I’m a relationship expert. I’ve had so many relationships, how could I not be? I’ve had a ton of bad ones, which is where the majority of my expertise lies, and a few good ones that I’ve managed to transform into disasters. Now, I know that many of you are in solid relationships, the kind that make you feel loved, valued, and respected. Spending your time enjoying life, doing things that expand your human experience, instead of worrying constantly, and tunnel-visioning everything onto your unrequited beloved? Girl, I don’t know how you live like that! So here’s a few tips, direct from my wealth of experience, to help you take your awesome pairing straight into the trashcan. Now, I’ve used male pronouns, because my personal experience to this point has been with men, but these tips work with any gender and/or sexuality, so please plug in whichever words work best for you.
1. Care about Facebook:
Okay, when I want to tank a relationship, this is usually where I’ll start. I like to begin by throwing logic to the wind, and taking everything personally. I consider every woman who likes his posts/tweets/photos a threat. I’ll assume the worst about all situations, and expect that he’s probably sending dirty Facebook messages and dick-pics to all of them (to be a tiny bit fair to me, this fear is actually based on true history). Now, you may think, “Hey, but I’m not doing that with the guys that like my stuff, why would he?”, so again, I’ll remind you, you must throw logic aside if you want to turn something you trust into something you fear, and what kind of maniac would rather spend their nights enjoying their partner, friends or self, when they could be nanny-watching another adult?
2. Listen to gossip:
After I see suspect things on social media, I like to escalate the story I’ve created in my head by actively seeking out sources of non-factual information that will make me feel even worse. Now, like my first tip, this one also requires shunning logic. I never stop to think about the accuracy of second, third and further-hand information. I forget all about the lessons we’ve learned from playing the telephone game, that the truth gets convoluted more and more with each mouth that chews on it and spits it back out. Gossip is like a diamond, the bigger and more sparkly it is, the more the person possessing it wants to show it off. I like to rely on gossip and social media assumptions instead of direct communication. Having a conversation about my feelings and fears requires me to be vulnerable, which is frightening. Validating my suspicions with fiction leads to anger, which, when it feels justified, masquerades as strength.
3. Dig in:
If I feel like my sweetheart is pulling away, I like to really dig in deeper and hold on tighter. If one is holding a cat that doesn’t want to be held, letting it go will have far less painful results than squeezing tighter, but damnit, if I let go, I won’t be holding something soft and fuzzy anymore. I like to think that if I can just hold on, eventually that cat will stop panicking and feeling smothered and really start enjoying my tight grip, and not scratch my face to ribbons. What a Catch-22. Now, if I was more concerned with my own well-being, maybe I’d see this, instead, as tug-of-war and realize that if the other team is pulling away harder than I’m pulling towards, and I continue to hang on tight, I will only end up sitting in the mud, alone, with rope burns on my hands.