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On How Awareness Can Save You From Sadness [Dear DBN]


Whether someone’s walking all over you, or you’re just walking all over yourself, it’s important to know how to pull it together and fight the demons.  This week, how awareness can save you from sadness. 

It was the second date when I got a little too drunk and blabbed on about not wanting just a one night stand and being afraid of him disappearing, etc. Obviously the guy was a little taken back with my rant, and I haven’t heard much from him. I’m so angry with myself for screwing this up.

Honey, give yourself a hug.  In one short paragraph you nailed insecurity, self-doubt, disappointment, fear, and anger.  Step away from the dating scene for a second and take a good long look in the mirror.  You are worth loving, worth keeping, worth time?  So you got drunk and showed one too many cards on a date?  Who hasn’t?

Look, you embarrassed yourself.  But that’s a decision you decide to feel.  Even though your face isn’t up on a billboard with “DESPERATE” stamped over it, you can bet that cringing feeling will linger.  But rather than letting it pull you down, let it be the gateway to exploring why you were so worried about him disappearing.  You are in need of self-reflection, not absolution.  Cut back on the boys, cut back on the booze, and give your ego some time to heal simply by loving yourself.

Hey, to start out, I really love your blog! My first two experiences with guys both ended badly because I let both walk all over me. I don’t really meet guys that often, so when I meet a guy, I seem to let him get away with treating me badly because there aren’t really that many other guys knocking down my door. Do you have any advice for standing up for myself when I don’t really feel like I have options?

You have options.  You have the option to go without the abuse.  You have the option to go without them at all.  Guys aren’t jobs.  You don’t need one to get by.  But let’s take some steps to make sure that next time, you’re stronger.  Write a list of all the actions that, in retrospect, were red flags: ignored texts, only calling past 9 pm, treating you poorly in front of their friends, whatever it may have been.  This brief list should act as a tangible reminder of times in your next relationship when you should speak out.  It’s not when you should go into attack mode, but simply when to say, “Hey, that hurt my feelings.”  It won’t make the next guy into a prince, but it will help you be more aware when he’s closer to the Prince of Darkness than Prince Charming.

What’s really important is to not let being treated poorly snowball. If you never reprimand a dog for shitting on the carpet, how’s he going to know he shouldn’t?  The nice thing about people, as opposed to dogs, is that if a person repeatedly craps on the carpet of your soul despite your best efforts to tell them not to, you have full right to throw them out.  Next time, do so.

I've written for Teen Vogue, Thought Catalog, Leveled Magazine, College Candy, How About We, and have been featured on several HuffPost Live segments. Creator and leader of Bold Moves October featured on xoJane and Neil Gaiman's blog. Both Neil and Jane appreciate boldness. I specialize in pep talks, very long bike rides, and matching my lipstick to my heels.