Tuesday, November 26, 2013

All Things Must Come To An End: My Last Post

Saba7o LOVEanese. Tomorrow, November 27th, will mark the 2 year and 4 month anniversary of the founding of LOVEanon. I've written almost 60 posts concerning a range of topics, and I've clocked almost 60,000 page views as of today (Nov. 26, 2013).

This entire project came about because so many friends and peers were eager to know more about my thesis research. I was always so grateful that many individuals would ask me, "what did you find??" and were genuinely interested in knowing more about the research I conducted. But because I purposely took longer to write my thesis than many had hoped for, I began LOVEanon as a way to: 1. appease the individuals who had a very healthy and curious appetite for information and 2. to engage in connecting research to the public by translating research into meaningful and digestible (as well as funny and entertaining) posts. I never intended this blog to be an advice column, nor did I intend for it to be a hub of expertise or answers. I always saw myself as the middleman — simply connecting you to the research and resources that were out there to hopefully foster a richer understanding of relationship science. 

So, with that said, the title of this post is not about break-ups or dealing with relationships ending, it's about me and it's about this blog. After 2 years and 4 months, I've decided to stop blogging. As of this post, I will no longer be writing on LOVEanon, nor will I be interested in licensing the name or the brand to anyone else. 

I will continue to support the blog, and I will not delete it. Any time you wish you read a previous post, the archives as well as the URL (www.LOVEanon.org) will remain intact, and you will still have the ability to comment (and I'll still reply back). However, no new posts will be added in the future and I will stop sharing links on the LOVEanon Facebook Page

If you are wondering why I decided to do this, let me explain the multiple reasons:

1. When I started this, I was in the midst of research and academia. But I've been outside of both of these fields for over a year and a half now. I still have the skills to do it, but I am getting farther and farther from things I consider important to writing good research. This includes the discussion and discourse that is required to write meaningful posts, but also a critical awareness of the target population. I've been outside of the Arab world for this long as well, and I am disconnected from the relational problems of individuals there (e.g., the problems here in India are incredibly different).

2. I no longer feel like I have any authority to write (and I'm skeptical I had any to begin with). As I have always said, I'm not an expert, and because I am so distanced from both my thesis and from research as a whole, I don't think I should be tackling the pressing issues that many Arabs and others face today vis-a-vis their relationships. There are many people out there who are doing great research and really know what they are talking about, and I am not one of them. Moreover, I have no plans to continue the research I began in my thesis, but I encourage anyone to contact me if they would like to conduct related research.

3. Living in India now and focusing on other things, I have neither the time to dedicate to it nor the incentive to do so. LOVEanon is and always will be ad-free, but the time it takes to write a good post is time I don't want to make anymore, especially as I focus on my work and career. As I've said, it can take hours to write just one post, and I don't feel like spending that time is really worth it anymore. My writing is also sporadic, and that lack of consistency as well as energy is ultimately not fair to my readers.

4. Honestly, I just don't want to write any more. I don't have the energy for it, and I feel like writing has become an obligation instead of a pleasure. Part of the reason also stems from the fact that I'm also so tired of being introduced as "the guy that writes about love." I didn't start this blog to be a pick-up line; I started it after being inspired by former American Sociological Association (ASA) President Michael Burawoy's call for public sociology — that is, infuse sociological research into the public discourse — and I felt it was my obligation to share the knowledge I was gainingI'd rather be introduced as a person that truly cares about the happiness of others and tries to engage with the problems of the world. I really, really care about building better relationships, and I think most people (including myself) have no idea what it takes to keep a relationship healthy and strong in today's world. But I don't want this to be a part of my identity anymore. Furthermore, I don't feel like my blog is accomplishing what I want either, especially within my immediate surroundings. I wrote my thesis about romantic relationship formation in Lebanon, and it was an amazing and incredibly enriching experience. But it's now the past, and ceasing to write for me also represents the final closing of a chapter in my life--one that doesn't involve relationship research or the assumption that I have any answers because I definitely do not.

Hopefully this can represent a new beginning of my life where I can focus on other things, but I still encourage you to use previous posts for reference. I also encourage you to keep the discussion alive and well. Do check out my page on recommended relationship resources for lots of great links and places to find good information (such as Science of Relationships).

I want to thank everyone who has made this blog such a huge success, but most importantly, I want to thank my readers. The comments you leave are so beautiful and insightful, they always leave me feeling touched. I thank everyone who has shared my blog, felt inspired at some point by something I've written, or made me feel appreciated because they liked the words I wrote.

I really wish everyone happy and successful relationships in your present and futures. I also hope you never stop challenging yourself and your partners to be better relationship partners and create/maintain better, stronger, and healthier relationships. Everything takes work, and relationships are no different. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life for more than two years.

Good luck, and never stop spreading love,
-Ogie, MA