Welcome to my advice column! Here, you can read questions asked by anonymous readers towards me, and then read along as I insult them, and then show them how to be less terrible.
This week, for February, I'll be focusing on reader questions about love and relationships (Since I didn't receive a lot of Black History Month questions).
(P.S. In no way am I adding in names at the beginning and end of each question. How dare you even imply that.)
1. Dear Genius,
I can't seem to get over my ex. It's been almost a year, and I'm dating other guys now, and I even like one of them a lot, but the ex is still in the back of my mind. How can I finally move on?
Desperate and Sad
It largely depends on your situation, but assuming it's not a "we're on a break" type thing, this one is actually pretty simple: You need to live in the reality where you and him getting back together is absolutely impossible.
"Okay but what if it is--" NO SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. STOP IT.
It's 100% over. Say it, repeat it, get used to it. Accept that this is true, and that you have to adjust your life to being without this person.
This is exactly why people remain hung up on exes. A part of them still sees themselves with them. A part of them, on some level, still envisions their future together and holds out hope that one day things will go back to the way they were.
It's like people who hold onto their dreams for way too long, only it's even more ridiculous. Your dreams often are theoretically always attainable. After all, your dream is a concept full of achievable goals.
Your ex, on the other hand, is a human being able to permanently say, "Go away, weirdo" no matter what you do.
So tell every inkling inside of you who still thinks this is a possibility to fuck right off. It's over. Do whatever you need to do in order to get that idea into your head--to step outside of the idea that you two could ever get back together.
Tell yourself he moved to an island with no Wi-Fi in the South Pacific. Tell yourself he cheated on you fifty-eight times, or is the reason your childhood cat died. Tell yourself he got run over by a train last week. Mourn him. Picture his casket being lowered into the ground. Call and give his confused mother your heartfelt condolences. Do what you need to do to convince yourself it is over forever.
Does this mean you need to unfollow him on any and all social media?
OF FUCKING COURSE HOLY SHIT. I mean if you don't do that, it will fuck up your perception of everything. How can a dead person post on Instagram?
You may need to unfollow mutual friends for the time being just to reduce any chance that you might ever see him. Do whatever you need to do to get the fuck over it. Your life cannot continue until you do.
At the risk of completely contradicting myself here, the cool thing about this approach is that it doesn't really prevent you guys from potentially getting back together. If he returns and begs you to come back some day, you can flip back to your previous thought patterns pretty easily. After all, you know he didn't actually kill your cat, and maybe getting back with him, should the opportunity present itself, would be the best option (or maybe not. Depends entirely on your situation.)
But for now, take that notion and drop kick it out of your life as far as you can. For now, that bastard is Hitler meets Bin Laden meets Nancy Grace. Also look at his face. Isn't it actually really gross when you think about it?
You're lying to yourself right now in thinking that this could still happen. You're lying to yourself when you envision your life together. The only honesty you have in your life is your friends telling you, "You should really move on," and you're not listening to it.
So instead, switch the lie you're telling yourself to something productive. Tell yourself that getting back together is literally impossible. Attack insanity with insanity. Do what you need to do to move on.
Find someone who died who shares his name and leave some flowers at their grave. He's dead, and you still being into him is borderline necrophilia.
Let. It. Go.
2. Dear Oh Great One,
I'm dreading not having a date for Valentine's Day. There's a guy who has always been clearly interested in me. I've never been into him, but I'm thinking of seeing what he's up to just so that I'm with someone. Is this too desperate?
Duh, Of Course It Is
Dear Dumb Lady,
Actually, "desperate" may not be the best word to use, but it's still not...I'll say "ideal."
First, it may be worth looking at why you're "dreading" not having a date for this silly holiday. I know, I know. "I'm a guy. I wouldn't understand."
But maybe it's time to ask yourself: Do you even really understand?
Self-examine a little here and see if you can't figure this out. Really think about why you care so much, and what it will really bring you to be with someone you're not really that into on this day.
If you go out with him, and you're overwhelmed by how uninteresting/unattractive/mouth-breathy he is the whole time, will that really make you feel better than just hanging out with some friends, or even by yourself?
Ask yourself this. I'm not sure of the answer because I'm not sure about every last detail about your relationship with this guy, so let's run through those scenarios.
If you really don't like him--like if you're really put off by him and/or know him well enough to think he's a bad person, and/or he gives you a real Norman Bates vibe, then:
1) Seriously fuck no. Don't ever go out with him. Are you kidding me?
2) Holy shit, look at what you're considering doing so that you can desperately (Huh. I guess it was the right word) try to fit in, or pretend to have something you don't on some dumb holiday.
Reevaluate your priorities, and then maybe every other part of your life that has ever existed. Jesus Christ.
If, on the other hand, you've always just kind of brushed him off because, "Ehh," maybe consider giving him a chance--not because Hallmark is telling you to, but because if he really likes you, that's at least one important part of a relationship taken care of right there, and maybe he's got some cool shit beneath the surface. Maybe you could develop an attraction to him.
Or maybe not. Again, you know your feelings and more about him than I do. But if your current plan is to lead on some perfectly nice guy who likes you, just so you can feel better about a holiday, maybe don't.
Maybe instead spend Valentine's Day with some single friends, and Valentine's night your current boyfriend. He doesn't ever reject you. He'll just hums a lot, and requires an occasional battery change.
Dear Beacon of Wisdom,
I like the girl I'm seeing a lot. Like every time we hang out, she's really chill and we have a great time. But she won't answer my texts for days at a time, and it drives me crazy. I know she's probably just playing 'hard to get' but I hate how well it works! Help!
A Frustrated Masochist
Dear Dumb Dumb,
Oof. This one is tricky, and I think we've all been there. I know the exact fear. You want to be straight up, and simply ask her if she can be a little bit more prompt in answering you, because you're an honest person who wants to avoid games, feel valued, and get on with your life.
But as soon as you say that, no matter how you word it, you're going to appear to be a level five clinger, and she'll have reason to run away. Sound about right?
I want to reassure you that these are not irrational fears that you have. A lot of people do react this way to people who try to remain more connected than them, because well, there isn't yet a convenient app for restraining orders, so clingers can present quite a problem.
So yeah, you're on a tightrope here.
Personally, I've always been on "Team Say Exactly What You Mean, and If They Back Away, Fuck 'Em" (we're working on a shorter title), but I understand not everyone wants that.
As I see it, the best solution is to try to get on her level as much as you can. Right now, it would appear you're more serious about things than she is (although she could just be genuinely busy), so you've got to back off just a little.
By this, I do not mean saying, "Fuck that bitch" and jerking off to some porn star who looks like her while crying. I'm not saying to lose her completely.
But continuing to date other people, engrossing yourself more in work and friends, playing laser tag, whatever--all of these are good ideas.
Do what you need to do to keep yourself occupied more, and fill up your life with more awesome stuff so that she doesn't stand out as quite such a sore thumb of wonder and sex fantasies for you.
Then when you text her, make them really good texts. Make them funny, and as specifically relevant to her as possible. Don't get so desperate you try some pickup artist bullshit. Just be yourself in a way that you know she has liked so far.
If she likes you, you will eventually rope her into a back and forth, and that's when you get can get her to go out with you again, and then you can take her home, put on some music, and lock her in your closet, and say, "There! This way you can always respond to me!"
(Or you know, have sex. Whatever your main goal here is.)
If you're in need of advice, and like getting ripped on for your stupid thoughts and life choices, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail, and you'll almost definitely end up in a future column: Will@BeBetterStupid.com.