An Ode to Self Care

Illustration Alex Hwee.

Shaun Jackson, Staff Columnist 

RLWR: Big Ole Freak – Megan Thee Stallion

Let me lay it out for you. Him: 29, business owner, larger-than-life personality, well-traveled and read. Me: 23, recently re-enrolled in school after a bout of depression. I’m nice, I read and try to exercise, but I also have a tendency to overanalyze everything. Just tell me why this isn’t going to work before my stupid ass falls for him. I want to think that I can contend for the affection of someone like him but that just seems unrealistic.

Honey, if you need me to point out every red flag and tell you why a particular relationship is doomed, I can do that. But that is not at all what you are asking me. You want me to hurt you so he can’t, so you don’t risk being emotionally vulnerable with him. Sorry, sis. You know that’s not how we do things here. Pain is inevitable. Relationships end, and you are going to get hurt. Maybe not by this guy, but definitely by someone you care about at some point. There is nothing you can do but work through it and accept it. If you live your life trying to avoid the possibility of future pain, you will end up terribly boring with no stories worth telling. Also, quit thinking of yourself as a “contender.” No matter how this goes, you are worthy of him. Don’t forget that.

I do research — when a fellow researcher says, “Hey, I’d love to discuss your research over coffee,” and when you agree to said coffee, then said coffee somehow reconfigures into a dinner that he’s paying for … have I just been roped into a date?

Not necessarily. If you think his intentions are anything but professional, feel free to cancel on him, girl! However, two colleagues discussing research over dinner is just that (also, free dinner!) Just business. If he gets too personal or tries to make some sort of romantic move, then you’ve been duped … and if that happens, put him in his place.

I like to think of myself as someone who is all in when it comes to love, which begs me to ask, is love without the forever part worth it?

This might sound a little harsh, but there is no forever part, darling. Everything is temporary and constantly in motion. I think what you’re really asking is whether love without the commitment part is worth it. I have often found that it is, but it doesn’t feel that way during the heartbreak phase.

If someone vocalizes that they are not a good person and also finds a way to sprinkle in the fact that they “don’t know what it means to love,” would it be stupid to date them?

I look at this one of two ways: They are either telling you the truth and you shouldn’t date them, or they are playing games with you and you still shouldn’t date them.

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