You may have noticed that in all of May there were five posts. So far in June, until this post, there’ve been exactly zero. Or maybe you didn’t notice at all. In any case, my co-founder, Christine Garvin, and I have become too busy in other aspects of our lives to be able to devote time and energy into Confronting Love (other than the odd Facebook post or Tweet). Being that we’ve been the main contributors this means not very much fresh content these days.
Over the past several months, Christine has been building up her dance business. Between that and keeping up with her site Living Holistically, well, you know. It’s pretty much the same with me. Since becoming Managing Editor at Matador I’ve seen my responsibilities and duties go up, and my free time go down. After summer, I’ll be attending music school on a part-time basis, further hampering my ability to keep this website running smoothly.
Where did CL come from?
At the end of the summer in 2010 I separated from my wife. In the time that I was healing, I read books, I spoke with friends (hell, strangers if they’d listen). I began to look at relationships differently; I started questioning the generally accepted notion of what a “normal” relationship looked like. Are we really meant to stay with one partner for our entire lives? I began exploring the idea of self-love; this idea that to truly love outward we need to first truly love inward.
Many relationships all around me were crumbling; what was going on? I wanted to talk about it, I wanted to explore what love and relationship means today. For her own reasons, Christine was in the same boat. It was 2010. What else to do but build a website?
Writing as therapy
The wounds were still fresh when CL fired up. Partly because of that, and partly to respect the privacy of my then-wife, I wrote under a pseudonym (Sammy). Some of what I wrote was written in the tone of “advice.” I would never claim myself to be an expert, and I don’t feel qualified to give advice. What this advice was, in all reality, was advice to myself.
In posts like How I Healed My Broken Heart and Learning How to Love Yourself, I’m really just processing these ideas. In writing about it, I try to understand it better. All I’ve wanted to do is to open up discussions with you, because I want to know how other people deal with life and love.
When I began this site, this therapy — the process — was extremely important to me. The writing is still an important tool, but I’m in a much different space today. I guess you could say the inspiration and motivation to write about the subjects we talk about here is not great right now.
I got a message the other day, sent to my Facebook page from a 21-year-old male. It was in response to the most difficult thing I’ve ever written, Let’s Talk About Penises, Shall We? An excerpt from his message:
Yesterday I was reading your page about men and body image issues. OH MY GOSH!! It was like you was inside my mind…I never heard a male speak so freely about body image issues like that. In honesty, I do suffer from it and am trying to work at it and see the positives. But your page on it was very encouraging. Wish more people didn’t listen to society for what a man is supposed to be or look like and stuff. Just want to commend you again for being such a great writer who says what people need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear. Keep writing man.
I thanked him for his words, and we had a couple more exchanges. In his last message he said, “You’re the first male I’ve ever told about my body image issues cuz I was scared they wouldn’t understand or say “that’s a female problem” so I never spoke up. But after reading your article I knew you would understand. So I sincerely thank you for just listening and responding.”
“You’re the first male I’ve ever told about my body image issues…” I was blown away. You know those people who say things like, “If I can at least help one person, then it makes all this worth it.” Well, this is one of those moments for me. I am humbled.
Where is this going?
Honestly, I don’t know. Every molecule of my body wants the site to continue and get bigger. These discussions are just too important, and while we may not be the only one talking about these things, I want to just be a part of the conversation, to do my part in my little corner of the internet.
So, here it is: For now I won’t be doing anything like taking the site down. The fact is, even though there haven’t been very many new posts lately, the average traffic hasn’t changed much (thank you StumbleUpon). This means people, between 300 and 400 per day, are still reading our articles. I may still post from time to time. I will still publish articles sent in by contributors, should anyone send something in (hint hint). I still also enjoy posting things to the Facebook page (so make sure you Like us!).
And there’s this…if you want to be a part of it, because you genuinely believe in what we’ve been trying to accomplish for the past couple of years, my ears are open. Send me a message through the contact form. Maybe one day this can just become a self-run community site of some sort, where the convos can keep going but that doesn’t need much administering.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to think about it. Thank you for reading and joining in the discussion!
[Feature photo: Tambako the Jaguar]