Dear Sheena: Don’t Be Ashamed, You Aren’t Alone

posted in: adulting, Adulting101, Life, Love | 0

This blog is in response to an Elite Daily Article called, “This Will Be My 26th Consecutive Year Not Having a Valentine” by Sheena Sharma.

Dear Sheena,

photo-1426543881949-cbd9a76740a4Since I entered college in 2009, there has been a transition from “Why (Insert Life Position Here) is Awesome” to “I Promise, It Will Get Better.” I’m not sure of the direct correlation or reasoning, but I’ve often thought the current state of instant gratification and availability of everything would create a lull in our spiritual being similar to the lull of the humans on Wall-E.

It’s an interesting dichotomy of self-reassurance versus self-pity and I can promise that future generations will be studying about the sadness and depression of the 20 somethings during the 2010s. While I’m quite the drinker myself, we are literally reading articles pushing us to drown out our sorrows.

So I’m not going to add to the noise of why being single is OK or why being married is equally as awesome, but I do want to highlight a few notes on this V-Day to assure you that you can become a better person and empathize that what you are feeling is normal.

  1. True community is going to be the foundation you build on to find true love.

In our Tinder “hook-up culture” (which may not really exist), we are really masking our basic function of needing validation. Pictures, likes, comments, and blogs (guilty) are the new wave of being in community. My goal for 2015 was to be open and transparent about my past with my new community (sex, drugs, and rock and roll). My goal for 2016 is to get to deeper with those that I love. Everyone has defense mechanisms and habits that they act out (the old example of the bully who really loves dancing and art comes to mind) to hide who they really are. Here are 40 questions to ask your friends (and dates!) to build that foundation.

  1. That “Feeling” you seek isn’t going to come from another person.

I recently heard Jodie Sweetin (Star of both Full and Fuller House) speak at an event where she explained that her stories aren’t her identity but help define her. Until you love yourself, you cannot find the feeling you are looking for nor give the same feeling to someone else. You aren’t alone though, Sheena. Even popular culture is starting to depict what you are feeling. You once wrote that you don’t know how to be emotionally intimate with a man who you are physically intimate with. My challenge for you is to find out whether you can be intimate with your emotions – not just in feeling them, but in facing, crafting, and using them.

  1. Are We Really Supposed to Be Strong and Independent?

80124274I’ve seen you (and countless others) write that you don’t need a relationship because you are strong and independent. I love that. I often say that I don’t need a woman because I’m a strong and independent man (who is also a hopeless romantic). It takes a village to raise a child, and even adults need true community (see point one). So if that’s the case, it’s okay to face that idea that one day, you may need a man just like I need to face the fact that one day, I may need a woman. Not because we are weak, nor because we lack the ability to create a livelihood on our own, but because at the end of the day being emotionally intimate with someone is going to be equally as important when we’re old and wrinkly. You write that you don’t want to become cliché (cat ladies aren’t so bad) but you also appear to be living in the current cliché: hookups, regret, and seeking independency/intimacy. It’s great to be strong and independent, but it’s also okay to realize we are sometimes weak and dependent on those around us (choose wisely).

  1. You aren’t alone…even when Valentine’s Day says you are.

I saw that you wrote you don’t believe you can do better than the asshole or 10 inch dickhead. Ready for some major hypocrisy? I believe you are wrong, and that you can do better – but I also feel that I don’t deserve the selfless, requited, fairy-tale love. We all carry our baggage, but it’s time we unpack it. I don’t know what your therapist told you, but my question for you: have you actually tried to figure out why you love the assholes? What are you hiding from in your self (cheesy, I know…call me Dr. Phil). You run to assholes just like this guy I know ran to whiskey and strippers. For me, I’m afraid of my life baggage … that the years of being an asshole; the years of sex, drugs, and rock and roll will prevent me from being with someone who is life-changing and makes me better. I don’t know what your reasons are, but I plead that you find them and challenge them.

  1. Who loves you?

photo-1422568374078-27d3842ba676I don’t know your life (other than what you write). I certainly don’t know your friends. Yet, I think I’m bold enough to admit that I don’t believe you’re the total “asshole” in these love equations. If I knew you Sheena, I’d probably be the worst/best antidote in your life (the nice guy who does the right things for the woman who loves the bad guys). My charge to you: you do deserve the best if you want to make yourself the best. Don’t feel that you are missing out on this Valentine’s Day, but know that it’s going to be okay to fall in love. Bad guys don’t fall in love without become bearable humans. Don’t get the savior complex and try to fix anyone, and maybe let people in a little more. You may just find that fairy tale ending.

I'm a former Bible-school grad with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Biblical Studies. I've lived in five cities in five states since 2009, and had a lot of adventures. I'm now searching for The Renaissance in all of us. You can learn more here.

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