In life, sometimes all we want is to feel worthwhile, to find the validation of “are we good enough” that seems to be the motivator for so many things that we do. For me, that external conditioning of needing someone to give a sense of confirmation to my actions became a crutch, something I needed in any situation or else I felt entirely lost. I needed it in school, I needed it in my clubs/activities, I needed it in my personal life.
For sure, getting positive feedback and knowing you’re doing good things can be healthy and productive, but allowing this need to turn into a compulsion is an unhealthy habit and it can develop a culture and penchant for self-shaming and comparing oneself to others. What I’m trying to say with all of this word vomit is that I think I’ve started to find things of worth to me, and that’s the key difference between external motivation and internal motivation.
One of these things is him.
This weekend, we celebrated our two months after his big exam. We drove down to this house his aunt owns by a river in this small town. While I studied for some things and did some work, he tidied up and prepared some Kare-kare for dinner. We stayed in the top floor apartment, where there wasn’t any table, so we shared our meal on the floor like we were in grade school again. We watched random Netflix documentaries and talked until the moon hung low in the sky and eyes could stay open no longer. We fell asleep and woke up in each others’ embrace. It felt absolutely perfect.
He isn’t someone I seek validation from. He isn’t someone who I need confirmation that I’m doing something right (though, it’s nice to know I feel appreciated every once in awhile). He’s worth it to me, the long-distance, the Skype calls, the wishes for more time together. In those moments in the early morning, when it’s just him, me, and birdsong, I know that he’s worth it.
As human beings, we all fundamentally seek validation, whether it’s from parents, teachers and peers. In a romantic relationship, we want our partners to tell us that we are attractive and good enough for him/her. This piece by @ro-mantik explores the concept of validation in romantic relationships.