Friday, December 7, 2012

Why Are We So Afraid Of Intimacy?

I have a problem. A problem with us, with our generation.

Last night, a friend showed it to me, and I harmlessly posted it on LOVEanon's Facebook page. It garnered a lot of Likes, and even a share:




I didn't think much of it until this morning, after I'd had a weird dream critiquing this idea. I began thinking about it more, and every second spent analyzing that dream, the more I realized this isn't ok -- the misunderstanding of romance. The angrier I became, the more frustrated. The more I realized that it isn't right, it isn't right that our generation has done a complete "180" in terms of relationships. Words I used in my head to describe how I feel about this included: awful, disappointing, concerning, disgusting. What happened to us!? Why is it that, now, it's easier to sleep with someone than go on a date? Why is it that now, you're more likely to sleep with someone than go on a date? Why is it that our generation is facing the end of courtship? In the past, you took the time to get to know someone. You took the time to care, to love. It wasn't always just about me, me, me. It wasn't always just about sex, or instant self-gratification. Conquering another's trust or simply using them period, just to tick another mark into our collective black book of unfulfillment and emptiness.

What happened? What happened to us that made us so... selfish? So disregarding of others? So shallow? Why have we become emotionally impotent? Am I being harsh? Am I being judgmental? Am I just merely being unrealistically or ridiculously, foolishly nostalgic?

No.

I don't think so. Just as the title says, I think it's our problem. I think it's a very serious problem, I think that problem is that we are afraid of intimacy, and I'm not the only person who thinks this. We're afraid of getting close. We're afraid of trusting. We're afraid that we're just going to get hurt again, hurt -- that thing that we can't seem to shake. That terrible ghost that just keeps haunting us, hanging over our heads, never going away, just recycling in our lives, one person after another.

What is wrong with us? Do you feel it?


How many of you feel like this is strangely reflective of your experiences?


Surely it's a problem, a social problem at that. Hell, a world problem, a global problem. I saw it in Lebanon just as often as I see it in the United States. I see it with friends in Europe, in Australia. In fact, a March 2007 article in Time Magazine highlighted how, after a 12-week period, "fear of intimacy" was the second-most searched fear on Google. The only thing that beat it was flying, however, "fear of intimacy" beat out the fear of the dark, death, spiders, even God. Moreover, intimacy was second, but love was seventh, and "being alone" was tenth. Isn't it just a bit troubling that love in today's world has become something feared!? In an attempt to explain it, the author provides suggestions:

"Sifting through over 1,500 "fear of" searches in the last 12 weeks, there are two opposites that play out repeatedly: we're afraid of being isolated ("fear of being alone") almost as much as we are of making a connection ("fear of intimacy"). Maybe this disconnect is fueled by our "fear of rejection" or a "fear of losing a loved one," or "fear of being dumped." Or maybe we've succumbed to the overwhelming volume of sexual dysfunction spam that's driven our "fear of not performing." Or maybe the discrepancy between these two most common fears is the concern we have about discussing our weaknesses with others. As email, text, and instant messaging replace our face-to-face communication, perhaps it's become easier to disconnect. [Maybe] we're more comfortable talking with a non-judgmental search engine about our problems, or maybe we're simply afraid of what our fears reveal about ourselves..."

I think he's right about a lot of things. I sincerely think that when it comes to love, we have lost our direction. Whether it is because of conspicuous consumption, materialism, globalization, urbanization, hyper-individualism, technology and the breakdown of face-to-face communication and small social networks, economic disparity and wealth inequality, generational gaps/distance, or worse, because of personal torment: abuse, hurt, pain, cynicism, pessimism, disdain, and even hate, we as human race seem to have lost the will to love. But in losing this, we have also lost so much more including our connectivity, our empathy, and our compassion.

As someone who has spent time researching this, it's not difficult to figure out where this is coming from either. Without trying to get into feminist perspectives on sexuality and love, and without trying to critique the sexual revolution, I just want to point out that some take a more positive approach to the changing nature of intimacy. This includes British sociologist Anthony Giddens (1992) who purported there's been a "Transformation of Intimacy" that is intrinsically linked to modernity and the various revolutions -- industrial, urban, technological, sexual -- which are causing historic changes in the way our sexuality functions (and is separate from reproduction). He thinks it's a good thing for society, for freedom, and for women especially. However, what is really obvious isn't just the macro-social change, but the actors and the context in our lives: our family, our parents, our peers, our culture, the mass media, and our own experiences. These were the pillars that contextualized my thesis, but really, they establish the foundation for romantic relationship development among adolescents and young adults period.

