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Five Tips on How to Find True Love (From Someone Who Hates Love)

October 16, 2011

I don’t hate love, per se, but what with all the bitching and moaning I hear from couples who are not actually in love but won’t admit it (most, if not all), I’ve formed a jaded opinon about it.

steve ward, tough love, review, relationships, love tips

Leisure Suit Larry: Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places)

First of all, most of the time love is two people with two completely separate agendas who have come together because they’re sexually compatible, or just hard up.  I don’t know if anyone else played Leisure Suit Larry in the 90’s, but for an early computer game about grizzly love affairs, it was pretty on the money.  Except for getting crushed by helicopters or gunned down for forgetting to pay for your Grotesque Gulp at the Quiki Mart.   That doesn’t usually happen.  But what does happen is some person wanders around through bad romance after bad romance, looking for “love” with only the vaguest notion of what they think that means.  To make this easier to digest, let’s assume I’m not talking about you: I’m talking about your friends.  You know, the friends who keep dating losers, or the friends who are constantly fighting with their significant other, or who can’t decide if they’re in a relationship or on the market.  Does that start to sound familiar?

Loneliness is a huge driving factor for these people.  Eating microwave dinners alone in your apartment  gets depressing, no matter how great you say being single is.  Again, this is easier to identify in other people rather than ourselves, so lets look at Bill, the middle aged divorcee who’s so glad he’s single, he loves being free, he doesn’t have to answer to anyone, it’s great, he’s never been happier.  And he’s not crying.  That tear is from holding back a yawn.  You know.  Because he’s exhausted from all the wild sex he’s been having now that he’s single. First off, lets bust that myth right now.

steve ward, tough love, review, relationships, love tips

"It's Friday, I'm in love."

Being single DOES NOT mean wild sex.  Being single means fussing in front of the mirror for an hour, curling your hair or unearthing the shirt that best hides your beer paunch, making sure you look presentable and appealing to whomever you’re trying to attract.  Then it means going out and winding up so drunk Amanda Lapore starts to look good.

Once you decide on their place or yours, you really should call a cab but instead you inevitably drive home drunk, because if you admit to being too drunk to drive it might imply you’re too drunk to fuck, and as we all know that only happens to other people.  So provided you make it home, you then engage in the worst missionary sex of your life because that’s all either of you can manage, and after that you pass out and wake up at seven AM next to some hideous stranger.  On top of that you have a brutal hangover as your body tells you “this is what you get for treating me so poorly.”

At this point, a proper relationship starts to look like a great idea, so you call up that friend of a friend, go out a few times for drinks, decide they’re not so bad; pretty nice actually: catch a Sunday matinee and BAM you’re in a relationship eating home cooked meals and having all the sex your body can handle.  You feel great!  But that shit don’t last.

How many couples have you known where the only reason they stay together is because they already are together?  Breaking up sucks, that’s why.  On top of being hurt and having to hurt someone else, you have to find a new place to live, you don’t have any money, it can drag on for weeks, and you feel like you wasted precious youth on some one who turned out to be vain, self-absorbed, lying, cheating, conniving, or unmotivated; any number of things that are all magnified times a thousand by the time you finally get around to giving the relationship the axe.  Knowing all this is in store it’s no wonder people put it off.  It’s easier to avoid the issue, maybe hope that person breaks up with you first; anything to keep you from having to own up and take responsibility for your future.  People hate doing that.  It’s hard.  I’ve seen people take some crazy shit to avoid having to do it.

Quickly, before we start; the top five most annoying things to witness in a relationship that should have ended a long time ago:

1.  Talking over each other.  This is never mutual, it is always one person talking louder until the other person just gives up.  This shit’s obnoxious, and don’t think that no one notices.  If you do this, knock it off, you asshole.

2. If you have to babysit your partner socially, i.e. check up on them constantly to make sure they’re having a good time because they’re obviously not,  you might want to rethink your compatibility.  Your relationship extends outside of the home, and if either of you are uncomfortable with that you’re going to have  a problem.  Plus it’s horrifically boring for other people.  Pretty soon you won’t be invited anywhere, so I guess you won’t have to worry about a relationship that doesn’t extend outside of the home.  Whole other problem, you miserable hermit.

3.  Pettiness.  Sorry ladies, this one tends to be on us, and it arises from not wanting to come out and say what we mean.  “He got her a shirt.  How come you never get me anything?  You know I don’t like whole milk.  Why did you buy whole milk?  The woman on the commercial gets breakfast in bed.  You never bring me breakfast in bed.”  God DAMN, don’t EVER pull this shit, especially not in the company of other people.  What you really mean is “I like to be made to feel special sometimes,” so fucking SAY THAT!  Otherwise everyone’s wondering what the hell your problem is.

