Ok, now that I got that out of the way, I’d like to share with you some thoughts I’ve been having recently. It all started when I was browsing the “r/bestof” subreddit and a comment to a picture stood out.
Here is the picture.
The comment that got the attention (and r/bestof mention) was:
The answer, which I’m sure you’ve heard before, is because you don’t love yourself. Any external validation causes you to feel worthwhile. Relationships don’t validate you, you validate you. Relationships are a challenge to enrich an already stable life.
There were some debates about the nature and meaning of the comment in a few subreddits, but one word stuck with me the most – validation.
Validation, validation, validation, validation… it swirled in my head. Just how much is the concept of love REALLY about validation?
Flash back to around Christmas. I’m on a date with a pretty cute girl. She’s giving me the usual talks about usual subjects. Honestly, I’m getting a little bit bored. The date managed to pick up solely on the count that it was my best friends birthday, and he and his wife hit me up and wanted to hang. I’ll give my friend credit – he assisted hard. The girl I was with was feeling it, and within hours I was inside her giant apartment, and within minutes, inside her. She had maybe 2 drinks, she kept passing the rest to me, and I had way more due to my friends birthday. I was drunk off my ass and still managed to have sex with a semi erection. Needless to say, the night didn’t lead anywhere after.
At least this night ended up a bit more fun than a previous date. Cute girl, drinks, talking, fun venue, boring, boring, boring, “oh my friend has an emergency”.
Why the fuck was I so bored? I know it had to be something about me. These girls were really pretty, the kind of girls I would kill for years earlier. But just something about them wasn’t doing it for me. At all.
Around the same time I had drunk 5 hour gaming sessions with friends, went to several NHL games with my family, turned my crossfit hobby into a complete health overhaul, coded, etc… and was happy, entertained, fulfilled.
I didn’t care if I fucked 10 girls that week or 0. It simply didn’t register anymore. Have I reached the level of indifference that people say is a sign of game mastery? eh..
Validation, validation, validation. It all made sense.
Think back to your original social programming. Study, go to school, graduate, get a job, get married, have kids. There it is – validation. We grew up to think that if we did the right things, a woman would come along and tell us we did the right things by being with us. And yes, its very objectifying towards women.
But when we grew up, said and did all the right things, and the women weren’t there, our brains started to explode. Some of us wanted to “learn game” so they can meet women and get that validation they so desperately desired. Some of us realized that the “system” is pretty shitty when there is no female validatinon present, and decided to “drop out”. Let’s face it – paper pushing careers suck. They aren’t interesting, but you do what you gotta do to provide for your family. But with the lack of family, there is no incentive to work a shitty job. Validation.
And here we are, attracted to attention, approval. Facebook and instagram likes, retweets, +1s, reddit karma. Validation. With the validation comes a high, without the validation comes a low.
Hey bodybuilder – what are you in the gym for? Do you have any intention of ever competing? Oh, you’re doing this for “better health”? Sure, I believe you, bodybuilder. Men have somehow been healthy for thousands of years without 8-pack abs, giant biceps, and cartoonish pecs.
You get the picture. Most of us live for human validation, we chase it. We roll it up and smoke it. God that high is good. Fuck that low is bad.
But what happens when the need for validation disappears? What happens when you are perfectly happy with your life, even if you have detractors? What does love become?
I don’t know the answer to this question. I don’t know if my own hypothesis makes sense. On the one hand I go on these lame and boring dates with these really pretty girls. On the other hand, I’m still communicating with a girl I met and hooked up with 1 week before she had to go back home halfway across the world. She seemed enamored with me, like everything I said, did, or was – I could do no wrong in her eyes. Maybe I was in need of a stronger dose of validation.