So, why are we so afraid of intimacy? Simple: it comes down to fear.

Look at the following illustration (original link from TruthSeekerDaily). Does it resonate with you?



"To love is to be vulnerable" - C. S. Lewis. How applicable is this to your life?



When I conducted interviews for my thesis in 2011, parents/family, peers, personal experiences, the media, and culture were all mentioned either directly or indirectly as influencing the participant's perceptions of romantic love. For instance, both positive and negative experiences helped shape their perspective, whether it was learning through positive relational behavior of their parents, or through the negative behaviors or consequences that befell their parents such as a divorce, or the heartbreak of a friend or other family member. Moreover, the interviewees were aware of these consequences, and often communicated that they took conscious measures to protect themselves from the experiences of these individuals, especially their parents.


A connected recurring theme was an expression of insecurity or fear related to either losing someone they love or getting emotionally hurt. While there is much literature related to uncertainty and insecurity within a relationship (e.g., Afifi and Burgoon, 1998; Knobloch and Solomon, 2003, 2005), Polish sociologist/social theorist Zygmunt Bauman (2003, 2006, 2007) proposed a theoretical conceptualization for understanding the fear of emotional hurt. In his 2003 book Liquid Love, he discussed "Liquid Modernity," the current state of human society where there's a lack of permanent, lasting social bonds. Due to this "liquidity," individuals have frail social bonds, which, in turn, generates insecurity; through this insecurity, individuals face the conflicting paradox of desiring to tighten their social bonds, yet simultaneously keep them loose (Bauman, 2003). In a beautiful passage, Bauman (2003) articulates the importance of love in modern times:

"In every love, there are at least two beings, each of them the great unknown in the equations of the other. This is what makes love feel like a caprice of fate -- that eerie and mysterious future...to love means opening up to that fate, that most sublime of all human conditions, one in which fear blends with joy into an alloy that no longer allows its ingredients to separate. Opening up to that fate means...admission of freedom into being: that freedom which is embodied in the Other, the companion of love" (P. 7).


He also sheds light, however, on the idea that lasting human bonds/commitments have become "analogous to stocks people have to constantly manage, but can also [be] acquire[d], and let go of" (Bauman, 2003: 14). He continues by stating: "If you invest in a relationship, the profit you expect is first and foremost security [i.e., support and companionship]...but be warned: promises of commitment to the relationship, once it is entered, are "meaningless in the long-term" [because]...relationships are investments like any other, but would it ever occur to you to take an oath of loyalty to the stocks you just bought from the broker? To swear you'd remain...through thick and thin, for richer and poorer, "'till death do us part?"" (Bauman, 2003: 14).

His perspective includes the breakdown of permanent social bonds and the reinforcement of the idea that social -- in this case, romantic -- relationships are not necessarily meant to last forever or always lead to sustained happiness. Moreover, it leads to uncertainty and severe insecurity which permeates almost every aspect of our lives. Many of the participants in my thesis reflected this through their parents’ relationships as well as many of the romantic relationships experienced by their peers.

I think it's time for some comic relief.



Intense, right? Well, we're surrounded by negativity. Call me nostalgic or romantic, but I wish we could emphasize a model like this instead:

"Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; for love is sufficient unto love. When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God." And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night; to know the pain of too much tenderness; to be wounded by your own understanding of love; and to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; to rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; to return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips." -- Khalil Gibran, "On Love," The Prophet.

When did we forget this? Did we ever really know it?

I remember when I was in college, I was lonely, but it wasn't just me. It seemed like almost everyone was in the same boat. In addition to them being lonely, I felt surrounded by their hurt from the burn of past experiences and their perceptions. And even with the guise of masculinity or sarcasm, that pain never seemed to heal. So, caught in-between loneliness and the complacency of non–commitment coupled with rejection, I personally lost faith in myself, in part, because I didn't love who I was and I wanted something from someone else; some kind of "completion."

