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Do You Know Your Worth?

I’ve come to realize that I have been sucked into and warped by what we consider “dating norms,” more specifically “hookup culture.” I wonder where we went so wrong that we search for validation in selfish, fleeting moments that come and go, leaving us with a deep sense of longing. The aspect of this that concerns me most is that this has become a normalcy for our generation. 

I’ve come to learn that I don't have a heart built for casual hookups. My heart is not wired to find contentment in isolated moments of physical intimacy. My heart is wired for something much deeper. I wonder if we are all wired for more meaningful connections, but fear has built a wall where vulnerability needs to stand. 

Often the term “hookup culture” is put on millennials like it is a new phenomena; one that we somehow fabricated out of nothing. I’ve learned that this certainly is not a new concept. My favorite novelist, Edith Wharton captures it perfectly in her novel The Age of Innocence, through the words of the main character, Newland. After being toyed with and strung along in what we would call a “friends with benefits” relationship, Newland looks longingly at the woman he has fallen hopelessly in love with and says, “What I want of you is so much more than an hour or two every now and then, with wastes of thirsty wanting in between.” Do keep in mind that this was published in 1920; hookup culture is not a new concept. Generation after generation, we still have the tendency to look for love in all the wrong places. 

It seems to me that what we most fear and what we most long for is honesty, vulnerability and genuinely being known. Our greatest desires and our biggest fears have come to align with one another, how isolating and terrifying that is. We want so deeply to be validated by another, with a nonjudgmental eye. We want to be loved despite our oddities and insecurities. We want someone who will enter into life alongside us. Why do we waste time hoping some short lived, moment of intimacy will evolve into something deeper or even suffice until we find someone who will provide more? 

I’m coming to understand what it really means to know my worth. You are told from the time you are young that you deserve the best, but coming to understand what that means is a  process; one that feels like trudging through knee deep mud in brand new heels. Sometimes it takes learning these things the hard way. It can take a moment of recognition to realize that you have been treated far less than you deserve for your definition of self worth to mean anything at all. It’s not easy coming to a deep and meaningful understanding of self-worth, but it’s such a beautiful thing when you learn to value yourself and put a high price on what you have to offer; because trust me; you have an infinite amount of goodness to offer.

*Model: Rockstar, Superstar & Genuine Beauty Ms. Elizabeth Thomas