One night stands are obviously something very personal – it’s a personal choice based on your personal values and beliefs. Some people have just had one, some have had a few, some do it often, some haven’t had a one night stand – yet, and others would never have one at all. I have respect for everyone’s beliefs, morals, values, and all religions. The purpose of this post is not to bring out the moral or judgemental police, nor is it about wanting to ignite a conversation that further dilutes something I personally think we can do a lot better at understanding (and not judging). I want to provide for you, everything that I wish was said to me about one night stands.

I think one night stands are very confusing, unnecessarily judged, and extremely contradictory. There are very few kinds of sex that have so many double standards and misconceptions associated with them.

On one end, they are depicted as these exciting, intense, passionate encounters that are romanticized in movies, books, and on television. On the other end, one night stands are viewed as desperate, immoral, slutty, and something that you should feel ashamed of doing. Regardless, both are not constructive. They are destructive.

Think about it – the walk of SHAME is most often described as what follows a one night stand. And because of all the contradictory elements, there’s a lot of information out there that just focuses on one end or the other. Which is fine, but I think that this kind of black-and-white analysis contaminates our perception of one night stands in a way that doesn’t serve anyone or anything – other than perpetuating some pretty ignorant stereotypes and assumptions.

So far in my life, I’ve had two one night stands. One was a literal one night stand and the other was a one night stand that turned into a relationship that lasted over a year. Looking back, both had a degree of shame associated with them. The shame sabotaged the relationship I had with myself, and in the case where it turned into a relationship, the other person.

Just like there are two different depictions of one night stands, there are two different reactions most people get when sharing their one night stand experiences. There’s either this frat bro, high-five “tell me everything” kind of slumber party cheerleading or… the listener realizes that this is a great opportunity to covertly place themselves on a moral, ethical, and psychological high horse. They do this by emotionally recoiling and being passively judgemental (even though, more often than not, these people have done things that are much more ethically and morally questionable than having a one night stand).

There’s no judgment here on PMS. Ever.

I used to think that a one night stand and dignity could never coexist.

I was wrong.

Whatever your beliefs are – if you are having one night stands or if you choose to have a one night stand in the future…

There is a way to go about it where your dignity remains intact, your emotions stay in reasonable line, your boundaries are respected, and you don’t fall off your white horse.

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If you’ve ever wondered “why am I still single?” this one’s for you.

Not too long ago, being single over the age of thirty was a shameful stigma. This is still true for many parts of the world. My Mother grew up in a different country and in a completely different world than I did. Her story is not mine to tell, but I hope one day she tells it here on PMS. When I was born, my grandmother was in her late thirties and I was lucky enough to know all of my great grandmothers except for one.

Here in Los Angeles, most of my girlfriends don’t get married or have kids until well into their thirties. Many men I know in their forties and fifties are having their first child or they have young kids. In other parts of the country, people get married and have children much younger. I love connecting with all of you around the world and learning about the cultural differences within the big cities and small towns of my own country, as well as others.

As of two years ago, for the very first time, unmarried people in America surpassed married ones by .2%. – making ours the most unmarried generation in recorded human history. 

The reasons for this could be anything. Yes, we are collectively waiting longer to marry. Yes, it’s easier now to get a divorce than it was a generation ago. Yes, the online culture has now given us so many choices and distractions, it’s harder than ever to focus on finding “The One.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re someone who really wants to fall in love, get married and start a family or if you don’t know exactly what you want right now.

Whatever the case may be, we all want meaning, intimacy, and connection. And as time goes by, if we feel like we’re doing all the right things – putting ourselves out there, evolving, improving, and are STILL single…

It’s devastating, it’s confusing, and it’s unfair.

You start to think that you’re just unlucky in love. And you reside in that awful tug-of-war-land-of-limbo where you’re constantly going from having to psych yourself into embracing your single status and not succumbing to the pain of “something missing” – despite being the kind of person and building the kind of life that classifies you as a catch.

So, if you’ve dotted every self-reflective “i,” crossed every relational “t,” are exhausted, and asking yourself “why am I still single?”….

Let’s make some sense of it.

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Shame vs guilt is tricky. Some say the differences are obvious – that one is good and the other is bad. Many institutions, cults, organizations, parental figures from your childhood, teachers, coaches, friends, family, romantic partners, and even some religions use these two powerful emotions to your disadvantage without you even knowing it.

Once they can ignite guilt and shame within you, they then get to justifiably ask for the keys to the car of your life – after getting you to voluntarily admit that you are not qualified to drive (which you are ashamed about having to acknowledge and which absolves them of the empathetic guilt that they are incapable of feeling/acknowledging).

This is done in a short-cut attempt to sever the ties from the anchors of their own shame and guilt. It can also be done to affirm power. To them, the fact that you are now handing over your keys gives them immunity (even though it’s rooted in delusion).

That “immunity” cannot exist though, without emotional unavailability, narcissism, gaslighting, and in some cases, pathological lying and sociopathy.

There are so many things today that I feel ashamed of myself – for doing, for not doing, for feeling, for not letting go of, for saying, for not saying, for struggling with, etc. And the intertwined guilt that comes with each of these things made it hard for a really long time…

Until I was able to use these normal, human emotions of guilt, shame, and guilt vs shame to my dignified advantage.

Here’s what I know about shame vs guilt now that I’ve found my way out…

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When it comes to fake friends, we have all had them and we have all been one.

Even if you’ve been the best friend imaginable and have never been a fake friend to someone else… The fact that you have tolerated, excused, and have given second chances and credit that was never earned to a fools gold friend, means that YOU were a fake friend to both your gut/instinct and the one person who needed you the most: Yourself.

I have been an awful friend to myself and other people. When I think back to how terrible of a friend I was to certain people when I was younger, the guilt, shame, self-hate, and embarrassment is so bad, it would paralyze me if I had not built a life around those lessons learned.

What hurts even more, is that I was always a fake friend to the absolute best people.

I would give all my love, care, and attention to the people in my life who were just as toxic and just as fake of a friend to me as I was to these friends who were the most deserving. This negative feedback loop justified my narcissistic, hypocritical behavior and cemented my bad luck and self-sabotaging ways.

The ability to put up with fake friends is directly tied to your low self-esteem, non-existent confidence, and lack of boundaries. It’s all about how willing you are to continue being a fake friend to yourself.

We all carry shame from our mistakes in the past. We overly blame ourselves, personalize the behavior of others, and because of this, adopt negative beliefs about ourselves that prevent our innate ability to prevail. The lack of self-worth we feel makes us a sitting duck for emotionally cutting via putting up with fake friends.

You will never tolerate being treated any worse from others than you are already treating yourself. And remember…

Fake friends will always (directly and indirectly), make you feel (through their patterns, actions, inactions, and words) the exact.same.way that they feel about themselves – sh*tty.

We put up with fake friends for many reasons – because we have a history with them, we feel elevated by association with them, and we confuse being needed with being wanted.

The common denominators here are loneliness and thirst.

We are lonely and because of this, thirsty for the attention we avoid having to give ourselves. The self-reflection that it would require is just too painful.

So, we settle for the low-quality attention of fake friends.

Today, my life is much different than it was years ago…

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