An Ode to Self Care

Illustration by Gareth Bentall
Illustration by Gareth Bentall

I’ve been dating this guy for eight months. I think he’s pretty much perfect, but we haven’t said “I love you.” Is it odd he hasn’t said it yet, or should I give him time and not rush him? Or should I just suck it up and tell him?

Why are you in a rush to tell him when you cannot even tell it to yourself? Look at what you wrote. You didn’t say “I love him” you said “I think he’s pretty much perfect” which pretty much translates to “he meets all of my criteria, but I’m not really in love with him.” Sorry, darling. I hate to break it to you, but if you can’t say it to yourself, saying it out loud won’t suddenly make it true.

Illustration by Gareth Bentall
Illustration by Gareth Bentall

I’ve been going on a bunch of dates recently and while I have fun — the guys are nice, the conversation is interesting, the sex is good, I just feel so … hollow afterward. I feel very distant from the experience. What gives?

I would conjecture that casual dating (while occasionally fun) doesn’t satisfy your craving for a deep spiritual, physical and emotional connection to another human being. That hollow feeling you get is just a friendly reminder.

When my boyfriend broke up with me, he said our relationship “filled him with existential dread.” What the f**k does that even mean? I know what existential dread is, but what does that have to do with our dearly departed relationship?

It sounds like your relationship was getting serious and had him contemplating the idea of “forever” and it freaked him out (as it tends to with most people with commitment issues). This was his polite (albeit pretentious) way of saying the thought of spending the rest of his life with you terrified him.

What do you think about telling someone they’re being cheated on? Do you think people have a right to know or should a third party just mind their own business?

There’s a lot that can be said for minding your own business, but there’s also a good case for applying the golden rule — it really just depends on the situation. When you’re trying to balance compassion with discretion, let loyalty guide you further than honesty.

What would you say to a loved one who is addicted to meth and tells you not to judge their sins differently than yours?

Addiction isn’t a sin. It’s a psychobiological mechanism that leads to shitty behavior — behavior that can be supremely shitty in the case of meth addiction. You should feel free to judge that shitty behavior however you damn well please, because as a loved one, the negative consequences affect you too.

Do you think Hooters is demeaning to women?

No. I think that fast food chains that pay women who are single mothers the minimum wage are demeaning to women. Hooters is just gaudy. Good wings, though.

Email Shuan to submit anonymous questions for his weekly column “An Ode to Self Care.”


Shaun Jackson. Photo by Sarah KingShaun Jackson
Shaun is a senior studying psychology. He is a fashion columnist for INK Magazine and radio host for WVCW 102.9. Shaun is really silly and loves to read good books and bad people. He’s always “fashionably” late to the after-work hang-out sessions, but always shows up with the latest tea. Shaun is passionate about feminist hip-hop, pop culture and being the center of attention. His spirit animals are Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn from the DC Comics. You can usually find Shaun playing video games at the front desk of the SMC or next at Velocity Comics.

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