When we meet someone new, the emotion we feel is indescribable. (I’m speaking for all single people here, but you know what I mean, right?) There is hope, there is life, like “a newly sharpened blade or the trees and grass in bud” (thanks to Chen DuXiu for the quote). That is, until we do something to f*ck it up royally.
Now normally I am not insane, but when presented with the possibility of dating someone, I turn from a sane, mild mannered and carefree person into a paranoid freak beast of woe and irrationality. I am writing this as a warning to all of you fresh faced young daters so that you don’t make the same mistakes that I consistently make OVER AND OVER again. This, my friends, is how not to date like a crazy person.
Whenever I meet someone new who I am interested in, I plan out how it is going to end in my head. I look to the future and say, “Well, at least I got a quick hand job out of it.” This is not healthy. Remain optimistic! This is a new and individual situation that your past experience has no influence on. Remember, this is not the same person you broke up with years ago and it is unfair to assume they’re going to treat you the same. Optimism comes when you break ties and hang ups with the past and take a fresh step forward. Don’t let your past failures dictate your future success.
Don’t Listen to the Paranoia
So your new love interest hasn’t texted you back in three hours? Guess what they’re probably doing? Working. Running. Hanging out with their friends they haven’t seen in years. Know what they probably aren’t doing? Seeing an erotic puppet show with their four other intimate partners and laughing about what a fool you are for texting them when you know this is sexy puppet time. Remain confident that most people are inherently good and will get back to you if they are interested in you.
So they don’t text you back. You thought you had had a good time out or an especially deep conversation but they still haven’t contacted you after several days. Don’t assume that you can fix the problem by even more contact with their voicemail. STOP IT! You are awesome. If people don’t like you, that’s their deal. There is nothing that you can do to change their opinion of you but you can, however, move on to someone else. And also if they are interested and just really shitty at showing it, don’t accept that. You can do better than laying awake at night waiting for a text or phone call.
If You Are Upset About Something, Just Say It
Don’t bottle up the fact that you feel as though you are being treated poorly. But, do so tactfully. Do not store up this fury until it explodes at some random occasion, like while you’re shopping at the mall. Airing grievances should be done privately (and also in consideration that the other person may have problems with you as well). And if they come back at you with their grievances, don’t consider it as a personal attack but as constructive criticism — not a direct attack on everything you do but as a method of improving yourself. If both parties are willing to listen to one another in a rational manner, then most misunderstandings can be solved almost instantaneously. (Do not, however, bring up something that pissed you off weeks ago. This is not constructive, because if you didn’t bring it up when it happened then the other person will have assumed their actions were correct and they will, naturally, be more defensive.)
If Someone Doesn’t Like You That Doesn’t Mean People Don’t Like You
Listen. You have friends. You have been through this before and you will survive if things don’t work out. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Take what grains of truth you can from the experience and learn and grow from it. Just because one person out of 7 billion doesn’t reciprocate your feelings doesn’t mean that no one ever will ever again. Turn off “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and get out into the sun, because the world isn’t ending and it is really self-absorbed to believe that it is. And finally…
This Is Your Life and These Are Your Choices
So you may have not followed the rules as stated above. So what? You are only human. People inherently make mistakes. But the key to making mistakes is that you learn from them and use them as a catalyst to self-improvement. The true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So, let’s say, using a personal example, that someone that you were personally interested in did something that made you angry and you waited about a month to explode on them about it. You’re pissed. They’re pissed. Nothing is resolved. But don’t think of this as an end of the world type catastrophe. Admit to yourself “wow, I have fucked up.” Apologize and move on. If they are unwilling to accept your apology, so what? You are not always going to make the right choices but you are human and are allowed a bit of irrationality every now and again.
Once again, I am guilty of committing every single one of these crimes against sanity so you may say to yourself “Why the hell is this loon giving me advice?” The answer to that is simple. Everyone deserves love and a romantic life, but I feel I am correct in saying that most of us make irrational decisions when dealing with our paramours. So, let’s all just take a chill pill and realize that experience is the greatest teacher so that way we will be ready when the right one comes along.