Today, on Traveling With T, I had the pleasure of an interview with Samara O’Shea. Samara is an author and her recent book is LOVES ME…NOT: How to Survive (and Thrive!) in the Face of Unrequited Love . Samara also is a contributor to Huffington Post– most notably for these 2 articles: Interview With An Adulterer and How Many Marriages End in Happily Ever After?
After reading Samara’s interview, my only regret is that we don’t actually know each other because I sure would not mind chatting with her about her book and listening to her talk about love in her non-nonsense way. I think after you read this interview- you’ll feel the same way.
Interview with Samara O’Shea
Samara, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed today at Traveling With T!
Thank you for having me! It’s a pleasure to digitally be here.
How would you describe LOVES ME…NOT to the readers of Traveling With T?
The book is an anecdotal guide on surviving love that is unreturned and feeling more evolved afterwards. I tried to make the reading experience resemble having coffee with a good friend. Laughter and tears included! All the advice in the book is illustrated with personal stories—my own stories, those of my friends, and a few tales belonging to literary icons such as Maya Angelou. I’m confident readers will be able to identify with several of the scenarios.
What was the inspiration for LOVES ME…NOT?
My own experience is what interested me in the topic and realizing how many people—past and present—have suffered rejection of this kind is what inspired me to write the book. Unrequited love is a rite of passage for many. This is certainly true of artists. Whether you’re a novelist, poet, painter, or song writer, unrequited love is often what sends artists into new creative territory and they end up thriving. Taylor Swift comes to mind!
Samara, do you think that we, as women, are making bad choices in relationships because of romance/chick lit books or chick flick films? Are we so focused on the “happy ever after” that we are overlooking signs of incompatibility?
Absolutely. Whether it’s the Disney movies we watch as kids, the wedding magazines we flip through as young adults, or just the fact that “everyone else is married,” something has us convinced that love has to look a certain way and that our lives must mirror this fantasy. As a result, we can end up focusing on the idea of a person—or just the goal of getting married—rather the whether or not the relationship is a healthy one.
To be fair, men make also bad relationship decisions but not based on “happily ever after” as much. They are more influenced by the status quo. I’ve seen many men get married because it’s “what you’re supposed to do.” This is not a good reason and it’s not true. Look around, people are getting married much later in life—or not at all. There is no rush and the “way things should be” changes every day. It’s better to wait until you’re certain the relationship is solid than try to beat the clock.
What would be your advice to women looking for a relationship that is long-lasting?
Steer clear of imposing major life deadlines (must be married by 30 or else!). Focus on being as comfortable as possible in the present moment and in your own skin. Consider taking a break from finding romantic love for a while and enjoy all that is going on in your life right now. When you arrive at that place of comfort—knowing you’ll be okay whether you’re in a relationship or not—all of your relationships will improve and the right romantic relationship will find you.
Is technology helping or hurting in the “getting to know someone” process? What about after a break-up? How is technology hurting the process of moving on?
It’s doing both. Texting back and forth in the early days of a new relationship is fun. On the flip side, if you do too much cyber research on someone before the first date, it may negatively influence how you feel. If we use technology to keep in touch with people rather than to spy on them, then I think we are bound to enjoy more of the pros and less of the cons of the modern age of communication.
After a break-up, technology becomes the devil. It’s difficult not to cyber check-up on an ex. We’re all human and curious. Once the initial days of heartache pass, however, it’s important to take control of this impulse. If you’re constantly checking in on Mr. Yesterday, then you’re picking at a scab. It’s going to take that much longer to heal.
Also consider this: if you can’t control your social media usage now, you won’t be able to control it when you’re in a relationship, either. Social media habits are a big point of contention for couples. Relationships don’t change you. You change you. Facebook is a fine thing—it’s how we keep in touch and good can come from it. Just take a break every now and then to make sure you have more control over it than it has over you.
After reading LOVES ME… NOT- what is the one thing you hope readers will take away from the book?
You are enough. Whether you’re in a relationship or not. Whether you have your dream job or are still trying to figure it all out. External conditions aren’t nearly as important as internal conditions. In this moment, you are enough.
*Thank you Samara O’Shea for taking time to answer these questions!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T