A Life Worth Validating (Attraction and Relationships)

The other day I was buying junk food from the convenience store. My hair all messy. Ewok beard on full display. Probably stunk like depression.

Waiting in line, this beautiful woman comes up behind me. Tall, well-groomed, elegant clothes. She smelled like perfume and pheromones.

The contrast between us was enormous. I didn’t feel poorly about myself exactly, but I felt like a different animal than her. A whole other species of being.

I felt the gravity of the contrast. I couldn’t remember the last time I put work into my appearance or presentation.

I couldn’t imagine what her life must be like. Her daily experiences are surely remarkably different than my own.

Surely we had a few things in common. We were at the same store, at least.

She was beautiful, but I wasn’t attracted to her. Does that make sense?

I think that somehow, I don’t feel strongly attracted to people anymore, under any circumstances. I think it’s because I perceive myself as “off the market”. Undateable, in a way. A defective product.

I don’t detect much worth in myself, and I can’t imagine anyone else would value me in that way.

Why would they? I’m stuck between worlds. Nothing to offer in terms of security or finance. I have lost track of my hobbies, passions, and aspirations. I am probably one of the least interesting people on the planet. I have nothing to pursue.

And I don’t know how to find hope again. I figure I probably will, eventually, and I’ll find it in myself to have something to offer again.

But right now? I don’t even know if I would respect or understand someone that was attracted to me. So, I’ve lost my attraction to others. A defense mechanism, maybe.

But it’s a lonely way to be.

On the way out of the convenience store, that lady and I made eye contact. I don’t know what was going on in her head. There was a look of recognition in her eyes, some kind of cognitive process that I wasn’t privy to.

It’s hard to explain why any of this matters to me.

It’s connected to a plethora of feelings and thoughts on self-image, chemistry with others, and relationships in general.

I think that overall, it’s actually healthy for me to go through a period of non-attraction.

An old, annoying part of me has died. I used to develop strong attractions and emotional attachments to entirely too many women.

Through my twenties, I was an incredibly desperate individual. I was almost always with someone, or pining to be with someone, or both.

I craved validation. I felt like if people expressed love for me, then I must be worth it.

Now, I’ve fallen so low, that I couldn’t find that kind of validation even if I looked for it.

Right now, the only way to find validation is to live a life worth validating.

And it literally has to begin with me, because there’s no one else to do it. This is good.

Also published on Medium.