I find it wildly, wildly amusing that we, as a collective of people, never seem to think we’re the crazy person in our sex and dating lives. And I’m no exception. For, there was a time—long, long ago—that I kept blaming my hard-luck on everyone except for myself.
“I keep attracting narcissistic sociopaths!” I would scream into the ether, my eyes stretched so wide open you could see the whites all the way around the iris (a surefire sign of instability).
“I keep getting ghosted!” I would slur, slugging back a warm glass of ice-less tequila. “I don’t know why-y-y…” I would stammer as I fell drunk on my face.
“I don’t know why she blocked me on INSTAGRAM!” I would bellow to my roommate. “Just because I liked a photo of her and her ex from four years ago? That’s a LITTLE DRAMATIC to BLOCK me, you know?”
My roommate would quietly shake her head and retreat into her bedroom.
Then, one fine day, I found myself peeling one of those black charcoal masks off my face. Have you ever done that? That shit penetrates deep into your vulnerable epidermis and when you rip it off, you rip off not only a layer of skin but a layer of your own bullshit, too. Suddenly, I was gazing into my bare-faced truth in my stained bathroom mirror. The unapologetic fluorescent lights shined right into the darkest depths of my pores. What did I see in those gaping voids? I’m glad you asked. Purr.
I saw total f*cking craziness.
Ever so suddenly, I realized the common denominator of my shitty, weird, and madly unpredictable dating life was moi. Which meant one brutal thing: I was the problem.
Let’s be real: realizing you’re the problem is never “fun.” It’s actually quite a harrowing experience, truth be told. I understand why so many of you avoid self-reflection like the plague; self-reflection—real, unfiltered self-reflection—is unflattering at best and traumatizing at worst. It’s so much easier to blame everyone else!
But placing the blame on everyone else (which our generation LOVES to do) also keeps you stuck circling around those same old, miserable patterns. It keeps you whirling and twirling through the washing machine, only you’re caught up in a rinse cycle that never ends (dark). You never get to take in the refreshing, beautiful scent of those clean, new clothes because you’re stuck spinning…spinning…spinning!
Realizing I was the problem is the only thing that broke the toxic cycle. It finally turned that never-ending washing machine OFF and forced me to get outside of myself and breathe in some fresh air. Gain some goddamn perspective! It inspired me to really look at my behavior and ask myself why I was attracting such catastrophic assholes and why I kept scaring off the “nice people.” And when I owned that I was the f*ckup, I was able to break free from the shackles of my precious ego and make positive, proactive changes to my life.
So, darling, here are some signs that it’s not them. It’s you, babe. And, even if it is them, you’re attracting them, so you’re part of the damn problem!
1. You keep getting ghosted. Like you’ve been ghosted ten times!
Look people can be colossal assholes. They will ghost you over classily leaving you because they grew up on the internet and are wildly afraid of real-life communication. They’re spineless cowards and that’s not your fault.
If you’ve been ghosted more than six times in a row, I need you to do some personal inventory. I’ll give you once, twice maybe even three times, but when you get past five? It’s safe to assume that you’re doing something that is freaking out the masses.
Are you telling your whole life story before the second glass of prosecco has been knocked back? Are you loudly expressing your wildest opinions before you’ve even asked her how her day is? Are you showing up with lipstick smeared across your face and broccoli stuck in your teeth? Are you showering before dates? Do you smell like socks? Are you being a nightmare bitch from hell?
I need you to write a list of all the conversations you’re having on dates, what you’re wearing, and how much you’re revealing. I need you to analyze this list. Put on your journalistic cap and figure out the common thread. Because, honey, there is definitely a common thread.
If there isn’t, then you need to stop swiping for obvious f*ckgirls who say they’re only looking for sex or whatever.
2. All of your exes have your number blocked and have blocked you on social. And email…
I get that we all have the occasional melodramatic lesbian breakup that results in mass blocking on all social platforms, but do all of your exes forbid you from ever contacting them again? If so, that’s extreme. If everyone you’ve ever dated wants you to have ZERO contact with them ever again and takes the time to BLOCK you, you’re definitely acting insane.
I’m not judging! I’ve been there! I realized I was blocked because I would get buzzed and start firing questions at them about the root of our breakup. It was obnoxious and stalker-ish. I’ve stopped doing this. And guess what? I’m not blocked anymore!
3. You’re three drinks deep before the date.
You might think that you’re just sipping on a few “personality drinks” to “loosen up” before a date, but you might be drunker than you realize. Even if you’ve had two glasses of wine and your date has had zero, your date will be able to tell you’re a little…loopy. Your eyes are probably a smidge red and far-away looking. You’re probably revealing too much too soon. You’re likely breathing booze into her face, and that’s triggering some dark childhood memory of her drunken parents, and she really doesn’t want to repeat history, so she’s going to steer clear of people like you.
I have an idea. Date sober. And read my sober dating guide directed toward lushes like you (and me!).
4. Everyone is like, your soulmate!
If you’re falling in love with every person you go on a date with, the people you date can sense your manic energy. They can smell that you’re so incredibly desperate to fall in love that you’re projecting fantasies on to them. They can feel that you’re not into them—you’re into the idea of love. And that’s a wild turn-off. It’s very rare that anyone will be your soulmate. If you’ve had three soulmates in the last year, go to therapy! I’m not shaming you! But seriously, you need to get to the bottom of your issues. What gaping voids are you trying to fill, girl? And can you fill them on your own?
5. You keep attracting loons, narcissists, sociopaths, players, assholes, and f*ckgirls.
Is everyone you date nasty? Self-obsessed? Do they eventually hurt you? Cheat on you? Criticize you incessantly? Do you have a pattern of dating people your friends would describe as “toxic?”
This isn’t merely bad luck; this is you. This is you subconsciously seeking out people who are bad for you because you don’t feel worthy of kindness. And that’s sad. I’ve been there.
But the beautiful thing is this: you can change. You’re in control of your life. You’re in control of your sexual attraction. Make a choice today to break the habit of dating assholes. Just like quitting smoking, it’s going to be tough. You’re going to crave the wrath of a dickwad. And, if you stay strong and fight through your urges, eventually, they’ll fade.
And you’ll start to wonder how you ever lived like that.