Love

The One Way To Not Get Too Attached

The dating game can be likened to a game of tug and war; you are constantly in a state of giving and receiving your attention and affection in hopes of pulling someone in. Give too much and you’ll fall hard for the person and likely push them away. If you don’t give enough, the other person will pull back their attention and find someone else. In both cases, you’re left standing alone holding your rope. So how do you find that perfect balance of being interested but not clingy?

Date multiple people.

If you are single, you should be dating multiple people anyway. By having your eggs in multiple baskets you maintain a mystique about you that builds attraction. It is human nature to want what we can’t have, so by not fully investing in pursuing someone wholeheartedly it makes them want you more.

It’s all about balance.

You want to let the person(s) you’re dating know that you are interested in them, but simultaneously give off the vibe that you would be just fine without them. Show too much interest and you come off as needy or clingy, and this is what you don’t want. The bad boys do this naturally because they genuinely don’t care about the people they date so they never have to worry about being clingy.

Why is clinginess so unattractive?

Clinginess reveals a needy, insecure personality that will likely lead to an unhealthy relationship. Have you ever dated someone who constantly texted and called you inquiring about your whereabouts? Have you ever dated someone who accused you of cheating if you failed to reply to their text message within 20 minutes? Everyone wants to be loved but no one should want to be controlled.

The other reason why clinginess is unattractive is because it shows a lack of independence. An ideal healthy relationship consists of two partners who lead their own fulfilling lives. It’s about two happy and healthy people coming together and sharing life experiences, not about one person controlling and possessing their partner. If you are leading a full life and dating multiple people, there is no way you can come off clingy because you simply have too much to do. You’re too busy dating other people or spending time with hobbies, mastering a craft, or furthering your career or education.

When dating multiple people, you will likely be faced with a familiar stigma: dating multiple people is trashy behavior. If you’re a woman dating multiple guys, detractors will label you as a slut. If you’re a guy dating multiple women then you will be labeled as a player. Do not succumb to societal pressure. The whole idea of dating is to meet multiple people and spend time with them until you meet the person who shares the same values and interests as you do. You’re essentially interviewing people for the position of significant other. Until you find someone that you want to enter into a relationship with, it is your job to test the market. It’s the only way to guarantee that you are making a good relationship decision.

So always keep in mind that dating is all about balance. You should be constantly balancing your attention between the people you’re dating and your own life ambitions. The best way to keep balance when dating is to date multiple people until you find the one for you. With this in mind, you can ensure that you will become a catch and you will no longer be the loser holding their rope because you chased people away.

Why I Don’t Cold Approach Women

Dating is a numbers game.

The more women you speak to, the more phone numbers you get. The more phone numbers you get, the more dates you get. The more dates you get, the more sex you get as well as relationship opportunities. While this is true, I am the type to make my numbers count. I am all about quality over quantity. So while lots of single guys are out shooting their shots left and right, approaching anything with a set of tits and legs, I prefer a more low-key method. Here is why I no longer cold approach women.

When you cold approach a woman, you drastically increase your risk of rejection. You are basically just walking up to a woman who likely has no interest in you and hoping for the best. While handling rejection is critical in building self confidence and resiliency, enough rejection will lead any guy to have doubts about their dating legitimacy. So in order to limit this rejection, it is best to approach women who are giving you attraction signals or “choosing signs”.

The other problem with cold approaching women is that it automatically puts you in a lesser position than the woman. This will put you in a situation where you are spending your time trying to prove to a woman that she should date you. In my opinion, it is a weak position to be in and I’d rather not waste my time trying to convince a woman that I am worth her time. I know my worth, and I do not need a woman’s validation to make me feel secure. Now, this is not to say that cold approaches do not work. As I previously stated, the more women you talk to the more your chances increase. However, by cold approaching, you open yourself up to more than rejection.

Women have devised a strategy of rejecting men without actually rejecting them. Nowadays, a woman will happily give her phone number out with no intention of going out with the guy. Why is that? It’s just easier for a woman to give a guy her number and ignore his calls/texts than to say no and have to deal with confrontation. I wrote more about that in this article.

This also opens the door for flaking. A woman who is not interested may not always ignore texts and calls but she may even agree to a date! Don’t be surprised if you can’t get her on the phone for a date confirmation or if she never shows up, she wasn’t interested to begin with. Now you’re sitting alone in the middle of an Italian restaurant with a glass of water staring at you while the waiting staff is making memes of you behind your back.

