A Man's POV on Self Care and Cheating

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A Man’s POV on Self Care & Cheating

Art by Glenn Brown

It all started with a DM on Instagram, not the kind that you’re thinking. This isn’t a romantic story. I sent a DM to my boyfriend. Usually our DM history is full of memes and funny videos but this time I sent something I found interesting and a little more serious. A post from a male poet on the topic of self-love: 

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I wasn’t sure what I was expecting as a reaction. It was probably something on the short reply side and I for sure didn’t expect him to give it any profound thought at all. To my surprise, I was wrong and I’m glad I was. He seemed interested on the topic:

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His reply lingered in my head for a few days the same way the items left in my shopping cart do. It made me wonder, why is it that men talking about self-care is so surprising? Why isn’t it something we see more often? It made me realize that the self-love and self-care movement is mostly in regards to women. It made me want to explore deeper what men think of self-care and the correlation it has with cheating. So, I did what any girl would want me to do: I interviewed my boyfriend on the topic. I’m sure you’re as curious as I am. 

The questions: 

1: What is self-care to you? 

Each day we wake up and go through the day and to me self-care is like the light at the end of the tunnel. It is making sure to ask myself before I go to bed: did I do enough to keep myself happy? 

To me it also means to remain happy with the decisions that I make and the results of them.

2: How do you self-care/self-love?

I can’t attest for all men but for me video games take me away from reality, it gives me a break. It is you wrapped around this one character and it takes you away from it all. It is an outlet. Working out also helps release stress for me, gives me a break. Lastly a beer with friends is always a good way to decompress and care for myself.

3: When you love yourself is it easier to be faithful? 

Yes, you have to figure your own shit out before you get involved with anybody. To be clear I’m speaking mentally not financially. Before you get with someone are you mentally invested in yourself as you will be invested in someone else? You need to understand what makes you tick or what makes you cry (I abruptly interrupted with sarcasm: Men cry?). When I love myself I don’t have to run to another person for emotional or physical support, because I’m already satisfied with myself and what I have. People think it is all economics and finances but it’s not like that. You can’t love yourself only halfway, you need to love yourself fully to be able to love someone else. 

In regards to cheating as a man, you need to understand there is a level that you need to hold yourself accountable for. For me, I saw my mom shed many tears because of my dad and I would do anything to not make anyone feel like that. It took my father’s faults for me to lay a foundation and learn that at an early age no woman should have to go through that

4: Why are men scared to talk about low self-esteem and talk about self-love/self-care amongst each other? 

I think that the idea that men are supposed to portray strength and leadership in our society is the main thing stopping us from being able to share our feelings between each other. Once you show weakness people look down on you, you’re compromised, it feels like people will use that against you. That’s how they have shaped us. 

5: The poet said “ Self-love helped me appreciate her love.”  In your opinion what does he mean by that?

It is me putting myself in her shoes. Self-love is knowing what you need and don’t need to be complete. If I completely know myself I am able to love my significant other better. This means I can be presented with temptation I can shake hands with it and I am able to happily walk away without giving in to it. My energy and feelings aren’t there for that temptation. 

6: Have you ever come to the realization that you needed to re-evaluate yourself and your self-love? 

Yes. If you preach love you better know love, if you preach faith you better be faithful. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship which led me to cheat, not blaming her but it was my escape from this toxic environment. It was wrong, no one deserves to be cheated on. This is when I came to the realization I needed to re-evaluate my self-love and needed to move on. 

7: What would you tell any women out there that are with men that do not love themselves? 

You deserve better, leave. If the man is not emotionally invested with himself or with you, with what he wants and what he is willing to do for it; if he doesn’t love himself 100 percent then you should detach. Remember love is blind, believe a man when he tells you that you need to let him go. 

At the end of this interview I felt I could see him in a different light. There are a lot of shitty men out there, but there are also good ones with emotions and knowledge of how important self-care and self-love is. Nothing is sexier to me than a man that understands this and knows that to love and respect a woman they need to start with themselves. A man that knows they have to deal with their emotional baggage instead of getting in a relationship and dropping it on the girl. At the end of this conversation I also felt sad, it is 2018 and men still are scared to talk about feelings because they feel judged. This is a stigma we need to change if we want to live in the better world we constantly talk about. 

Most importantly, I came to a final realization: It doesn’t matter what gender, age, color or nationality you are, the start to a healthy and happy relationship starts with self-love and self-care. In order to understand and respect someone else, it’s imperative we start with ourselves. 

What are your thoughts on this topic?