Actually a multitude of big problems that have coalesced into a giant problem. I am 31, and I cannot figure out what to do with respect to my romantic life. I have my shit fairly together. I do a lot of hot yoga. I throw a kick ass dinner party. I beat myself up about it regularly.
So, I have a hair trigger when it comes to a guy patronizing me — which men seem to really love doing. And I have the unique talent for cross-examining a guy until he incriminates himself as an asshole. Basically, no one really has a shot with me. So, I know what my issues are.
I can even observe my issues without castigating myself… sometimes. I have a full life. Online dating has worked for a couple of my friends, so I tried that several times. I miss human contact, even if I have to lock myself in the bathroom with erotica and Mr. If anything, the yoga and not going out as much has made my skin look better. Even though I have all these issues, I think I would be great at a relationship once I got myself into one. So what should I do? Force myself to date the guys who are interested even if I find them repulsive, marry the least awful one so that I can have a baby, and divorce him at 40 when I no longer need logistical assistance with an infant?
Or how do I open myself up so I meet someone who suits me? Your first priority is to keep creepy, overly critical men away from you. Rejecting black men may feel to you like saying no to your father and your rapist. Another part of it, though, is about rejecting yourself, labeling yourself bad and unacceptable. Your newish therapist is not going to tell you that, because he or she needs to win your trust particularly because you present as a strong, opinionated person who will drop a therapist who challenges you too directly.
But listen to me: Stop using that story to keep you safe. You can date and marry anyone you damn please. Even the way you describe these afflictions — and they are afflictions, make no mistake — indicates that you take a kind of pride in them, like they make you a bad ass at some level. It is your choice who you want to love.
Do you want to fall in love with someone amazing, or do you want to be a bad ass? Do you want to be vulnerable and open to whatever the world might offer you, or do you want to be shaking your head, disappointed again, having another lonely cigarette behind battle lines?
You should change your online profile to reflect this intention. Listen to these strangers with an open heart. Get out into the world and look for nice men who seem respectful but not necessarily over-the-top sexy to you. No heavy shit, no cross examinations, no anger, no flinty remarks. Maybe you need another year or two of just staying out of the mix and taking care of yourself and writing great screenplays and seeing close friends only. No one else does, though. Vulnerability is the key.
Befriend some men, and tell them the truth about who you are and what upsets and scares and hurts you. Just shut the fuck up and listen for a change. Try to stop being the best, the most confident, the toughest, the most incredible, and try being just another human being in the room for a change. Polly Hi Polly, OK, so, two things.
If you could help me with even one of them, that would be amazing. Particularly, lately, about animal rights. I feel so sad and overwhelmed when I think about factory farming that I just want to lay down under my desk. And I somehow end up thinking about it a lot. I just read something on The Awl that talked about manatees dying , for example. Seeing a dead deer on the road, also overwhelming.
I just feel helpless against all the terrible stuff in the world. I should mention I have had problems with depression and anxiety for years. Increasingly less culturally relevant, increasingly unappealing, etc. I think about this A LOT. I know how dumb that all sounds, particularly when contrasted with all my concerns about real suffering.
I was fucking sexy. I am, in fact, verifiably past my prime. And so the fuck what? You have to commit to it. You need to tune out the bad a little more, and celebrate what you have. Have you seen Sex, Lies and Videotape? Take a little more responsibility for your own happiness, will you? Stop playing the victim just because that gives you somewhere to put your anger and your guilt and your sadness.
You worry because yes, things are shitty out there, and also, because you have a good life that affords you the time and space and support to worry around the clock. If you were less anxious, you might do more to effect change in the world: Small things make a difference.
Not easy to pull off, but you have to try. Part of making the world a better place is daring to be imperfect, daring to grow older without feeling apologetic or embarrassed about it, and daring to be happy without feeling guilty and sick about it. Share that happiness with as many people and animals!
Bringing love into the world is not a small fucking thing. Keep fighting the good fight. Sit back and relax and enjoy this life. You are just an ordinary, fallible woman, doing your best to make things better. Polly Are you tired of trying?