The other thing you have to consider is freeloaders. There are women out there who not only give their phone numbers out to guys they have no interest in, but will actually go on dates with them.

How is this a bad thing?

These women have no intention of moving forward with the guy, they are just tagging along for a free meal. Clueless guys will try their hardest to impress the woman on the date while the woman would rather kiss her dog, let alone sleep with him. The worst type of women will continue seeing these guys, stringing them along while she is dating and sleeping with other guys. Or even worse, she could already have a boyfriend but is just using the hopeless romantic for dates. This guy is constantly pulling out his wallet, and she never has to put out.

My solution to this is a simple one. Instead of cold approaching, I look for choosing signals. These are signs of attraction a woman will give to let you know that she is interested. This is what is meant by “choosing”. When a woman chooses you, dating becomes a breeze. You no longer have to impress her or prove yourself to her, she already likes you. Not only do you have to work less to initiate attraction, she is also more likely to be accepting of your flaws. Whereas a woman with very little attraction will look for any reason to break things off, this woman is willing to overlook those subtleties. She will return your calls and texts in a timely manner because she is interested and dating her will be fun and effortless because she already likes you!

While this method sounds foolproof, there is one major setback: your options are limited. With the cold approach, your options are basically limitless. You can literally approach any woman you see and hope things work out. If you’d rather approach the women who choose you, you will have significantly less options. It is not everyday that you will come across a woman who will give you attraction signs. This does, however, lead to a phenomenal opportunity.

Instead of cold approaching, you now have more time to work on yourself. All of the time spent on approaching random women could be spent on bettering yourself. You could be mastering a craft instead of going out to bars getting phone numbers. You could be working out and sculpting your physique instead of sliding into tons of women’s DM’s. By focusing on bettering yourself and increasing your standard of living, you allow yourself to attract higher status women. In time, you should notice that more and more women are giving you choosing signs because you put in the work to make yourself a more attractive man.

In closure, the cold approach is perfectly fine for those with unshakable confidence and bottomless wallets. But if you’re just a regular guy, this approach could not only be intimidating, it could also lead to hopelessness. By focusing on becoming a more attractive and higher status man, you put yourself in a position to meet women who choose you.

Are You Settling? Why Everyone in Relationships Isn’t Happy

Almost everywhere you look, you can find “happy couples” living their “happy couple” lives and doing “happy couple things.” This may evoke a sense of disgust at their lovey dovey relationship or perhaps hope that you may one day find a similar fantastical romance. Recently, I’ve been paying more attention to these couples and the way they interact. I’m starting to find that things aren’t always what they seem. What I’ve found is that in a lot of cases, at least one of these partners are not truly content in their relationships. This leads me to ask, “are you settling?”

I’ve previously spoken against the idea of monogamy in another post so I won’t delve into that here. I want to start with what I’ve been seeing a lot from men lately. Working in retail, I constantly see couples shopping together. What catches my attention, though, is the man’s demeanor throughout their shopping experience. The men often seem to be dragged along almost against their will and I can see the subtle telltale signs that they are not enjoying the bonding time. Not even a little bit.

I see needy women parading their significant others throughout the store asking their partners to buy them this and that. I see guys unemotionally giving vague opinions on how their girlfriends look in a dress that they really don’t need. I see guys reluctantly swiping their credit cards to appease their materialistic girlfriends and wives. Sure, I understand that the whole experience of shopping does not primarily appeal to men. I understand that this one scenario cannot justify all relationship imbalances, but it makes me wonder, “what else are people suffering through for the sake of a relationship?”

It is my opinion that a healthy relationship brings two people together and serves each partner equally. A relationship provides people the opportunity to grow and develop together with the added perk of romance. It is my opinion that people (guy or girl) should not be sacrificing their own happiness for the sake of a relationship. Gentlemen, you shouldn’t be in a relationship just for steady sex. Ladies, you shouldn’t be in a relationship to fulfill a programmed need for attention and sense of self worth. This leads to men being disloyal sexual deviants and women being attention seeking divas.

