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Jewish Journal

Addicted to A-Holes

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

September 2, 2010 | 9:50 pm

It is time to look elsewhere for the love you used to find in boy-toys. (Photo of Jenny Holzer postcard)

Dear Yenta,

I just graduated college where I had some lovely boyfriends.
After these guys I thought I was over being treated badly by men.

Now, since I’ve graduated, I keep getting into these relationships with
guys that don’t treat well. I keep saying that I want a meaningful
relationship, but I put myself in situations with guys that are only
interested in sex, then end up hurt.

But, those are the only guys I meet!

How do you make meaningful relationships after college?

-Confused Post Grad

Dear CPG,

Honey, you absolutely do not have to date everyone you meet. Oye, just imagine. Meaningful relationships begin with the self. The difference between life in college and life after can be enormous. In college, for some, it is a safe cocoon where people can be trusted and support networks abound. When we feel safe, we tend to make safe choices because we choose out of something beyond need. In those cases, relationships are perks, not crutches.

After college, however, it is like being thrust from a womb. No more emotional umbilical chords, no more unlimited meal plans. Just think about the shit you are faced with: insurance, rent, jobs, strangers, an entire world as your oyster, feeding yourself, clothing yourself, and wandering the terrain of your own mind. That is heavy, and in college so many of those things were tied into a single package. Loans or no loans: getting needs met was a one-time shopping deal.

So, this leaves us at dating. This wild open new post-college world is a dating mecca, for some. But for others, this time outside of the cradle is torture. If life is at all hard, it could fuel your decisions. This means that you are choosing “the ones you meet,” even though they suck, as if having one is a necessity. If the pickings are slim, it is ok to stop harvesting the crop and wait for a better season.

If you are thirsty for sex, invest in a more extensive masturbatory regimen. Check out Toys in Babeland to cultivate a more exciting relationship with your own body to tide you over and keep you from your unhealthy dependence on bad men.

Choosing bad relationships is common, and related to clinging and cleaving to someone in fear and desperation. Ie, if alone, you might have to hear your thoughts, face your heart, deal with your vision of yourself/your career/your future. By seeking the eyes of another, you can easily defer this job to them. They get to love you when you don’t love you.

Too bad that system sucks. When you don’t love you, nine times out of ten, neither will they. Use this time to figure out what hurts that you are letting men walk on you. This bad string of men are simply teaching you about your heart and how to guard it for the knight in shining armor to come. For a gentle way to get to know yourself, your strengths and your demons try The Artist’s Way.

I suggest hunkering down with a good book and some hot cocoa, writing in a journal, making some solid girlfriends and waiting this low season out. Work on your life and loving yourself; this is how meaningful relationships emerge. The ones you meet don’t mean they are the ones you are meant to be with. They are just there, and so are you, too precious to shell out your heart to whichever bozo happens to be waiting on your corner. When you do find a meaningful relationship it will be easy and fueled by mutual admiration, not desperation.

For more dating help, try reading If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl.

Also, re-read: Top 10 Ways to Meet Singles on how to meet better single friends, and, eventually, a better circle of men.


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Ask Yenta an anonymous question!  Send an e-mail via www.send-email.org to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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