The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The thing with male validation is that even men need it. Odd, right? Well, how it works is that we as a “society”, for lack of a better term, have been under the umbrella of patriarchy for so long that we now are intrinsically motivated to operate with respect to other men. There are a myriad of examples of this and we experience them in the ways we walk, talk and even eat in proximity to men. Even our self-esteem is oftentimes rooted in our relationships with men. I say this from personal and observational experience: the way men treat you can affect the way you treat yourself. Whether this is familial, romantic or even platonic, male validation sets up the foundation for your self-esteem. However, it doesn’t have to.
Sometimes, I won’t even think a guy is cute or charming, yet I will go out of my way to make sure he likes me or thinks I’m cool. Sounds dreadful, I know, but after being an active member on social media for nearly ten years, I know I’m not alone. The fact that so many people do this just tells me one thing: it feels good! It is disgustingly intoxicating when someone, nonetheless a potential suitor, shows you attention and validation. Being liked, by anyone really, always raises my endorphins, but as I am getting older I am realizing how important it is to like myself.
We don’t need male validation, or any other external validation when we can truly be validated by our own existence. I know how corny that sounds, but I have been taking a break from the dating apps because even the rehearsed, overused pickup lines weren’t doing it for me anymore and I decided it was time to see where the wind takes me. In the past few months that I have been off the apps, I have been able to really find out what I like, who I would like and what is important for me to do now for my future.
I also came to realize how much time I had spent worrying. I was worrying about what men might be thinking and trying to crack some mythological code in their brain that, to be frank, isn’t even that deep. I won’t say that it is wasted time because it turned out to be an important learning lesson. I learned that male validation, or male approval, doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Most of the time, if it’s casual, they don’t care, so why should I? Early twenties are meant for self-discovery and learning to love ourselves. Hopefully, this will turn into a lifelong pattern, but it can start now!