Yes, every relationship has its ups and downs. It’s about compromise, so I understand that partners are going to have to make sacrifices in order to make the relationship work. This does not mean that you should be sacrificing who you are and what you value in order to appease a significant other. Your partner should bring the best out of you and help you grow into the person you’re capable of being. Not someone who just uses you as a sex doll or free shopping sprees. You have to ask yourself, “what am I getting out of this relationship?”

If you’re constantly unhappy and you notice that you actually dread spending time with your nagging girlfriend or your self centered, egotistical boyfriend then why are you with them? Is the sex worth it if you’ll just despise them afterwards? Are the gifts and treats an even tradeoff for you self esteem?

It is imperative to understand that your happiness is the only thing that matters in this world. You should live for you. Sure, help and give to others as much as you can just as long as you are not sacrificing your own morals or values in the process. This is important because too many people lose focus of this when they enter a relationship. Guys will workout less or completely stop because their girlfriends want to spend more time together. Ladies will see their friends less and less because their boyfriends are controlling and jealous. This is how people lose themselves in relationships.

I say all that to say this: stay true to you. Relationships can be a beautiful opportunity to grow together in love and life or it can be a painstakingly demoralizing deathtrap that drains your soul. It is up to you to recognize what you value and if your relationship is one you feel you deserve. It’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to be single for a while. Stop letting outside forces influence your own self beliefs and self worth. Stop settling for less than you deserve.

 

Why Men Cheat: An Insight on Infidelity

Infidelity has been plaguing the dating world since the beginning of time. It is commonly perceived that we are now living in an era where loyalty is a myth; that things are worse now than they ever have been. Good women are getting cheated on left and right and it makes a woman wonder, “why can’t I find a man loyal to me? Why are all men such dogs?” Let’s dig into this.

First, let’s discuss how each gender is sexually stimulated. Men are visual creatures; they would be willing to sleep with a woman within minutes of meeting them because they are physically attracted and aroused. A woman’s sexual desire is more closely related to emotion. Although a woman can decide whether she would consider sleeping with a man after just meeting him, she’s less likely to do so because she needs to have a deeper emotional connection. Put simply, men are visual, women are emotional. Men are physically designed to desire sex more than women. I don’t want to get too scientific, but here’s a link to an article that further discusses this concept.

With that in mind, we now have a clearer understanding of what drives sexual motivation between sexes. A man is a hunter by nature . Generally speaking, a man’s primary motivator should be his mission. Whether this manifests in the form of finding food and shelter to ensure his own survival or spreading his seed to ensure the passing on of his genes, a man is always seeking progress. A woman, on the other hand, has a more intimate motivator. A woman’s desire is generally maternal; they seek to raise and nurture a family. That is not to say that ALL women only exist to raise a family or that ALL men only exist to go forth and multiply. I am just saying that these are our underlying primal instincts.

So what does this have to do with infidelity? How do I get my significant other to quit sleeping around?

As noted earlier, a man does not need the intimacy and connection of a relationship to sleep with a woman. His primal urge to conquer and break through barriers can help to explain his higher sex drive. Women do not necessarily feel this need to have sex, which is explained in this article. So the problem then becomes the institution of relationships.

I personally question the institution of monogamy. I am not sure that a one-woman-one-man relationship supports the natural order of things. I personally feel that it is not natural for a man under a certain age (we’ll say around 35-40) to be restricted to one woman because I believe it goes against our primal hunter nature. A man is likely to enter into a relationship with a woman for the simple fact that they will have the opportunity for steady sexual release. A man does not have to go out and seek sex if he already has a partner he can sleep with regularly. However, because lots of men will enter a relationship primarily for sex there is not much else keeping them committed. This opens the door for cheating.

Not all men cheat, but I agree that a lot (if not most) do. When a man cheats, he may not feel guilty because he was only seeking an instinctual sexual release with a new woman. He wouldn’t think too much about it because this interaction is purely physical. Have you ever heard a cheating man explain to crying girlfriend/wife  “I only f****d that girl, I make love to you,”? A woman would feel devastated by this because she thought the intimate relationship between she and her partner was sacred.

So what can women do about it?

According to webmd, men’s testosterone levels (a key hormone in sex drive) starts to decline after the age of 30. So it can be deducted that a man will be less likely to sleep around after this age. This, along with the hassle of sleeping around and being deceitful, would actually make a man less likely to cheat. He simply won’t have the energy or the desire for it.

