You know the one I’m talking about, the one that drifts like a fakely romantic plastic bag through the seasons of your life, popping up here and there, always to be counted on to turn up again and interject themselves just as things start to smooth out for you. And, you let them. You say you’re not going to. You say that this might not be good for you. You say that maybe it’s keeping you from fully living your life. But when you’re with them it’s comfortable or familiar and crystal clear that it won’t be any more than that so you console yourself with an appeal to YOLO style sentimentalism wrapped in a sophisticated packaging.
“We’re granted but these briefest of moments to love, why shouldn’t we take them,” you think. “Life is ephemeral, like the mayfly of the river truly we are doomed to live a short life. At least I wasn’t alone…blah blah blah blah.”
It’s bullshit. Let’s try and sort this out, these reasons why you keep going back to this same person even though it never becomes more and objectively disrupts you emotionally every single time.
1. The Sex is Amazing
Okay, it need not be that they’re fabulous at sex or anything having to do with technique or physique but for whatever reason things just seem to click with this person. Either they engage you on an emotional level that you’ve rarely encountered or maybe the sex really is just that good.
If you’re the average person (read ‘woman’) you probably equate this with love a bit more than you’re willing to admit to an article you’re reading online. But it’s okay, I’ve got you. It’s perfectly normal to develop feelings surrounding sex, especially good, life affirming sex that lasts long enough and is accompanied by an emotionally present individual who engages your body with purpose and eagerness. It is normal to want to keep this person around because these people (read, ‘men’) are often rare from the ages of 17 to, say, 24. What’s more, it’s normal to want to love them because they make you feel something amazing.
Guys, she may blow your mind but that doesn’t mean you’re meant to be together and if you’re unable to get past this desire for a person that you’ll never have then it’s best to cut them off.
Cut. Them. Off. Otherwise, their genitals own you and nobody wants that.
2. You Think Sex is Love and You Can’t Help It
I think the modern understanding of sex is a baby bred of Cosmo and internet porn. Almost everything about it is utterly untrue and built on extremes you just don’t find in the real world. There’s no reason a person must be fine with casual sex and nothing more. It’s okay to be a little unsure about it just as it’s okay to a little unsure about anything. In the history of the world, being okay with a life of casual sex is an anomaly and the only people I’ve known who felt nothing after having sex with someone for the first time were borderline sociopaths. Sex matters, it’s intimate and that intimacy is one of the things that makes it so great.
It’s also why teenagers fall in love immediately after kissing (and especially after sex) which is why Romeo and Juliet still resonates. There’s a whole puberty thing pushing young people to have sex, fall in love, and make babies and that puberty thing doesn’t stop at 17. It extends into your 20s.
What this means is that for men and women their bodies want them to mate and while some get over this biological imperative before others or have it in more or lesser degrees it’s still often there for a lot of people.
And there’s nothing wrong with that even though it can cause real problems. There’s a difference between sex and love and if you’re one of those boys or girls who can’t have sex with getting tons of love feelings then don’t have sex with people who don’t love you. I know, that’s considered old fashioned but everyone is different and what one person is fine with, another person has a really hard time with. Know yourself and make romantic decisions accordingly.
Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do just so you can feel “normal” around others who are judging you. Also, stop being friends with people who judge you and stop exposing yourself to other sources of judgement whether online or whatever.
3. You Have Mommy or Daddy Issues
But you don’t want to have these issues so you pretend you don’t. You’re normal and have no emotional loose threads hanging off your sleeve that everyone can see. You are the rock in the storm.
No, you’re not. No one is. Almost everyone has unresolved shit from growing up and the sooner you decide you’re okay with that, that you don’t have to be perfect, the sooner you can look at your own life and say “I’m literally fucking this dude because I crave approval from emotionally unavailable men.” Once you realize that then you tell your guy friend with mommy issues to quit seeing that girl he “keeps trying to please even though she’s an aloof ice queen who’s never satisfied with anything.”
Then the two of you can date.
Really though, this is a really real thing that is real. I’ve known 50-year-old men with mommy issues who were just starting to realize they had them and address them. One of these guys had already been married three times before. Get a head start because, even thought it’s better late than never it’s also better early than late.
4. You’re Fucking Dull
Don’t feel bad, we’re all dull sometimes. I’m personally coming off an entire month of being an absolute bore. However, the kind of dull I’m talking about is the kind of dull that comes from not having a developed set of interests of your own. I know tons of people who basically do three things: they go to work, they drink with friends, and they watch tv. I mean, they do other things too but these are the main things they do. They don’t create anything, they don’t challenge themselves, and they don’t have any interests that will change who they are over time.
Get some interests that you really, really care about and that you can engage in without anyone else because dull people will make you dull and dull people are more prone to neediness because they can’t entertain themselves without a beer or a remote control.
Not being dull is a sign of independence and it’s scientifically proven to reinforce the human backbone over time. If your life is full of meaningful activities then you’re less likely to need to find meaning in unfulfilling relationships.
5. You’re Waiting On Them To Change
While I have known guys who were changed by the girls they met in a positive way over time, I don’t know that many. Most of the guys I know who are “good guys” were already good guys before they met their wives or S/O. On the other end, I have never known any girl who any man has ever been able to change, save, heal, or fix. Your mileage may vary but the truism that you can’t change someone into who you want them to be, ie make them love you, is universal and everlasting.
If you’re waiting around until that special guy or girl eventually realizes something about you and themselves and then throws themselves at your door at 3am in a fit of immortal passion and dedication then put that idea out of your head. It doesn’t happen. What’s more, who would want that to happen? It sounds like an unbelievable amount of work and you’re left with all these emotional bruises and injuries from all the times they were so shitty to you over x amount of time. That’s not romantic, it’s damaging.
Forget that. If they don’t want you then figure out whether it’s the sex you love about them, their unavailability (your daddy/mommy issues), or that you have a savior complex. Figure out which one it is because it is one of these things. You are not a psychic and you cannot see the “real them.”
Quit waiting around for the right time. If your sometimes lover makes you unhappy then quit gambling with the relationship in the hopes you’ll get a hit with them “this time.”
There’s nothing romantic about a tragic and doomed affection for an unavailable other who fills you up and then leaves you empty, aimless, and questioning. You’re better than that and more importantly you can do better than that.
Shut. It. Down.