I’m bad at relationships

Waiting in my psychiatrist's office

Waiting in my psychiatrist’s office

I haven’t booked a modeling job in over a month because my print agency here in Los Angeles has only sent me on one casting since I’ve been back from London. They either hate me or forgot about me.  I’m still deciding whether I should go to New York or London for a few months this summer so I can book jobs to pay rent in my cheap Koreatown apartment and spend $9,000 on kale at Whole Foods.  The summer is a slow time for commercials so I’m not freaking out over my lack of bookings.  I considered prostitution for a good twenty-four hours right up until I checked my mailbox and got a surprise residual check.  I picked up my cat and yelled, “KITLER YOU CAN EAT ORGANIC CAT FOOD AGAIN!”

Since I haven’t been working much, I’ve had time to write, download new music,  and hang out with my friends who I abandoned about three years ago.  During the summer of 2010 I met an ex-boyfriend and molded every bit of my personality into being his girlfriend.  I was no longer Melissa, I was known as his chick, and I liked it.  I moved to New York and had zero friends there.  I was okay with that because I was working a shit ton, going on cruises, and singing karaoke in a Long Island basement.  For the past three years, my life has been catered to my boyfriend’s lives.  This is not a good thing.

I’m terrible at obtaining the balance between my own life and my boyfriend’s.  I often think, “well this person is making me happy so fuck everything else!”  I can’t tell if it’s an obsession or insecurity.  It might be a little of both.  I don’t stop thinking about what they think of me.  I remember saying to my last boyfriend: “I thought if I did this you would be proud of me.”  I was referring to a project that I’m currently working on.  The only person I should be trying to impress is myself.  Get your shit together, Melissa.  Is there a pill for that?

Since being back in my apartment with my two roommates/friends from Michigan I’ve decided it’s time to act my age and not like the forty-something year-olds I’ve been dating for three years. Okay,  yeah, one was fifty. But to be completely honest their personalities were not that of a typical midwestern forty-five year old, they were similar to my friends in their twenties.  Despite their younger dispositions, they were all born before the moon landing.  It’s quite a big disparity when comparing musical tastes or knowledge of Saved By The Bell.  I do tend to have entertainment tastes of older generations (I’ll challenge anyone to Seinfeld Scene It) which is helpful while standing my ground in discussions about The Twilight Zone or The Honeymooners.

One of my favorite things to do is go to parties/bars where my friends are playing records (yes records) of Daft Punk, Hot Chip, 90s’s R&B, New Order, etc. and dance and have fun.  I didn’t do that from 2010 up until a few weeks ago.  I’m not blaming my relationships for stopping me from going to parties because I could have done that at any time.  I just felt content staying home with my boyfriends and doing whatever they wanted to do.  I didn’t bother asking them to hang out with my friends because I assumed they would be bored, and the very few times I did ask they didn’t seem overly interested.  One boyfriend lived in Long Island and going to the city was kind of a long trip, and another was working twelve hours a day so I didn’t want to waste the small amount of free time he had with things he didn’t really want to do.

When you’re starting a relationship you get immersed into a whole new group of friends.  I’m really glad I’ve met people over the years through boyfriends who I would otherwise not know exist.  After a while of only hanging out with those people I got kind of bummed.  Sure, I could call them friends, and I really liked them, but they’ve all known each other for years.  I was the girlfriend they had to like.  I needed to be around my own friends.  I was voluntarily isolating myself for some weird unknown reason.

I was talking to an ex today and told him how I actually do things with my friends now and feel more like myself than I have in three years.  He responded with, “where was that when we were dating?”  I don’t know. I didn’t really have an answer for him.  I abandoned lots of things and put my obsession with the relationship in front of everything.  Melissa’s Dating Tip #1: DO NOT DO THIS.

I’ve been relying on men to make me happy since forever ago, so now I’m planning on relying on my own fucking self to make me happy because that’s what normal fucking people do.  The best advice I’ve gotten recently is to accept who I am and not feel like there’s a time limit on success (whatever that means) or a perfect relationship. Eww, I sound like one of those girls on Facebook who post inspirational quotes.  Feel free to stop reading to go vomit.

So on top of being an unemployed model who lives above a Korean drug-addict  that listens to techno and probably makes meth in his bathtub, I’m also a person who has really great friends that don’t judge me for dating older guys.  A year ago I would’ve freaked out if I knew I was going to get a real writing job, be in a commercial, and work in London.  I would absolutely call that success, but for some reason it doesn’t quite feel like it yet. I guess that’s called ambition.

Let’s see how long my own advice lasts…

CUT TO: MELISSA’S NEW BOYFRIEND’S APT – SIX MONTHS LATER

Melissa: “What should we do tonight?”

Boyfriend: “I dunno, Netflix?”

Melissa: “Okay great!”

