Un-Happy New Year!

Dear Dategirl,

There's something I have to get off my chest once and for all: I'm sick and tired of the idea that people have to go through gut-wrenching, soul-crushing emotional pain in order to find true love. Let's strip away the cotton candy and look at love the way it really is.

There is no such thing as meeting "the one." This only happens in movies. There is no validity to the idea that this person will somehow mysteriously show up when you least expect it. Almost all couples do things that drive each other crazy. That's why breakups happen so frequently.

So what's the best cure for a heartache? Just stop. Stop dating, stop calling members of the opposite sex on the phone, stop going to places where singles hang out, stop answering ads—just stop. I'm almost 40. I haven't been out on a date since 1993. I've never had a girlfriend and I'm not gay. I'm a sensible man who woke up to the fact that dating, romance, etc., is nothing but a pile of shit. Some people fall in love and dive into this pile of shit over and over again. And then they wonder why they feel dumped on? Wake up! I left that behind a long time ago, and I have no intention of letting anyone drag me back down into it. I have had no regrets since the day I turned over this new leaf.

Secluded in Seattle and Loving It

Uh, hey, Ted Kaczynski,

Don't mean to harsh your mellow*, but for someone who claims to be loving the loner life, you sure sound like one miserable motherfucker! Ouch.

Believe it or not, even though I remain a hopeless sap romantic, I happen to agree with some of what you said. I'm with you in believing there's no one true love floating around out there. Hell, I've gone through a couple dozen already! Like Chet Baker once sang so beautifully, "I fall in love too easily, I fall in love too fast." And though I wind up getting knocked down fairly often, I'd still rather open up and face the unknown than lock myself up like Superman in a Fortress of Solitude.

But that's just me. Dating is certainly not for the weak—even the ever-resilient Girl of Date is taking a few months offa men to recharge her superpowers. Maybe you're just not up to the task. If you sounded like a happy, well-adjusted guy, I wouldn't be giving you a hard time, as I don't for one second believe you have to be hooked up to be happy. But you don't sound even in the same stratosphere as happy, and that's just sad.

In an interview with Mikal Gilmore Joe Strummer once said, "real rebellion is not giving up," and I am utterly convinced of this. You didn't rebel against the idea of love and all the shit that goes along with it; you just gave up. This quote jumped up at me while re-reading an interview I did with Strummer a couple years back. See, my entire life changed after hearing the first Clash album. I was a teenager, stuck in the Jersey burbs, didn't have many friends, and more than anything, I desperately wanted to be liked. Predictably, I was wildly unpopular, meek, and, well . . . odd. The Clash taught me to think critically and be true to myself. Listening to them helped me realize that it was OK that people thought I was weird—suddenly it didn't bother me (curiously, it did continue to bother my mom). They taught me more about politics than I ever learned in school and left an indelible imprint on my life. When my best friend from high school called in tears Monday morning to tell me Joe Strummer had died, I was, and remain, completely gutted.

My point is that I am utterly heartbroken over this loss. It sucks—I'm typing this in my kitchen, mopping up tears with paper towels. But what if I had never heard that band or met that last man who broke my heart? I'd be a completely different person than I am today. Maybe I'd be someone I didn't like.

*I don't really talk like this, I just thought it sounded funny.

Loved and lost? Write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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