December 15, 2013 / When Oneitis Is Just A Symptom
Often times, oneitis is just a symptom of greater issues.
The Beatles famously crooned, "all you need is love." But they were wrong.
If you think all you need is love, then it’s very possible you’ll end up in a situation where the only thing you try to have is love. If you find yourself truly plunging into the depths of despair over your oneitis, then this may be why. I’ve spoken to countless guys about their depression and oneitis, and for the most unhappy of them, they always say the same thing: "You don’t understand. She’s all I care about."
Have you ever said these words? If you have, then your oneitis is not the problem. It’s a symptom. A symptom of you being deeply unhappy with your life, and you’ve used your infatuation over a woman as an escape to fantasize about a brighter future. This is why your oneitis is so crushing. You thought all you needed was love, and since you don’t have it, you feel you have nothing.
Is this you? Review these areas of your life. If you’re rich in these areas, then your oneitis is something you’ll be able to easily overcome because you’ll realize there’s much more to your life than infatuation over a single woman. But if not, it could explain why you’re feeling so depressed, and you’ll need to do something much more constructive than "go out and fuck 10 other women."
1. You’re Depressed Because You Can’t Talk to Your Friends
Oneitis, or anything else that causes bad feelings, is always easier to handle when you have a life rich in friendship. While reading advice on JoshSway.com can help you wrestle with negative feelings, it shouldn’t be your only outlet. You should always try to have a strong circle of friends. Good friends enrich your life, improve your social standing, and provide an emotional pillar of support even in your darkest times. So ask yourself: is your oneitis so painful because you don’t have an outlet of good friends to talk to or get your mind off things?
It’s not always easy for guys to make friendships, and usually their friendships start over shared activities, and not emotional bonds. Perhaps you have good friends, but due to recent circumstances you don’t see them that much (e.g. you all went to different colleges). Don’t let this be an excuse to drift apart! Give them a call, send them an email, make plans to see each other. Surrounding yourself with good friends is a great cure for anything negative, even oneitis.
Maybe you have friends, but you feel they’re just not the type of you guys you think you can emotionally open up to. Well, you’d be surprised. I don’t recommend you start spewing your feelings to someone on your intramural soccer team, but just ask them innocuously "so how’s the love life?" Often you’ll find they’re ready to talk about their own situation with girls, good or bad. Soon it won’t feel so weird to talk about your own situation.
What if you don’t really feel like you have many friends? As I said, since guy friendships usually revolve around shared activities… all you have to do is join some activities. I know this is easier said than done, but there’s a reason why long friendships between guys almost always started in something like a sports team, a fraternity, or the military. Even if you’re an introvert, this is as easy as finding something you like to do and joining a group that does it! Forging the bonds of friendship won’t happen overnight. But it won’t happen at all if you just sit in your room and pine about your long lost love.
Making new friends won’t immediately vanquish any feelings of oneitis, but they make it a lot easier to deal with. You need that buffer of friendship to keep you grounded, for both good and bad. Friends make sure your infatuation doesn’t reach unhealthy levels, and they make sure you don’t fall too far when it doesn’t work out. If you’re feeling especially acute oneitis, it may be because that’s missing on your life.
2. You’re Depressed Because You Have No Idea What You Want to Do Educationally/Professionally
For younger guys (early or mid 20s), I usually see the same pattern. They’re toiling away at a menial job, haphazardly taking classes at community college, and living with their parents. It’s good to have a job that pays the bills, it’s great to further your education at any sort of institution, and living with your parents can be the most pragmatic thing to do. But it only makes sense in the context of a larger plan for your life. We’ll spend a lot of our lives at school and at work, and if you’re simply ‘skating by’ without any fulfillment, you’re going to spend a lot of your life very empty and directionless.
So, no wonder you’re unhappy. You aren’t getting any satisfaction at work because you don’t like it and you barely make any money. You aren’t getting any satisfaction at school because you don’t know what you want to do and why you’re learning what you are. And you’re not getting any satisfaction at home because you’re still living like a child instead of enjoying the freedom and responsibility of adulthood.
Have a serious conversation with yourself. Stop worrying about who you want to spend your life with. You can’t answer that question without answering this one first: what do you want to spend your life doing? There aren’t many jobs that pay a lot and are emotionally rewarding, but you should be on a path that at least ensures one of these things. Only a handful of careers require years of post-graduate education and training. And remember: in many cases mastery begets passion. There’s a saying that "nothing is fun until you’re good at it," and I feel that’s especially true for careers.
Whenever you’re feeling oneitis, you want to be able to tell yourself, "It’s not the end of the world. I’m independent and professionally successful. People have much harder problems than I do right now." It doesn’t matter that those words may seem hollow when you’re in the throes of oneitis. It just matters that they’re true, because eventually you will come around to the fact that your life doesn’t suck just because one woman decided not to return your affections. But it’s only true if you take the steps you need to to make it true.
3. You’re Depressed Because You Hate The Way You Look
The most deep-seated forms of oneitis are usually accompanied with self-loathing. You think, "I’m unattractive. I’m worthless. Of course she wouldn’t be attracted to me." You’ve decided to define your own attraction entirely based on whether a single woman likes you or not. Why did you do this? Because you don’t feel good enough to define your attraction yourself.
When you look in the mirror, are you happy with what you see? I don’t mean that metaphorically. I mean literally. Take off your shirt and look at yourself. "I’m fit. I’m strong. I’m tough. I can overcome this." Say these words out loud. Do you believe them?
There are many reasons why I write often about fitness and working out, but helping overcoming oneitis is one of them. Overcoming oneitis is an exercise in mental strength, and improving your physical strength also improves your mental strength. You may come home tired and want to veg out in front of the TV, but you find the will to go and work out anyway. Your muscles burn, but you learn to push through and finish that last rep or set.
It doesn’t matter if you’re lifting weights, running, playing a sport, learning a martial art, or anything else. If you never do any of these things, then oneitis may hit you especially hard. You may not have the mental reserves to overcome your depressed feelings, and you may feel like a physically unattractive individual.
Is your oneitis causing you to hate the way you look? Then change the way you look. This isn’t nearly as daunting as it sounds. For almost any guy, all it takes is a fitness routine and some new clothes and to turn your physical appearance around 180 degrees. Again, it won’t happen overnight, but it’s a necessary investment in yourself to ensure you never feel this way again. Your oneitis may not like you, but she should never make you feel like nobody will ever like you. You need to vanquish those self-loathing feelings once and for all.
Treat the Problem, not the Symptom
When it comes down to it, it’s simple. If your oneitis is making you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, it may be because you’ve actually hit rock bottom.
But I’m telling you that’s okay. Making new friends, getting the career you want, or becoming physically fit will take months, if not years. But your goal shouldn’t just be to skate at a level slightly better than "rock bottom." So will you let a woman’s rejection be a catalyst to a fulfilling journey to self-improvement? Or are you content to wallow in your depression? When you realize oneitis is merely a symptom, the choice is easy.