self love

Stand your ground! YOU are good enough

Do you sometimes notice that when you are with the man or woman you feel romantically and sexually about you put them on a pedestal?

You may think at first you are doing this because of how special they are to you. You may think you admire another person or “look up” to them. This is just not the case when we choose to place someone on a pedestal. In this case, by placing another person above us, we are literally and automatically putting ourselves below them in a much lower position with much less power. Not only is this a very vulnerable position, but also a very unhealthy one. If we want to find and seek healthy relationships we must not knowingly put others above us leaving us feeling worthless and not good enough to be valued and wanted.

What is wrong with us when we do this?

Why do we feel worthless and yet, still long for and pray that our “partner” will want us just as badly as we want them?

We are seeking validation for our feelings and seeking a reciprocation that will keep us in our pattern of denial and avoidance. We don’t want to face the issues we are actually fighting to overcome. Instead of playing into this negative pattern, we must allow ourselves to find a partner with whom we feel equally and mutually connected to. In a relationship, neither person is better than the other, and if there is an understanding where both see each other as special that is a healthy connection. After all, we are not in relationships to feel miserable and not good enough. If that is the case, we have ourselves to blame and can willingly experience that once we walk away from the situation. It is important to rid of those self-destructive thoughts and feel confident with our unique selves. This is a process, one that starts with awareness. Once you are aware you can continue to teach yourself every day until you finally reach the point of feeling worth it and good enough.

 

Knowing we deserve to feel Respected

respect-means
When we feel we are not being treated exactly the way we should be one of the first places we go is to blame ourselves. Why do we do this? Why is it our fault that someone else isn’t giving us what we deserve? That is the key word: deserve. A lot of the time we don’t even know what we deserve let alone think that we deserve to be respected. It is an enormous issue to be so wrapped up and focused on someone else’s behaviors, actions and reactions that we forget to worry about our own. Correction: it is not that we are really forgetting to think about ourselves, rather, we actively choose to ignore and avoid our own problems because it is much more difficult to look in the mirror and see a person whom we do not completely love. We cannot and will never be able to change another person’s behaviors, views or beliefs. Therefore, it is important to remember that trying to do so will only end in severe frustration. Instead, take a minute to really examine yourself and see your own soul through crystal clear lenses. Sometimes we focus on others to avoid what negative aspects we may be recognizing in them that we know we posses. After all, most of the time we date or connect most with others who reflect our own beliefs about ourselves whether good or bad. In this case, we need to be very cautious about getting too comfortable with this and go outside of our comfort zone to really know and establish our rigid boundaries. When we get used to being treated a certain way, we find comfort in it, which can be very dangerous if it is treatment that further reinforces a negative self-image. Why do we even allow ourselves to feel comfortable and familiarize ourselves with the unwanted feeling. The feeling that we are bothering someone else and being a burden on their happiness. Why do we see and struggle so much with our own characteristics being what others love and cherish? When we can’t look at ourselves and accept what we see we cannot feel fully happy or accepted by others. Before anyone can respect you, you need to respect yourself. Once you do that, it will be impossible for anyone around you to show you disrespect because in the end, you know you best. You also will then love you best. When you can be your own best friend and truly love who you know and believe you are, you will then resonate and attract positive and beautiful energy all around you.

 

 

 

 

Discrepancies within the Hook Up Culture on College Campuses

For my most recent Sociology class on Gender identities, interactions and relationships, I was required to read the article, “Hooking up on College Campuses,” by: Paula England, Emily Fitzgibbons, and Alison C.K. Forgarty. These three students studying at Stanford University conducted a study through qualitative interviews asking students questions about their behaviors and attitudes about today’s hook up culture. This study includes the colleges of University of Arizona, Indiana University, University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University and University of New York at Stony Brook.

Background:

Throughout the years, sexual activity between genders has undergone a revolution where levels of equality have somewhat shifted. As more women attend college and move into male-based professions, there are different behaviors and expectations among them as they are choosing to delay marriage.  Men, on the other hand, are engaging in casual relationships with women excluding commitment, and sometimes even monogamy.

