Start out with misguided unrelenting standards and always look for the next best thing, despite the fact part of you intuits that maybe what you have is the best things are going to get, which is much more than you deserve.
Even while you’re looking for the next best thing, live in the past. (Anywhere but the present.) Dwell on it. Torture yourself with what might have been. When you’re given a choice, almost always go with what is easiest. Delude yourself into narcissistically thinking you look like and are charming as Ryan Reynolds when you more closely resemble the build of Ricky Gervais but without his wit, creativity or work ethic.
Refuse to take care of yourself but don’t lower your standards when and after it starts to show.
Expect others to do what you don’t and won’t.
Develop an addiction to instant gratification. Eschew most things that take some semblance of time and effort.
Get way too into porn. Lose vision of what the difference is between porn attraction and real attraction, Choose 15 minutes in front of a computer screen over an entire evening actually present in the same room with another person, then order a pizza or some shit. Unhealthily embrace the fact that you don’t have to leave home to whack it to someone like Reilly Reid, and try to convince yourself that you’re more than okay with that.
Look at sex as an accomplishment, not as a means of establishing intimacy with someone else — and most certainly not as a way of showing love.
Learn to be alone. Get used to it. Start to like it. Or at least try to convince yourself that you like it.
Avoid dating because it makes you anxious, but occasionally approach the prospect of dating with optimism. Tell yourself that you’re finally doing well and you’re ready to be with someone. Then cancel the date before you even get to meet them in real life. Avoid treating your anxiety, and hide behind it and the depression you experience. Make a cycle out of all this.
Move around the country. Refuse to set down roots. Become the kind of person who says some shit like, “I want to go home, I just don’t know where that is.” Realize that you are just absolutely the biggest parody of yourself, but don’t do much about it.
Refuse to mature even though you’re getting older. Embrace a stasis of sorts.
Blow it constantly. Find new ways to do so that impress even those closest to you who are generally supportive but have to in some cases be like, “Seriously, dude, what the fuck?”
Don’t be completely honest with anyone, including your therapist, about your worries or what you believe you’re finding out about yourself, especially when you’re even more afraid that you’re absolutely right about these things.
Freak out about and resolve to steer clear of relationship-defining titles.
When someone likes you less than you like them, get way too into things too early on. And vice-versa.
Be sure to see the end of everything before it even begins.
Look at self-sabotage as some sort of comedic art, and refuse to acknowledge when the joke has run its course — never admit that it really isn’t funny anymore and maybe never was.
Instead of learning from past relationships, serious or otherwise, get really into revisionist history. Refuse to accept culpability for how, when and why things ended, and instead feed yourself a narrative where you were usually the one wronged, and always the one hurt more, at least eventually.
Completely shit on The Golden Rule.
Be really hard on yourself, but also refuse to ever take proper responsibility for your actions.
Let work run your life and be your main mode of self-worth. Use it as an excuse to not give your time, effort and energy to dating or other worthwhile things that might help you feel like a more whole person.
Incessantly want both what you cannot have and what you have had but can never have again.
Be afraid and hesitant to communicate your wants and needs. Have difficulty even establishing what those wants and needs are to begin with.
Be rather unsure of what love even means to you.
This post was originally published on PS I Love You. Relationships Now.