What happened there?

I didn't really love myself, and I lost the courage to try and date. I lost the courage to just ask someone, "Hey, would you like to get dinner Friday night?" Call me a romantic at best, old–fashioned at worst, but when study after study validates how, at least certain Western societies, have become a "hook-up culture" (e.g., Manning, Giordano, and Longmore, 2006), it makes me wonder what happened to dating culture. What ever happened to taking someone out because you were interested in getting to know them? Because they made you laugh? Or you always smiled when you were with them? Because they understood you, or can identify with you? Are we so hurt, we don't let anyone in? Are we so jaded by the lack of romantic commitment in our lives and the lives of others that it's simply not worth it? Whatever happened to respect, and wanting to be with someone for what you could potentially share with someone, and not what they could give you?

As a long-time fan of his, Thomas Merton, evoking John Donne, once wrote a book called No Man is an Island, discussing how we can never experience true love, unselfishly, until we first love ourselves (I covered it extensively in this blog post). I realize this is a two-way street. Maybe you tried, and they rejected you. Maybe you put a lot of effort in, only to be tossed aside for someone else. Maybe they wanted something you couldn't offer. Maybe emotional fulfillment, emotional (and physical) support, and self-love manifest as a complex game of chicken and the egg. The fact is, the equation for attraction is so complex and is determined by such an infinite number of factors; it is the most advanced equation that makes quantum physics seem pale in comparison. Add to that the fact that being single is hard. As I've discussed previously in my post on monogamy and jealousy, if the added value vs. cost of pairing up were lower, we wouldn't have evolved, both biologically as well as socio-culturally, to favor it so strongly. In other words, the grass is always greener, but when it comes to the benefits of being in a loving relationship, the science speaks loud and clear (especially if you're male).

Unfortunately, this is -- or at least seems to be -- the nature of human relationships. But, in the future, what can you do differently? How about ask if true sincerity exists? Exists in such a way to look past our desire for instant gratification? How about instead, we reinvent the "date," that little event where two individuals can negotiate their attraction and chemistry, and see if things would work out? Take some time, get to know someone better. Remember that vulnerability is a powerful and beautiful thing that can lead to happiness as well. For who they are, not what they can offer. Away from social media, instant messaging, texting, college parties, university classrooms, work... somewhere special, romantic, personal. Something where you can show emotional investment, not merely exchanging time and a meal for a later reward. Dating doesn't exist so you can get something in return, it exists to understand someone better. By no means am I trying to generalize or be presumptuous, nor am I unintentionally trying to reinforce outdated gender and sexual stereotypes. But, my challenge is to have the courage to do what I often did not do enough: take the time to love yourself, so that you can love someone else. Take the time to overcome reservation with commitment and your insecurities; believe in love, trust once again, and always strive for emotional fulfillment.

I know this is contentious, and that's usually something I try to avoid. But we can't avoid this anymore. I WANT to talk about it. And if you don't, you should. We can't go on not talking about it anymore. It's your problem, it's my problem, is our problem -- we can't keep sweeping it under the rug, and pretending like it isn't happening. Don't think these problems will just go away or be fixed by either a relationship or an engagement ring. And even if you don't want to talk to me or comment on this post, that's beyond fine. But talk to yourself, be honest with yourself. Talk to a friend, a counselor, someone. We can't keep compounding our emotional hurt and relationship fears/insecurities, and burying them. They are only going to lead to more unhappiness. I refuse to back down, I will be aggressive about this! Whether you're in Lebanon, Jordan, the UAE, Europe, Japan, America, wherever, we NEED to talk about this! So, whether you start with yourself, or work on loving yourself more, just do something! Stop hiding behind your fear if you are! Stop hiding behind serial monogamy if you are!

If you think you may be afraid of intimacy, it's ok, there's nothing you can't overcome. A counseling website offers this quick test/assessment to help you if you're interested, and I suggest also reading this article that I linked to above with an interview with a sexual therapist.

