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Head Case - Here's To Us
February 5, 2007


Just when you thought you were recovering from the holiday blues, what’s just around the corner? St. Valentine’s Day. Now, I’m not made of wood—I have a romantic streak, same as the next guy—but it seems like this holiday was designed to make people, coupled or single, feel bad about themselves.

If you’re in a relationship, you have all of this made-up Hollywood bullshit to compete with. Pick a movie or a TV show, and you’ll see someone’s idea of what a relationship is all about. Soul mate A finds soul mate B, and they have hot sex, get married, and live happily ever after, right? Well, what we don’t see is that the happily ever after part only lasts for a couple of years, and then the honeymoon is over. Add a yearly dose of Valentine’s Day and you get another reminder that the relationship/sex/communication probably isn’t as good as it was in the beginning when you looked forward to time together rather than looking forward to time apart. Since we have this notion that we should be ecstatically happy all the time, seeing those newbies kissing and cooing and exchanging valentines can end up making us feel like we’re doing it something wrong, or that our relationship should be so much easier than what it is, or that it is otherwise lacking.

Single? Remember in high school when you were supposed to send/receive heart-shaped lollipops and inevitably were disappointed because you only got one from your girlfriend/fag hag and not the hot captain of the football/wrestling/swim team? If you weren’t dating, or at least datable, you were nothing, and a nothing is a lonely thing to be.

It doesn’t really change when you’re older. Cards, candy and flowers are delivered on Valentine’s Day, or as you call it, VD. All your friends in relationships look so happy and in love. All your single friends look so bitter. It can get almost obsessive thinking how much happier you’d be if you just had the perfect person to wake up with in the morning instead of cruising the chat room/gym/vegetable aisle/park for another piece of ass.

At this point, all the single people are daydreaming about how great it must be to be in a relationship, and the people in relationships are thinking “Wow, I sure wish I could go out and get a piece of ass.” It’s the-grass-is-greener effect, my friends. Forget the made-up Hollywood bullshit ideas about what relationships are supposed to be like—or even that we’re better off in them. Some folks are in relationships. Other folks aren’t. Some folks make it through the honeymoon period and find that what comes next is equally fulfilling. Others won’t make it through a couple of months/weeks/days.

Being in a relationship is fine. Being single is also fine. Feeling bad about yourself because of some stupid day that promotes consumption and unrealistic expectations of intimate relationships is not fine. Instead, put on some Shins, splurge on a bottle of Veuve, and love yourself.

On that note, I’ll leave you with an old toast which I always use around this time of year.

Here’s to the men that we love, and here’s to the men that love us.

But if the men that we love aren’t the men that love us,

Then fuck all the men, here’s to us.

Dr. Michael DeMarco is a clinical sexologist and psychotherapist in Kansas City and can be reached at Michael@mytherapist.info Visit Dr. D. at www.mytherapist.info.

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The Tenth Voice

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