4.  Not listening.  Your turn, boys.  You do this when you’re thinking “dat bitch be crazy,” when what it really is is you can’t be bothered to understand her point of view.  There’s this insidious rumor going around that women are complicated while men are simple; women are impossible to understand while men only want sex, food, and beer.  This is what you’re really saying when you repeat these things:  “My concerns are important.  Her concerns are stupid.  Therefore I am justified in ignoring her.”  The more you ignore her, the angrier she gets, and the more justified you feel in ignoring her.  Are you fucking retarded?

First of all, women are not complicated.  They want to feel valued, interesting, and appreciated, just like everyone else.  If you think I’m wrong and that men don’t value these things, just listen to a man who isn’t getting this kind of attention.  It sounds like “Fuck her, I can do what I want.  I don’t need that shit.”  This is the man’s equivalent of “why did you buy whole milk.”   It’s two different ways of saying “I need demonstrable proof that you care about me,” and oddly enough, neither of these are straightforward at all!  So the next time you think “dat bitch be crazy,” remember that you’re acting like a fucking moron, and if she goes apeshit on your ass, you deserve it.

5.  Couple who don’t like each other.  I don’t care how great the sex is.  If you can’t exchange a civil word in public or in the privacy of your own home, YOU DO NOT LIKE EACH OTHER AND YOU SHOULD BREAK UP!

All right, having identified these pitfalls, let’s move on to the five tips for finding true love.

True Love Tip #1 – For an enduring love that does not suck, BE HAPPY WITH YOUR OWN LIFE FIRST! Seriously.  A relationship is not going to fix your problems.  If you have low self esteem, you need to take care of that before you go inflicting it on someone else.  Remember: you’re not depressed because you don’t have a girlfriend.  You don’t have a girlfriend BECAUSE you’re depressed.  If you do have a girlfriend, it’s not her job to make sure you’re happy with yourself.  So in two years when you’re still feeling down, it’s not because she hasn’t been spending enough time with you, or because she doesn’t love you enough.  It’s because you’re depressed and depressing, and your dumb ass hasn’t done anything about it.  This brings me to tip #2.

True Love Tip #2 – Understand that you can only change your own behavior.  If your significant other is unmotivated and directionless, you can’t be their direction for them, no matter how hard you try (or nag, or guilt trip). If you think you can change someone when they see no reason to change, you’re delusional.  In fact, I dare you to name a single instance in which this attitude has been successful, and by successful I mean both parties are truly happy and satisfied.  I can tell you right now this doesn’t happen because people are who they are before they were born, and you can ask their mothers to confirm this.  Fetuses that kicked their mothers and raised hell in the womb grew to knock their heads at full speed on kitchen corners and fight with other babies.  In adulthood, they are still like this, only bigger, and their energy may or may not be more positively directed.  Your football playing, mountain climbing boyfriend is not ever going to want to curl up for a marathon of Grey’s Anatomy, ever, and if that’s what you like to do on your downtime, you’re going to run into serious problems down the road.  You’re just plain incompatible when “spending time together” means one of you is miserable or bored out of your skull.

True Love Tip #3 – Listen to your friends.  I know you’re not going to take their advice, but I’m just saying listen to what they have to say before ignoring it.  Your friends like you for who you are, and their hormones are not clouding their judgment about your SO, so any concerns they have are probably valid: not a call to action; just food for thought.  Your friends probably won’t say anything outright, but if  you ask what they think and you get a blanche and then an “Uuuuuhhhh, she’s pretty nice,” they’re lying and it means they don’t like the way she treats you.  You don’t have to act.  Just think about it.

True Love Tip #4 – I heartily recommend having a life outside of the relationship.  There are going to be rough patches, and when they come you’d better have something to do besides wallow in your own misery.  The friends you haven’t seen in months will forgive your negligence, but if all you can do is bitch and moan, then you’re really annoying and they’re going to talk about you when you leave.

True Love Tip #5 – Most importantly: IT IS OKAY TO BE WRONG.  Not every point in your life can be high point.  You can make stupid decisions and know that they’re stupid, and make them anyway, and that’s fine. If you find after five months, two years, whatever, that you’re with the wrong person, that’s okay.  Tip #5 in finding true love is knowing you can let a bad love go.  If your relationship is horrible, you don’t have to try to convince yourself otherwise in order to justify a series of bad decisions.  You don’t have to blame yourself or the other person.  Shit happens, you learn from it.

I think if you can slowly internalize these five guidelines, you will be that much closer to having true love in your grasp.