I want to conclude by re-posting the transcript of what I attempted to write on Facebook after I had my 4 wisdom teeth extracted last Friday (and edited for grammar). I don't really remember writing it, but I think I was just voicing my -- otherwise, diplomatic -- opinion about people who don't care about anyone other than themselves. It seems like I just wasn't afraid to speak my mind (in my opinion, quite a vindicating feeling):

"In lieu of the wisdom teeth surgery (which was a great success), I just want to candidly state my disdain for selfish assholes who really don't care about how their actions ultimately lead to greater insecurity in both themselves, but more importantly, their relationship partners -- and fuck up people. Just love each other because they are a gift, not because of your own personal insecurities. It's not fair. And it not right. Treat people how they deserve to be treated: with dignity and respect."

I sincerely think we have a problem, and we NEED to fix it. Do you think I'm being too harsh? Am I being presumptuous or judgmental? What DO YOU think? I'm eager to hear. In the meantime, listen to this impassioned plea for why intimacy isn't just important, but it is ingrained into humanity's existence -- both historically and currently:






Have courage, love yourself, do not fear intimacy, face your insecurities, and spread the love,

-Ogie, MA

Update: Please see the comments section below for some updates/clarification, and some great additional points by others.

P.S. This video may shed more light on why we're afraid of intimacy:





References:

Afifi, Walid A., and Judee K. Burgoon. 1998. ""We Never Talk About That:" A Comparison of Cross-sex Friendships and Dating Relationships on Uncertainty and Topic Avoidance." Personal Relationships, 5: 255-272.

Bauman, Zygmunt. 2007. Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

----. 2006. Liquid Fear. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. 

----. 2003. Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Giddens, Anthony. 1992. The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love, and Eroticism in Modern Societies. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Knobloch, Leanne K., and Denise Haunani Solomon. 2005. "Relational Uncertainty and  Relational Information Processing: Questions Without Answers?". Communication Research, 32(3): 349-388.

----. 2003. "Responses to Changes in Relational Uncertainty Within Dating Relationships:  Emotions and Communication Strategies." Communication Studies, 54(3): 282-305.

Manning, Wendy D., Peggy C. Giordano, and Monica A. Longmore. 2006. "Hooking Up: The Relationship Contexts of "Nonrelationship" Sex." Journal of Adolescent Research, 21(5): 459-483.

14 comments:

  1. Sex is easy, love is hard. I don't see why this is a bad thing, except for consumer news studies stigmatizing the hook-up culture. I definitely think that it's more in line with our drives than a structured, moralized, stilted structure of courtship and marriage.

    I'm not saying that relationships are bad or promiscuity is good, but given that we are just now going over the cusp into egalitarian relationships and not forced patriarchal unions, it's going to take a while before the zeitgeist settles. until then, the hegemony will look down at the single, the young, the sexually experimenting and wonder "what the hell are they doing?" because they legitimately do not understand our sexual and romantic landscape.

    We are the first generation where the majority of us recognize the reality of equal marriages entered into by parties choosing of their own volition, not coerced into it by circumstances or expectations. Our parents and the conservatives among us will recognize that traditional marriage has been a performance for family, one that legitimizes man as citizen and woman as sexual being (traditional marriage never really got to the woman as citizen thing). it was a community rite, not a personal one.

    Most of the people in our generation no longer think like that, so marriage and romance is much more complicated- and thus harder. I think, though, in the end, our version is more honest, more earnest, more personal and real.

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    1. First of all, thank you so much for responding, it's a wonderful comment :)

      Second of all, I just have to say, I'm not sure if love really is that much harder, I wonder if we just complicate it?

      Of course, I'm not trying to advocate for patriarchal unions or the "good-ole days" of women servitude. But perhaps I am a bit romantic about courtship.

      But also, I'm not hegemonic. I'm challenging my peers as just that: their peer. I'm just trying to push for a higher standard that I think is lacking.

      I suggest you check this out:

      http://loveinlebanon.blogspot.com/2011/11/little-bit-about-why-we-love.html

      I discuss many of your points from the third paragraph, and I think you'll like the video at the end.

      I understand how you think it's more real, but I think then it's incredibly that much more selfish--and that's what I have a problem with. I both agree and disagree with you.

      Either way, I still really appreciate your great comment and insight!

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    2. I absolutely agree with the functionalist argument.

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    3. Haha, who is making a Functionalist argument??

