There are endless aphorisms about love and dating that get branded into our brains from a very young age. But the worst one is the notion that you must learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Because it fails to take into account histories of mental difference.It’s a turn of phrase without any nuance that serves to make those of us who are predisposed to feeling bad feel even worse.Too much too fast is a mood-killer, and it can sometimes read as being a little nuts?I’m not going to tell you about the time I left the country with complete strangers, either, and at least that makes me seem insane interesting.If I’m jelling with a dude in the crowd, we can get a drink after and see what happens.It’s not a perfect system, but it’s certainly worked for me: gigs have led to nachos have led to beers have led to real romance.
I became particularly good at creating excuses (heads up for family and friends: there is a gas leak) which once left me with the nickname “Squirmy Shermie,” which I assume was supposed to be an endearing term about being a damn flake.Instead, I've found that meeting people in venues I’d normally occupy anyway helped alleviate certain stresses.I go to a lot of concerts, and striking up conversations there felt easier—there’s a mutual interest and I don’t have to force myself to meet Travis No-Last-Name at a fancy restaurant.If communication is the key to a healthy relationship, this little nugget of fake news says those of us who might not love ourselves at all times aren’t allowed in the conversation and must lead lives free of love. I have been a depressed person for as long as I can remember, now that I have the language for it.There was the time in kindergarten when I looked up at the sky and asked why I’ll always be a little “off,” the time when my crush repeatedly asked why I was sad all the time in second grade, and the My Chemical Romance songs that resonated a little too deeply within me in junior high.