Got any love stories, horror stories, other tips, or think I’m full of shit?  Lay it down, let’s talk about it.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    October 17, 2011 6:30 am

    Excellent article, of course, and I definitely agree with all of it. An ex-friend (ex for many reasons, which you may recall reading about on LJ) of mine from NJ did many of these ridiculous things. It was evident she was in a failing relationship, but she didn’t want to break up because she was afraid of being alone. (Honestly, the most frustrating part of it was that she didn’t listen to me when I told her to break up with him. The reasons were so fucking obvious, it was idiotic for that relationship to continue.) There were lots of issues there, including her crippling need to feel accepted by everyone, all the time, and receive validation from the people around her instead of being able to validate herself, but the whole relationship was only still going on because of her selfish need to feel loved, and not because she was happy. She one time spent the night at her guy friend’s house up in Boston, and even said when she came back that she regretted not cheating on her boyfriend when she was there, as there were mutual feelings of attraction with this friend. Now if that’s not fucked up, I don’t know what is. But she was incredibly hesitant to break it off because she felt like she was part of his family and didn’t want to disappoint them. I mean, what the actual fuck. And even after she decided to finally call it quits, she couldn’t even commit to the decision and they ended up getting back together. (This was of course after she kept in contact with him almost daily because she felt bad that he was feeling bad. *gag*) They did finally break up for good after I stopped being friends with her, but I’m sure she’s still a miserable person, and will continue to be until she gets her underlying issues in check. It’s definitely a case of needing to be happy with who you are before getting into a relationship. 

    One thing you forgot, though, is the need to avoid feeling the need to analyze everything. I’m pretty sure this is mainly a female issue. “What does it mean that he does this, but doesn’t do this and this?” Ugh. A (real) friend of mine is constantly asking me these questions. I’ve gotten more and more annoyed with it the more it happens. Seriously, I don’t fucking know. I’ve never met the guy, nor would I know even if I HAD. I keep telling her to just fucking ask him if it bothers her so much, but she keeps saying, “I will if it keeps happening.” Bullshit. Stop trying to analyze him and just a) take his actions at face value, or b) suck it up and fucking ask him about it. Trust me, your friends will thank you, because the last thing they want to hear is constant badgering about what they think is going on in your relationship. If you can’t fucking tell, what makes you think that they can?? Also, if you can’t communicate with your SO about shit that bothers you, you have bigger issues than why he didn’t tell you till today that he has plans with his friends tomorrow and can’t hang out with you. 

    • October 17, 2011 9:51 am

      Yeah, I remember that, and she is a prime case of someone who needs actual therapy before attempting a relationship, but it might take losing a few more friends before she realizes it. In her mind I think she probably feels she makes a lot of sacrifices and that she is usually the wronged party. It’s incredibly tough to get people with victim mentalities to think about how they have the power to change their lives.

      …avoid feeling the need to analyze everything.

      Good one! Yeah, I don’t think men tend to fall into this one because the root cause it somewhat similar to “why did you buy whole milk?” Women are aware that they can be circuitous in what they actually mean, so they might look at language and intent as something to decode. Men, while equally circuitous, aren’t aware that they do it, so they aren’t looking for hidden meanings in everything.

      What’s really annoying about this for a third party is that she isn’t even asking you because she thinks you’ll shed light on the subject, she’s using you as a sounding board to get her own thoughts in order. A lot of extroverted people do this, and it’s fine the first time, but when the “conversation” enters it’s eighth iteration with absolutely no change, it kind of makes you want to get drunk alone in your bedroom.

  2. October 18, 2011 10:10 pm

    Dear Iris,

    you’re my hero now.
    Thank you for writing this article and showing the world the truth about being single.


    … Seriously, great post!

    • October 19, 2011 1:20 pm


      Isn’t it so backwards that the reason people give to “love” being single is so they can go out and search for someone to not be single with anymore? That’s like saying “I love being hungry” before going to the supermarket. To abuse the analogy, for a lot of people it’s like going to the supermarket, buying eggplant parmigiana, getting home, heating it up, remembering you don’t like eggplant, then going back to the store the next night and buying eggplant parmigiana again.

  3. November 9, 2011 3:38 pm

    “people are who they are before they were born, and you can ask their mothers to confirm this. Fetuses that kicked their mothers and raised hell in the womb grew to knock their heads at full speed on kitchen corners and fight with other babies. In adulthood, they are still like this, only bigger, and their energy may or may not be more positively directed.”

    In an article full of gems this may be my favorite. I am picturing two tikes clad in diapers duking it out.


    • November 11, 2011 10:59 pm

      Haha – thanks! I mean, I have actually spoken with mothers about this, but even when I think of myself as a child, I realize that though my knowledge and level of education has changed, my thought process, activity level, and social tendencies have a pretty strong pattern. I didn’t duke it out with other babies, though. I’ve always had a persistent wimpiness and aversion to pain…

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