There were four main topics this research study touched on:

Gender within hookups, the sexual double standard, the exclusive relationship, and the casual partner.

Quote from article: Page 4

 Gendered Initiation

“In the ‘old days,’ men asked women on dates and initiated most sexual behavior. One might have thought that the gender revolution would de-gender scripts of initiation on dates or in sexual behavior. But this transformation hasn’t happened; initiation is nowhere near equal.”

Today, men are still initiating contact more than the women they are pursuing, whether casually or exclusively. Generally, while women do have the choice to make these first moves, they still expect men to take initiatives and typically look down on them when they don’t. This further shows how even in a generation today where men and women’s sexual behaviors are converging, there are still traditional values that we struggle to let go of. This may be a sign that traditional dating and love still exists and is being hidden underneath the idea of women submitting to casual standards.

Sexual Double Standard

“in focus groups, students said that men would sometimes decide that a woman was relationship material because she wouldn’t hook up with them the first time they were together”

“This presents women who want relationships with a real dilemma: the main path into relationships today is through hook ups, but through hooking up they also risk men’s thinking they aren’t relationship material.”

When is the right time for a woman to hook up with a man? It is unfair to impose this standard because there then is no way for women to successfully have a dating partner. No matter what way a woman chooses to go she is viewed in a certain way, which puts her at a disadvantage when going after what she wants. This is also demonstrated by the example of the stereotype that makes it acceptable and appropriate for men to engage in risqué sexual behavior but not for a woman. There is never a time when a double standard is acceptable. Many men, on college campuses, treat their “hook-up partner” as if they are merely a body to enjoy during their own convenience. Many men have the mentality of “to have your cake and eat it too,” while attempting to get with other women and simultaneously becoming possessive and jealous when their partner does the same thing. This is a sexual double standard that is held a lot in casual relationships in college. This typically occurs when men wish to hold power over their partner. Unfortunately where there is power there cannot be closeness, and when one struggles to control the other the two lose that intimacy that made them interested in one another in the first place. Today’s college men and women must choose between having an intimate partner where there is mutual respect or to refrain from having one at all.

Exclusive relationship

“Thus, at least in the cases where a relationship ensued, it was typically not the woman initiating the talk. Of course, this is not inconsistent with the possibility that women initiate more talks overall, but get shut down by men who don’t want relationships.”

Women tend to feel anxious to bring up a DTR (define the relationship) conversation and are often willing to risk losing the intimacy in exchange for a possibly respectful, monogamous relationship. Men, on the other hand, tend to not directly bring up this talk, which perpetuates the stereotype of women being more expressive with their emotions. Women are more expressive and should be encouraged to use it to their advantage. If women express to their partner exactly what they need and desire they will be strong and demanding boosting their self-respect along with their partner respecting them more in return.

“Friends with Benefits” or “Steady Hook-up Partner”

“If the higher rates of orgasm in a relationship come mainly from communication and ‘practice’ with this particular partner, then we might expect this advantage to be present in ‘friends with benefits’ or regular hook up’ situations as well, even where there is not a professed romantic relationship.”

The intensity of orgasm more often than not comes from the security of a healthy and loving monogamous relationship. Today, men and women may choose casual encounters to satisfy their sexual needs, but some research has found that the more consistent, emotionally close and secure a couple is, the more intense an orgasm may be. This is especially true for women, who unfortunately report having fewer orgasms than men. This further proves that while a casual partner may be satisfying for a moment, it severely lacks the substance and fulfillment of both physical and emotional pleasure that comes from a real relationship.

Have opinions about this topic? You may review the article and share and post your thoughts below.

England, Paula. Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer and Alison C. K. Fogarty. 2007. “Hooking Up and Forming Romantic Relationships on Today’s College Campuses.” Pp. 531-47 in The Gendered Society Reader, edited by Michael S. Kimmel. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.