward to our next date. Finally I break my serial one date online dating pattern with someone who I was very intrigued by.

Same thing: he calls me when the date is over. This time he has noise on in the background so loud that I had to comment. It sounded like stethoscopeporn. “Is that porn?” “Yes. I can’t turn the volume down.” And continued his conversation. I tried to go with the flow. Shush don’t judge. But the screaming kept me very unfocused. Doesn’t bother to pause it or anything that might make sense. So, I simply say “Is she screaming?” Quiet, then in a very breathy voice says yes. Nice! “Are you jerking off?” In shorter breaths says “I’m thinking about your ass!” Then cums. I naturally hang up, not because I don’t like a little phone sex. I just like to know that I’m gonna be participating. He continued to call me all night long.

Talent powered by lavalife.

Stop dating down!

Ok, so, I told you the WTF? story to tell you this: dating down is a terrible thing.

Most of the time when I have dated down, I was hoping that I really wasn’t or I was lying to myself about who the person really was. I was highlighting the aspects of the person that I wanted and ignoring ALL of the things that I didn’t want. I realized that people are what they are, not what you want them to be.

How do you know you’re dating down? Here’s a list of some things that will help you answer that question:

1. Do your family/friends tell you that the person isn’t a good fit for you?

Let’s face it, sometimes family/friends are on target because they are experiencing the relationship through your experience. What you tell them is what they base their opinion on. They are the first desertpeople to notice change in your mood, attitude, or personality. They are mentioning things based on seeing this change. If before the relationship your lifelong interest was vacationing through the desert with your partner and now you are ok with a boardwalk stroll on the Jersey shore, your family/friends will be the first to remind you that somewhere along the line you are going to be very unhappy.

2. Are you telling them and yourself you’re not dating down/settling?

Most of us don’t like to admit that we are dating down. But, when we really look at what we wanted and what we’re getting, it might be that we are settling.

3. Are you settling because it’s: a) comfortable, b) companionship, or c) the dating scene in your city sucks?

Relationships are supposed to be challenging at times because it is a reflection of ourselves. Sometimes it’s the aspects of ourselves we don’t want to deal with, other times it’s the aspects that we admire about ourselves. We have to realize what we project into the relationship. We are supposed to be a better version of ourselves in our relationships and compliment each other’s goals. If that’s not happening, it might be settling for one or all of the reasons above.

4. Are you justifying the relationship to yourself by requiring just the basics (i.e., they won’t cheat, they don’t like to go out much, they need you to help them, etc)?

It’s amazing how many times I have heard s/he won’t cheat as the primary reason why they stay together. The reality about that is: it has to do with you. It’s either about your insecurity, past relationships, or trust. If cheating is at the top of your priority list, you will most likely will accept different things that are equally unsatisfactory.

5. Are you drinking/eating/recreational drugging more than usual?

This sounds like a no brainer. But, when you are coping with things you don’t want to deal with, you can turn to something to help you cope. You might not be aware that you are bingeing. If it’s excessive or other people are telling you you’re being excessive, it might be more than usual. 😉

6. Are you upset more than usual?

This sounds like a no brainer, too. But, sometimes frequent fighting about things that can not change is you fighting with yourself. Circumstances around the person can change, people take a longer time to change. People don’t change because you want them to; they change because they want to. Circumstances that you were aware of before getting into the relationship don’t change. If they were emotionally unavailable, they have to work through that before they become emotionally available. If they weren’t sure they could commit, you might not be the one to make them commit. Both situations require that the person be in a relationship to change that. You have to be comfortable with the idea that you are just the catalyst. Till you realize that, you are fighting with yourself because you are at a different place in your life than the other person. In essence, you are upset with yourself.

7. Are you replacing things on your list with the things the other person wants?

I’m not talking about compromising. I’m talking about defining what you want based on someone else to please them. Men usually commit when their career is in a comfortable and stable pattern. Women usually look for stability to begin thinking about marriage and having children.  That’s two distinct features. Men’s concerns are their income ability, while women are concerned with children, income, and creating a home. Your desires, lifestyle requirements, and dreams are the things that you thought of as the right things to create the lifestyle you wanted as a result of 2 people.

 

Sex with a Brazilian woman

Random guy at a bar starts chatting me up. Tells me all about his living arrangements, relocation drama, & work. Tells me how German laws are very lenient around manslaughter. How did we get to this topic, you ask? “Well, in Germany you can rape children and only be put on probation.” Really? “I’ll give you an example. A friend of mine who is involved with the Russian mob, was chasing a guy down to beat him with a bat. The victim is naturally running away, but gets hit by a car and becomes paralyzed for life. My friend served no sentence in prison. He was just put on probation.”

“Wow. Any other secrets you want to tell me about?”

“Yes. I have a bucket list.”

“Oh yeah? It doesn’t involve maiming anyone does it?”

“No. I’d like to have sex with a Brazilian women [meaning me].” So, if you can let me know within the next half hour if that can happen. I’m staying in this hotel.”

“Looks like you’ll be masturbating to the idea, then.”

“You mean you would turn down good sex?”

“Good bye!”

I told you this ridiculous story to tell you this. After telling me about his own shady run ins with the law, that he has taken every drug known to man, and that he had a recipe for crystal meth on him; he thought it was gonna get him laid? Oh and that he is good sex, according to him. People: Am I crazy?

Naked with the dog

This date was courtesy of pof. After several attempts at scheduling a date because of dog sitting issues, we finally meet for dinner. He had just returned from a vacation with his dog. Just the 2 of them. Very cute, right? Or creepy, whatever. He seemed to be nice enough. While at dinner he explained how they had a lovely relaxing time (yes, him & the dog), he’s had to hire 3 dog sitters because the dog was bored of the first 2, satisfied with his job, and now looking to form the next phase of his life. I’m listening, answering his questions, engaging in conversation.

He says to me “you know I feel so comfortable with you. Like I can share anything with you.”

“Aww that’s very sweet thank you!” Right?

He leans in and says “I want to share something personal with you”.

“I am flattered. Please feel free. “

“You know I really love my dog.” Yes, I do. “I love playing with him. We love playing with each other. He really gets me through some of the loneliness I feel, sometimes.”

“Of course. That’s awesome that you have the dog in your life to help you through those times. People underestimate how much companionship, caring, love, and responsibility a dog provides. Some people treat their dogs as they would a child.”

“I’m so glad to hear you say that. So many people don’t understand that kind of feeling you get from a pet. In fact, I’d like to tell you something else.” [Leans in closer]. “I play with my dog naked.”

“WHAT?”

“Yes, I mean, the dog is naked; why shouldn’t I be? I really like the feeling of his fur on my naked body.”

I get up from the table. He says” where are you going? Are you offended by this?”

Oh, absolutely not. I just forgot that I had to play with my cat.