Dear Dr. No-Love

The other day my alter ego, the dreaded super villain Dr. No-Love*, received an email asking for advice. Rather than deal with this on the Cort and Fatboy Show as I normally would, I thought I would share the question with all of you, my dear readers, and then go on to offer some advice. (Please keep in mind that Dr. No-Love is not a real doctor, which is to say that I’m not a real doctor, nor do I profess to be.)
Dear Dr. No-Love, I have had nothing but bad luck in relationships for as long as I can remember. I won’t go into the details, but believe me when I say that every relationship I’ve been in has been bad. I’m starting to think that maybe I’m not supposed to be with someone, and that maybe I’m meant to be alone. You always talk about how bad your relationships have been, don’t you ever feel like you’re meant to be alone?

First of all, thanks, anonymous stranger, for pointing out my bad track record when it comes to dating. Sure, I talk about it for the amusement of others, but others aren’t supposed to bring it up. That said, for many years I’ve had a really cynical outlook on relationships (probably because most of the ones I’ve been in have sucked), and, like you, I went through that whole, “I’m meant to be alone” thing. Then I dated someone who had that same “destined for a life of solitude” attitude. And you what? It was a bunch of bullshit. I never realized how ridiculous it really sounded, or what a pathetic, defeatist attitude it was until I got with this female who spouted that nonsense like it was a Buddhist mantra.

This woman, who’s American Indian name was Talks Out of Both Sides of Neck, would tell me how much she was into me, and that I was her soul mate, and then in the same sentence she’d start up with the “this probably won’t work, because I’m meant to be alone.” Seriously, the same sentence. We’re not talking two sentences separated by a period, but one sentence with the slight halting pause of a comma, or perhaps a semi-colon. It would usually sound something like this, “You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met, my soul mate, delivered to me by God; but too bad this probably won’t work, because even though I think I love you, and you give me great orgasms, I’m destined to be alone.”

This woman, like so many of us, had a ton of issues. And what it really came down to was she wanted either a reason to not try or a handy excuse if things went wrong. This chick—who claimed she loved me—would go up to three weeks without returning a call, and then turn around and spout crap about not being able to make relationships work. I was like, “That’s ’cause your lazy ass needs to put in some motherfuckin’ effort.”

Finally, I realized that I needed to kick her funky ass to the curb. And despite all the drama and emotional turmoil, I didn’t even bat an eye. Okay, maybe I batted an eye, but it was only a slight bat, and really more like an involuntary twitch. I also vowed that I would never spew out that “meant to be alone” or that “I’m cool with being alone” bullshit again. It is nothing more than setting yourself up for failure by providing an easy excuse to not even try, or run away at the first sign of a little trouble.

Now, I don’t mean to sound all preachy, because I’m really all about live and let live. But I do believe that if you don’t have the proper mindset, certain things just won’t happen. After I ended the nonsense with Talks Out of Both Sides of Neck, I told myself that I wouldn’t spend time dwelling on what I did wrong, because I knew it wasn’t me who had done anything wrong (other than being with this dingbat broad, of course). I wasn’t the one who kept screwing things up by not returning calls and constantly putting some crazy-ass voodoo curse on the relationship by  spewing negative mumbo jumbo.  I also vowed that I would never say that I was supposed to be alone (at least not while I was actually in a relationship with someone). I literally looked at my relationship with Talks Out of Both Sides of Neck as if I had been bitten by a rattlesnake. I sucked out all the poison, which is to say I sucked out all the negative feelings she had come into the relationship with, as well as all the negative bullshit I was carrying. It wasn’t easy, and some of it still rears up from time to time, but I try really hard.

I guess my point is this…It is really easy to become jaded and screwed up, especially after one bad relationship. You have more than one bad relationship—like maybe five or ten spread out over a decade or so—and it becomes even easier to start becoming cynical, and start believing that you are destined to be alone. But we as human beings are not genetically designed, in any way shape or form to be alone. I mean think about it. If we were meant to be alone, any one of us, then we would have the ability to reproduce at will. But the biological imperative of the human race is that it takes two to reproduce, meaning that we as a species were not meant to be alone. The problem is we have been given free will, which allows us to make decisions that we often end up regretting.  And then we begin to feel we are supposed to be alone, because we’ve made such bad decisions that we counter it with trying to convince ourselves that we’re supposed to be alone. I guess the “logic” of that thinking is that by trying to be in a relationship we’ve gone against some predestined path set forth for us, which has led to misery and suffering because we’ve defied fate or the gods or some nonsense like that. But that just ain’t how it is. And if we think that way, we then begin to create a reality for ourselves in which we try to fulfill that prophecy, which only messes us up even more.

As long as you continue to subscribe to the notion that you are supposed to be alone, not meant to be in a relationship, or cursed when it comes to affairs of the heart—even jokingly—you will find ways to sabotage things for yourself. And trust me, there are enough factors out there waiting to screw your life up and make you miserable that you should never be one of those contributing factors. Even if you have crappy tastes and continuously get with the wrong people, you can’t give into that defeatist attitude. Figure out why you keep getting with the wrong people, work to change it, and stop thinking you were meant to be alone. Sooner or later things will turn around. At least that’s what I tell myself.

* You can purchase your very own Dr. No-Love t-shirt by clicking HERE.

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