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  2. I just wanted to add an addendum to my post, just to clarify something. Just now, a friend was talking to me about the post, and we started discussing the connection I make between intimacy and sex. In no way is this post meant to critique the idea of casual sex. I think that's a highly personal and subjective action that should be left up to individuals to negotiate.

    However, I do have stronger opinions when it comes to "meaningless sex." Given, my friend was right as well when I should define this. Bear in mind, even if I have my own opinions, as the writer of this blog, I strive for objectivity and to remain value-neutral.

    Let me share parts of the conversation:

    Her: "I think it's important to make the distinction that casual sex is not in and of itself something contrary to what you are valuing in your blog post."

    Me: "Definitely, and I hope I didn’t come off that way. I just think people in general approach sex in a shallow way, or have sex, but don’t have intimacy. When I wrote this, I was thinking of certain archetypes in my head, for example, like selfish people just taking advantage of someone or people who have meaningless sex because they are afraid to take something a step further. I'm not saying sex is bad, but I am prepared to stand by the assertion that people have meaningless sex because they don’t want to commitment. And I'm not trying to critique anyone's point-of-view or judge. I'm just saying, don’t hide behind sexual liberation if you have a true fear of intimacy. I’m not trying to generalize and say that everyone does, but I think some do.

    Anyways, that's why I condition what I was saying so much--not to sounding outdated or ignorant about gender/sexual norms and stereotypes. I’m not attacking casual sex, nor do I mean for it to be collateral damage. I just want to hold people to a higher standard. Sex has become so commodified, and that’s something I have a problem with. Romance has become a luxury--and not romance, the stupid, stereotypical, unrealistic movie way. I mean respect, trust, intimacy. That’s my point."

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  3. UPDATE: A lot of people have been talking to me about this post, and many have said this fear of emotional intimacy stems from the shift in the way we communicate. Our lack of/devaluation of face-to-face communication is attributing to insecurity, awkwardness, and disconnectedness. Any thoughts?

    Also, another friend was quick to point out that, although I'm primarily referring to emotional intimacy, in places like Lebanon, it seems there's a bigger problem with physical intimacy. I refuted that this is due to the way dating is structured in Lebanon. Physical intimacy is much more taboo in Lebanon and the Arab world, and many expect to to come only after marriage. Moreover, the lack of private space also severely limits this--and I don't mean sex or kissing, or anything just like that. I mean having the physical time to get to know someone, their body, your own, cuddling together, etc. A lot of relationships in Lebanon may seem shallow, but I attribute that less to individuals and more to the idea that relationships outside of engagement and married are somewhat expected to be. Which, of course, is incredibly paradoxical because how do you expect to have an intimate relationship IN marriage if you don't have one BEFORE marriage?

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  4. I agree with you a 100%!!! Love the post ^^

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  5. I truly enjoyed reading your blog post that you just shared man. And of course, being a romantic fellow like yourself, I totally agree with everything you said. Sex has become much too "casual" in our culture, and our generation is leading it further and further from a state of reparation. What ever happened to getting to know someone first, and appreciating them for who they are?? Sex to so many people, is in fact meaningless. The term "fucking" justifies that argument so well. I HATE that term, and yet I hear it thrown around (mostly by guys of course) sooooooooooo much these days: Ex- "yeah I've fucked her" or "I wanna fuck that girl". I can't think of a more disrespectful/sexist way to talk about someone.. What happened to "she's cute, I'm gonna ask for her number" or "I wanna ask that girl out". And in reference to sex, what ever happened to saying "we had sex" or "we slept together". Notice the difference of having "WE" vs "I". Obviously the lady was part of the act, so try to refer to her as a little more than a walking sex toy.. Idk, maybe it's just me, but that has always gotten under my skin..
    I'm not totally knocking random hook-ups; like you said, it's up to the individuals at that time to figure out (given that the girl isn't totally wasted, which seems to be the case a lot of times). I'm not saying that I will never do it; but if I do, I'm betting that I will regret it the next morning..
    People really do seem to be afraid of intimacy and love. Why????? It's the greatest feeling in the world. MUCH better then hooking up with random people every Friday night could ever be.. Like you said, people need to love themselves. In doing so, will their "shields' be lifted, thus allowing them to be their true selves and fall in love again??
    Like I've said before, sex is very special to me, and I won't share those moments with just anyone. Also, how many relationships do you know of that started with sex first, and THEN turned into something special?? I don't know of any. Having sex first just changes everything. And guys, that girl you just drunkenly "fucked", could have been the love of your life, so really you just fucked yourself... haha.
    I talked to a friend recently, and she said she just sleeps with someone and then moves on before she starts developing feelings for that person to avoid complications. I'm sure the reason she's doing that is fairly complex, but this seems to be a popular trend. What's wrong with developing feelings and falling in love with someone? When did this become the thing you avoid like the plague?

