Your Favorite Four Letter Word.

I’m not the best person to ask for love advice. For starters, there aren’t a lot of notches on my bedpost and there aren’t a lot of women I’ve courted. I’m deprived of experience when it comes to everyone’s favorite four letter word, but for some reason, people seek me out for dating advice like I’m supposed to know what I’m talking about.

It took me a few years to realize that my head was so far up my ass that they people weren’t coming for my opinion, they were coming because I had a functioning set of ears and a reassuring set of eyes. When I got over that, I stopped giving stupid platitudes and started listening in-depth to these emotional tirades about girls/boys. I wanted to see if I could find some insights into this whole dating and relationship game that I know jackson about.

As I listened, I realized how little anyone can possibly understand about human attraction, the ideal of monogamy, the ideal of intimacy beyond the familiar routes of friendship and kin.

Life has taught me one invaluable lesson though, there is no such thing as THE ONE.

Sidenote: This does not mean I’m spitting on monogamy. I also believe in the sanctity of exclusive unions. While there are many studies done by scientists, poets, sociologists, and other heartbroken nerds that suggest humanity is not wired for traditional unions, I still think it’s wrong to view another human being as a simple repository for our urges.

But hey, I’m a “writer”, I’m part of a community that centers its ideal of love on the concept that there are two destined characters whose attraction towards each other drives a story forward. There is Person A and Person B, and all that juicy conflict and final resolutions come from the energy of their shared love/lust/stupidity.

Most writers don’t know shit about love. Sappy romcoms, heated romance novels, noir heartbreak stories that drip emo-black tears from each scene of hate-fucking, none of that shit should be taken as gospel.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s entirely possible that your life could play out like Sleepless in Seattle. Your future could hold a love with a soon-to-be-stricken eyeball cancer patient. But your life isn’t a linear plotline and the people around you aren’t static plot devices. Writers have taught you to think that there’s someone special, someone born to be your life partner, only one person that you deserve.

So when you meet THE ONE, and you’re unlucky enough to lose THE ONE, the fallout tricks you into thinking that you’ve lost the opportunity to find that transcendent love. Because in every love story, there’s only one person who creates such strong reactions from the protagonist.

Life is not a story. It’s not a novel. It’s not a miniseries. It’s a living breathing timeline that you build by yourself. If you lose THE ONE, there might be ANOTHER ONE down the road.

If you’re lucky enough to find ONE, hold on to THAT ONE, regardless of ANOTHER ONE you may meet later. There are those who have NO ONE, so don’t get greedy when you already have SOME ONE.

I suppose that’s the beauty of it. When you realize how easily it can slip through your fingers, how temporary and limited your opportunities are, and how entitled you aren’t, you should be driven to be prepared for those precious opportunities.

Or, if you’re as lucky as some of my friends are, it could just be the serendipity of being drunk at the right time at the right place around the right person.

But what do I know? I’m a writer, and like I said before, writers don’t know shit about love.

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