“AHAHAHAHA Stupid.” – Eartha Kitt, on Compromise and Love.
If that quote didn’t automatically trigger you to think of Eartha Kitt’s iconic video/message on Compromise, please head to youtube right now and bless yourself.
I’ve had inspiration multiple times this past year to write about my experience in dating but I’ve stopped myself every time. Not because some of the people I’ve dated may, in fact, read this… if that’s you, welcome. However, to reference an older post, if you feel triggered, I still don’t care.
Funny enough the whole concept of dating mimics my unexplained hesitation to write. It’s been full of overthinking, impulsivity, and indecision. In the past 9 months, I have learned so much about myself, its scary. When you actively put yourself in uncomfortable situations, all that can be gained is growth. My experience has led me to realize one thing, dating, if done correctly, is about YOU and only you. Granted, I am single so take my advice with a grain of salt lol.
The first time I saw Eartha’s video, it didn’t ring as true as it did today. Eartha explains that she’s fallen so deeply in love with herself, all she’s looking to do is share that self-love with someone else. Sounds easy right?
I think the definition of self-love has been deeply conflated and romanticized. It’s not fucking face masks, nights in, and wine…. that’s just Friday night….That in fact, is your shallow way of convincing yourself you’re working on “self-love”. That’s not self-love, that’s self-optimization and there’s a big difference.
The easiest way to explain my newfound understanding of self-love is to explain its opposite, compromise. You see the feeling of compromising is so palpable, you can actually feel your body tensing up when it’s happening, and that feeling is your body trying to tell you you’re making a choice that goes against who you are. Compromise feels like eight “Netflix & Chill” dates in a row because his schedule isn’t ideal…..but he makes time to go out with other friends. Compromise is not speaking up when something bothers you because he’s not “in the mood” to have that conversation. Compromise is agreeing to a date he asked you to the day of because he doesn’t respect your time and you aren’t speaking up about it.
The worst part about compromise is that despite how you feel when you do it, it doesn’t bother you that much so you keep on…. till you find yourself relating to Snoh Aalegra’s “Situationship” so much, you’d think she wrote the song about your life.
But self-love… it doesn’t feel like icky ass bodily tension, it feels like a release.
Ironically, its surprisingly difficult to make positive choices for yourself (who knew?). It’s much easier to compromise, to put someone else’s feelings, someone else’s convenience, someone else’s schedule even, before your own. Self-love is saying fuck all that and being selfish! And it feels fucking gooooodt. Way better than some cheap-ass Sutter Home and a CVS peel-off could ever do.
Making the right choices for yourself in both love and life is committing to being 100% you. And you have every incentive to keep choosing self-love because authenticity yields REAL relationships with the kind of people you ACTUALLY want to attract. If the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of self then how can you get there by compromising who you are?