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting and for your perspective! I really liked your "We vs. I" dichotomy, I think it's incredibly applicable to today's world. Thanks for reading :)

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  6. I'm in the mood to share because this write-up of yours has pushed some buttons...
    First of all , I so love the fact that you write this amazing stuff which actually helps people who cant think of this or don't have the time to even understand whats going on with themselves..

    I have no fear of intimacy and am a very expressive person by nature but it is true.. fear of loneliness...fear of being neglected...fear of not being able to connect with someone.. fear of not being loved....makes you wanna try the easier ways of gaining companionship... whether it be meeting random people and hooking up with them cos at that particular time..everything feels right with this person..(not necessarily the next morning)... or hooking up with friends of friends just cos you'd rather be with a stranger than alone..
    Now this next part could be me deviating from the current topic but I find the correlation applicable.
    Those of us who have faced a whole load of crap when it comes to relationships... settles for so much less cos we feel that's it.. that all we're gonna get...thats all we deserve..and some of us..go back to the same person who probably have brought out the worst in us... only because we are so afraid of moving on.. putting ourselves out there..and finding love we deserve... Some of us have lost so much hope after being in damaging relationships that we no longer even know how it feels to meet a person who would probably treat you right and respect you as you are and love you as your are.. (most of the time)....
    Dating..Courting..is something I learned growing up and always thought my relationships would always start this way... When I did grow up.. I guess things changed and sometimes I would console myself and say "wrong place at the wrong time".. I have stopped giving myself that excuse.. but it still feels hard to somehow connect to the opposite sex out there if I'm looking for someone to date or court.. and I'm just 24...
    Sex is something sacred and truly isn't something I'd wanna share with anyone and I'm not a super horny person so I can deal with being celibate for a while... but when you meet someone who you would think of as special after a certain period of time..even then its difficult to open up and let things take on its natural course, because your so on guard...your so on edge..you have a million questions... you doubt yourself so much..sometimes you dont feel comfortable in your own body and sometimes when that negativity gets to you... you end up crying after sex for some lame ass reason..your partner probably had the time of his life..he probably didnt even think of what your body looked like ..what you tried and what you didn't...were you good or weren't you... but you still end up feeling like shit and emotionally strained cos you think so less of yourself...

    It is an issue these days with ladies..as well as with many guys and the easy way out they feel is just move around from one lap to the other... they find more comfort in that..than taking your time...figuring out what you want..and what your looking for and not settling for anything less.. just so you could be happy...
    I hope and truly pray that the youth of today...guys and girls would think about these things and know that everything is not just about sex and getting laid...
    Love is such a beautiful thing and its out there for each one of us to find.. I havent found mine yet either so its not like this is some self-proclaimed guess... but something as beautiful as this cant be that easy to find.. but neither would it be so difficult so as to weigh one down and resort to temporary pleasures....
    I love reading your stuff.. I am glad YOU exist.

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    1. Anon, I really wish I knew who you were because this is by far, the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

      "Thank you" here just doesn't cut it. I really wish that there were words that could communicate the depth of my gratitude and appreciation.

      And you have it exactly right! I don't want to come with prescriptive answers. I don't have them. But I have faith in research and in experience, and I think both provide a wealth of knowledge. I am by the middle-man!

      I posted this comment on the LOVEanon Fb page (www.facebook.com/LOVEanon), I just had to mention it.

      You are so wonderful, and I appreciate your kindness so much. Thank you for reading!

      YOU make it worth it! <3

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  7. Grr, for some reason I couldn't stop the box from moving and my whole comment seems erased.... Nevertheless, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing this!!! It's so true!

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    1. Hi Esther, sorry to hear about the frustration. But thank you for reading, and I'm glad it resonates with you!

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