Look, I am not trying to condone cheating in any way. Cheating is a selfish and cowardly act and it is completely reasonable for a woman to feel wronged under such circumstances. By understanding that men are sexually driven hunters, women can hope to gain a little more understanding of why men sleep around. This can lead to less heartbreak and frustration. It is up to the man to refrain from entering a relationship just for steady sex, especially if there is any shadow of a doubt that he may want to sleep around. It is up to the woman to understand that up until a certain age, men are sex driven conquerors.

Why do you think men cheat? Is there any way to help reduce infidelity? I am curious to hear what you have to say in the comments below.

Why You are Always Getting Ghosted

Just when you thought everything was candy and rainbows things go completely sideways. The date(s) went well, or at least you thought so. You can’t specifically remember doing or saying something inappropriate that turned off the person. So why haven’t they responded to your text? Why is it that no matter how hard you try, you’re constantly getting ghosted? What is wrong with you that no one wants anything to do with you? Here’s why you’re always getting ghosted.

It could actually be you. Maybe you came on too strong after only a date or two. Perhaps you were unintentionally giving off clingy relationship vibes and that person wasn’t ready just yet. Maybe you were chewing your salad with your mouth open and the person you were dating was an etiquette freak. Or maybe you shouldn’t have whined and complained about how dating never seems to work out for you and unknowingly created your own negative karma. For whatever reason, you just were not what that person was looking for at the time. The flaws and quirks of your personality are most likely completely innocent, and you are by no means perfect so what gives? Don’t you at least deserve a real chance?

One thing to remember is that, at the end of the day, everyone is self serving. We are primarily concerned with OUR OWN wants and interests. So, when you take into account the plethora of dating apps and websites out there, you must also take into account the seemingly limitless amount of proverbial fish in the sea. Basically, what this leads to is people ghosting each other left and right because we always feel like we can find someone better. Our standards are unreasonably high and we all want someone who checks off ALL the boxes on our list of ideal characteristics in a partner. When we find someone who seems to be a good match, we make arrangements for the first date. As soon as our date shows one chink in their armor, we’re outta there. On to the next.

So what does this mean? Am I destined to be ghosted for the rest of my pitiful dating life?

Probably.

Probably not. The thing about this grass-is-greener mindset is that it creates unrealistic expectations. People are not just looking for a partner, they’re looking for the PERFECT partner, which doesn’t actually exist. It’s not your responsibility to try and be everything to someone. Your job is to be the best you; that’s the only thing you can do. When you’re dating, you should constantly have the mindset that you are going to be yourself and see where things go. That’s it. The best defense against ghosting is to be your best self and to date without expectations.

When you date without expectations, nothing can disappoint you. That tall, dark and handsome guy you met at Starbucks didn’t text you back after your first date? So what? Screw him, you’ve got things to do. You haven’t heard from that cute girl in yoga pants in weeks? So what? Screw her, you’ve got things to do. You should be too busy making the best life for yourself to be concerned with inconsiderate people who can’t even show the common courtesy of telling you it just won’t work out.

In closing, realize that there is nothing that you can do about being ghosted. Ghosting is cowardly; it’s much easier for someone to never reach out or reply to a call/text because it’s assumed that you will just get the point. Is this fair? Hell no, but it’s a social norm in today’s tech crazed, self serving world. The only thing to do is to be patient until you meet that person who accepts you for you, flaws and all.

The Best Pickup Line Ever

There she is.

Despite the crowded room, she’s the only one you see. Your hear rate increases as does your anxiety. If too much time passes, you will miss your opportunity and she will be out of your life forever; you’ll never know what could have been. Deep down, you know that passing up the chance to meet this woman would be a crime against your self esteem. But what do you say? What’s the best approach?

Sadly, many guys get so caught up in their own nervousness that they never even approach the woman of their desire. They’re worried about what they should say to the woman to get her to notice and hopefully like them. This is the wrong mindset to have. In the event that you are meeting/approaching a woman for the first time, you should not have this mindset that you need to woo her or show her your value. You should only be thinking, “I wonder what she’s like.” You should approach a woman from the stance of curiosity, not blind infatuation. With that in mind, take a deep breath before confidently walking up to her and asking,

“Hey, how’s it going?”

Simple, right?

