This is the only dating advice I can give, really.
The reality of it is this: I plan on making sugar cookies this weekend. You know the ones, the ones with cardboard exploding tubes that landmine sugar cookie dough all over your counter? There are pumpkins in the middle of these sugar cookie logs. They are adorable, although the tube is certainly a hazard to your eyesight. I will make these cookies in the kitchen by myself, with my fully brunched stomach puffed out and the mascara from my Saturday night leaking a bit down my face. It’s getting a bit ‘typical’ of me that I can’t ever seem to get the mascara off the bottoms of my eyelids, but if that’s the only thing typical about me, I can’t finish this sentence because it isn’t. Mismatched socks and the refusal to acknowledge the weather, that’s pretty typical. Crumb-mouth would also be included in that list. Anyway.
I’m telling you this anecdote to illustrate a scenario, though- If I had the option, I would run around the kitchen making cheap cookies with this totally great guy (he’d definitely wear glasses, maybe a real nice sweater). We’d throw flour at each other, even though that recipe would require no flour. He’d pick me up and put me on the counter and we’d make a general mess of everything and be assholes because we’re in love! There would be kissing and really funny jokes. But I don’t have the option to do that. Why? Because I’m single, obviously. But what’s mostly dangerous about this scenario is the fantasy I have created in it..it’s not so much the ‘not being single part’ that is crazy, it’s the ‘imagination part.’
Here’s fucking why:
Your dreams are different from your reality, and until you realize that, you are going to have a hell of time finding a relationship you can function on. Get out of your head! It’s nasty in there!
The truth is, if I had some guy to make cookies with, he’d come ten minutes late while I was waiting for him and generally complaining to people on Facebook chat that he was late. The cookies would come out in clumps and I’d get frustrated. He’d still be friends with his ex-girlfriend. My hair would look terrible. But I never see this fantasy, because then I would be sort of disgusted and get a haircut today.
We all believe our life is somewhat entitled to a movie. That we’ll be swept off our feet, or that we’ll be knocked over or under or wherever it is you want to be knocked (sometimes up, thanks Rogen). If we date somebody we loved and cared about, we assume this person will always resonate with us because that’s how it is on television- the exes get back together, the long lost love somehow finds his way back. If we dig somebody we can’t get to, or we meet a guy who gets our jokes, we assume this will still be it. It was on television, once! We don’t even have to like the shows this happens on, I actually find them pretty irritating. We just have to see it to perpetuate the beliefs onto us. It’s weird, because we’re not particularly optimistic, we just watch a lot of films. Love is always a given..not in the quiet, growing way, but in the punch your face huge way. The guy that hurts us will redeem himself. Love is hard, or not hard enough, or always full of obstacles.
This, in fact, is the worst one. Love doesn’t have to be-shouldn’t have to be-full of problems. It’s not a Rihanna video, it’s your own life, and you don’t have to go through indifference or strife just to find somebody who makes you happy. When people tell me they ‘like, like’ somebody but this person is ‘acting weird lately, not texting enough, being cold, not ready for a relationship, blah blah’ I’ll say this:
Your life is not a fucking movie.
There is no reason for this to be resolved, there is no reason or obligation to anybody but yourself in the moments you spend devoting your time to some guy who doesn’t give a shit about you. You know they don’t. You ignore this fact. If you’re not happy, nobody will notice more than you. Don’t allow yourself unhappiness because of somebody’s hand, if just for that reason.
If you are having problems, you need to get the hell out of your head, and very much out of this non-relationship you are having. You’re making excuses, which is understandable because if you meet a guy you dig in this piece of shit town you deserve a reward, but I promise you this: No good things ever stem from the start of indecision, of confusion, of asking a million friends for advice. No good things come from that shit, and until you stop imagining how happy you would be, you’re not going to see that. The movie in your mind is not real. This is not part of the plot, this is an asshole that is making you feel bad. This is not the best part of your story, this is not where the music hits the “Keane” button and you’re off to swirling rain-kiss land. It’s not ever, ever like that.
On the flip side, the movie in your head is making you a pussy. It definitely is making me a total wimp, because I believe that I’m going to straight up bump into whoever I will be destined to be with for the rest of my life. I don’t have to make any effort to find somebody- I don’t have to tell people how I feel, I don’t have to approach people at bars, all I have to do is cross my legs and wait for the person I will end up with to bump headfirst into my chest. I have become, quietly, the kind of person who doesn’t take risks. I wait. I hunt like a flamingo- dig my head in the sand and hope that somebody likes my ass.
Not the way to go. There is no audience rooting for me to find a soulmate. There is only me, and my cookies, and my happiness.
You want to be happy? Go out there and realize you’re the only person watching yourself, and if you want to be happy, you better go out there and stop fantasizing. Climb out of your brain. Stop expecting things to work out or happen. They will not on their own, because that’s fucking life. Tell somebody you’re crazy about them. Go up to somebody and ask for their number. Kick somebody the fuck out of your life. Do whatever it is you want to do that’s stuck in your head and can’t get out. Your life is not a movie, but you deserve to have a good fucking life.
I do promise you this, though- if you put your shit out there, you will get shit on. You will have terrible days. But you will have real, real things, and I promise you the finale will be much more spectacular in the end. And while you are not entitled to love, the more you live, the more you will happen to find it.
So if you want the movie, be the goddamn director.