Guys have to get it out of their heads that there are magic words that will make a woman fall for them. The reason pickup lines do not work is because they are, for the most part, unnatural. Sure, you’ve seen those youtube videos of pickup artists walking up to women saying the most outlandish things you could imagine. Sometimes they actually get the phone number and, naturally, some people think this is the way to go. However, it wasn’t what was said, it’s how it was said.

Pickup lines are fun to use if you have the testicular fortitude to not give a fuck. It’s all about the energy you give off. If you’re new to pickup and you don’t have much experience with using pickup lines, there’s a super high chance that you’ll come off as a creepy virgin. You’ll stutter through the lines, voice shaking, brow sweating, just to have her weirded out by your unconfident beta energy. This will lead to you going home alone that night to a bottle of your favorite lotion and your trusty right hand. Or left, if you’re southpaw.

The reason I prefer to open with something as simple as “hey how’s it going,” is because it gives me a chance to gauge the woman’s energy and attraction level. She will either match my upbeat, confident energy with an “it’s going pretty good actually, how about you,” or she will give me an uninspired “fine”. At that point, I already know most of what I need to know. Based on her response, you should be able to tell if she’s friendly and open to conversation or if she wants nothing to do with you. If you get anything other than positive vibes from her, there’s absolutely no shame in leaving the interaction with your pride intact. She just may not be interested.

So remember, don’t get so caught up in what to say to a woman when approaching. Keep it simple if you’re just starting out; do what’s right for you. As long as you are confident in your opening dialogue and maintain a fun energy about you, you’ve won half the battle already. Stop trying to impress her so much with witty lines and instead operate from the mindset that you’re generally trying to see what she’s like. You want to see if she is good for you, not the other way around.

 

Roaching: The Newest Dating Trend and How to Prevent It

Dating is more tedious now than it has ever been. With trends such as stealthing and ghosting on the rise, it’s enough to make you want to give it up altogether. Wait, it gets worse. Not only do you have to worry about deceitfulness in the bedroom or never hearing from the person you thought it was going well with, but now there’s a new trend you should be worrying about: roaching.

“Roaching”, a term originated by Askmen, describes the phenomenon of someone not being honest about the fact that they are seeing multiple people. The term gets its name from the theory that if you see one roach, there are plenty more that you don’t see. While the act itself is not new, it now can be labeled and help bring awareness to the dating world.

First of all, let’s be fair. If you are single, you SHOULD be dating multiple people. After all, the point of dating is to test your options and date around until you discover what you like and don’t like in a partner until you eventually find someone for you. The problem occurs when you’ve found someone for you but that someone also has someone (or a few someones).

Thanks to social media and a multitude of dating apps, singles now have countless potential partners at their fingertips; the options are endless. This could partly explain the rise of infidelity in relationships and sexual promiscuity because there will now always be the notion that the grass may be greener on the other side. With so many options, it’s no wonder that people have multiple partners.

But who does roaching impact?

Sadly, there’s an unspoken idea that whoever cares the least in a relationship holds the most power. As your feelings develop more and more for a person you also run the risk of becoming more attached and consequently more vulnerable. When you start to feel like you care more than the other person, it may not necessarily mean that you are clingy or needy, but that person may care less simply because you are not the only one. You will never have all of their attention and affection.

How do you protect yourself from roaching?

Many people, particularly men, operate with the don’t-ask-don’t-tell mentality. As long as you don’t ask the essential dating/relationship questions, men won’t tell their intentions, which is perfectly fine. Men are naturally more shallow and inclined to explore their options sexually. It’s literally in our DNA. We are hunters by nature and we will sleep with a woman at the drop of a dime and not think twice. This brings me to my next point and should help answer the question mentioned above.

Roaching really becomes an issue when sex is involved. Ladies, it is your responsibility to ensure that you know what you are getting into before having sex with a man. Unless you are only looking for casual hookups it is your responsibility to have the define-the-relationship (DTR) conversation.  Before having sex, you are the one who should be asking, “What are your intentions? Where is this going?” Sure, you run the risk of coming off too emotional or attached, you should be. Sex for women should not be taken lightly; it’s more of an emotional experience for women whereas it’s primarily just physical for men. Never assume that the act of having sex automatically means you are in a relationship. This is a surefire way to get your heart broken when you eventually hear those tragic words “I never knew we were exclusive!”

Of course a man could lie and be sleeping around anyway but that’s something you cannot control and it speaks to the man’s lack of character. Getting played is a risk that comes with dating, and when it comes to protecting yourself, you need to be a superb judge of character. Of course the most practical solution for roaching is for the Roach to be open and communicate that they are dating or sleeping with multiple people but you can’t expect this type of integrity from people nowadays. Having the DTR conversation is your best chance to protect yourself from roaching. This goes both ways, because women can be Roaches too.

Heartbreak is a natural part of the dating process. You cannot expect to get through life without getting played or used at some point of time, that is naive. People are more deceitful now than they have ever been and it’s difficult navigating a dating world where people have such low morals. As you date around, be aware that whoever you are seeing may be dating around as well. Protect yourself from roaching by communicating effectively and establishing boundaries and trust with your partner. Good luck out there!

 

Being Single is Hard, but Don’t Give up on Yourself

Dating just isn’t working for you. You’ve been single for what feels like forever. You start feeling discouraged as you soon come to the conclusion that maybe you’re just undateable and you’ll be single for the rest of your life. Well, here’s some news: there are hundreds of thousands, likely more, singles who feel just as hopeless as you do. Being single is a lonesome experience, but hang in there. It’s important not to give up just yet.

Let’s begin with the very worst case scenario: you will be single forever. In the seemingly probable (but unlikely) case that you will be single for the rest of your life, you will realize that you will find freedom and excitement in the thought, not hopelessness and gloom. Just think how much you can accomplish when you remove the idea of  attracting and keeping a significant other. You have now cleared mental energy and space to pursue your own endeavors in order to lead a life you’ve always dreamed about. This should inspire you because now, instead of living with a lingering need to be with someone, you’re living a life on your terms. This is freedom. The irony is that this freedom mindset makes you more attractive than ever!

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to keep this freedom mindset when you’re constantly bombarded with “happy” couples all the time. Whenever you scroll down your timelines, you’re confronted with tweets, statuses, and memes that highlight all the perks of being in a relationship. These updates constantly remind you of what you’re missing out on and make you feel worse about being single than before you checked your social media page(s). When you’re constantly being exposed to these ideas, they’re being supplanted into your subconscious and they’re on the back of your mind all the time. This causes you to glorify the idea of a relationship and think about it more than you normally would. You start to feel like your life won’t be complete until you have that significant other.

Now you may be saying, “But humans are social creatures, we aren’t meant to be alone.” This is true. However, you must realize that things are not always as great as they seem. Every relationship is not a healthy one. Lots of couples are unhappy and there a very few couples who do not have their occasional fights and disagreements. Getting into a relationship will not solve your life problems, they will still be there. If you get into a relationship with the idea that it will be the one thing to complete your life, you will sadly be faced with the disappointing reality of “now what?” It’s fine to want a relationship, it’s even better to get into one. The point that I’m making is not to base your own happiness and fulfillment upon being in a relationship. This is unhealthy because you unknowingly  place your expectations on another person.

Not to mention, there’s the tedious process of dating itself. If you’ve been dating unsuccessfully for a while, you’re likely to experience dating fatigue. The idea of getting to know someone all over again is exhausting. You’re sick of the arbitrary “what kind of music do you like” get-to-know-you questions. You’ve unintentionally become a regular at your favorite bar or restaurant and the waiters know you by name. Even more, you haven’t even added up all the dollars you’ve wasted on dates. You could’ve bought a new wardrobe by now! At this point, you should reset and take a break. There’s a reason you’re not meeting the right person; it’s just not your time. Anything worth having is worth the wait and the work required to attain it. The problem with wanting a relationship (or anything for that matter),  is that we want it too badly. One of the odd conundrums in life is that whatever you pursue eludes you. We want things so badly that we somehow make it harder to get and we end up pushing it away. It’s up to you to stop searching externally and make changes within yourself; become the kind of person you want to attract instead of actively seeking that person.

You are not alone in your sinlgedom. It’s a painstakingly lonesome experience, I know. It’s important to understand that with every obstacle lies opportunity. The obstacle of attracting a significant other provides you with the opportunity to become the most attractive version of yourself. Realize that getting into a relationship definitely can help make your life better but it won’t always complete you. When being single gets hard, don’t give up yet, because you would be giving up on yourself.