THE END

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24 thoughts on “I’m bad at relationships

  1. Speaking from experience, a lot of older guys date younger women in part, because they look better when they’re judged by 20-something standards, and they’re less likely to get called out on their shit. Skeezy, but true. There’s a reason your exes (and mine) exclusively date younger women.

  2. I like your stories…kind of reminds me of myself, is that weird considering I’m a guy? No..I think that’s alright. I think I’ll keep reading too, your stories really are interesting.

  3. Do not have any kind of penetrative sex with these guys until at least 6 months into the relationship- exercise some self-control and restraint. In fact, start with hand holding, and then maybe a peck on the cheek when you say good night.

    Allow the relationship to develop organically – make a date a formal event – do something on the date like – walk on the beach, eat some ice cream, see a movie, have lunch, go to an art gallery, have dinner, go for a walk – simple things that you both enjoy and that allow time for conversation and simple fun.

    If you are on a date you do not need to meet friends for a good 2-3 months – make it a one on one situation – devoid of any other social pressures/influences – at the end of the day it will be you two together for the long term if he is good for you.

    Over time any guy will not be able to keep a game face on all the time and this will enable you to get to know him better and for him to get to know you.

    Attracting a man is not your problem – attracting the right one is. Use this to screen out the ones who only like you for your looks and who want a sexual encounter – there is much more to you than that.

    This sounds like old fashioned advice -it is, but it works.

  4. My 2c? Continue to focus on developing your career. In addition to being beautiful (and likable/relatable despite your beauty), you also have a sensitive, artistic eye (best Instagrams and Vines), and great humor. Quite a package. More talent than many a “Twitter sensation” I could name. Keep at it. 🙂

  5. It’s called being co-dependent. That’s not an insult ’cause I myself was ‘diagnosed’ with that a few months ago. I know there’s an actual real medical (DSM) term for it but I don’t know what the fuck it is right now ’cause honestly I didn’t want to hear it. But yeah, it includes isolating and all that other shit you mentioned. I know getting known by your bf was a bit different ’cause he was pseudo-famous, but all the other symptoms are the same. I don’t think there’s anything super-wrong with it; the fact that you realize it/analyze it/have an awareness of what’s going on is a very good thing. Good luck Melissa.

  6. We share more than a few similarities (besides having the same WordPress layout- go Coraline!) For starters- both our exes have had their penis (penises? penii?) inside the same tiny violinist- but more importantly, I echo your sentiments re: immersing yourself in the world of your partner to the detriment of your individuality. At the same time, though, love is all about that, isn’t it? Initially, at least..? Right? No? Anyway, I sincerely hope things work out for you.

    Aaand that’s my Internet Creepery quota fulfilled for the rest of the year!

  7. Start dating younger guys and here’s why: a) they’ll think you’re the smartest person in the room, b) you make all the decisions on what to do and where to go, and c) you can train them exactly how to eat the cold cut combo. -Advice from an older broad who only dates younger guys

  8. Girl I feel you! I generally date older as well, however my last boyfriend was just a few years older than I am. At any rate, I completely lost myself in that relationship. He would remark on not really knowing any of my friends, part of that being that I was so utterly content to just be with him, and part of it being that he generally wasn’t interested in joining me in whatever my friends had going on, so I just stopped asking. He also seemed to have a very specific idea in his head of who he would be with, and anything that didn’t quite fit wasn’t acceptable, so I basically spent two and a half years trying to figure out what he wanted and be who he wanted, instead of just being myself. Mostly because I was afraid of finding out that he couldn’t love the real me, and in the process, completely lost any idea of who the fuck I was.

    When we broke up for the second and final time, I realised that while I did feel sad at something ending, I was mostly relieved and felt 10,000 pounds lighter. Almost immediately I started actually living my own life, meeting new people, reconnecting with friends I’d abandoned, et cetera. While it kinda sucks being single again, I haven’t been this genuinely happy in a loooooooong time. It’s nice to have my own identity again, instead of being That Girl I never thought I’d be who ties her identity almost completely to her boyfriend and her relationship. I’m hoping I learned from this, because good god, I don’t want to feel like a shadow of a person ever again.

  9. Neediness is never attractive to a boyfriend. Or to a husband. But… it is natural to feel needy and insecure when you really love someone. That is the conundrum.

    I don’t think the key (in my experience) is to say, “I will no longer be needy.” That almost never works long-term. That is like saying you will never again get angry when a moron cuts you off on the highway. Next guy you fall in love with, you WILL most likely feel the same insecurities… the key as in most things is to act AS IF you are not needy, insecure, etc. Fake it till you make it, if you will. Simply acting this way makes you more attractive to boyfriend, which makes you happier and more confident in the relationship, which ends up making you less needy for real in the end. At some point you realize this other person thinks you are awesome faults and all, and the fear of not “measuring up” disappears.

    As a bonus you will have a more well-rounded social life that doesn’t revolve around one person.

    Anyway that’s my 2 cents, always enjoy your writing and your honesty.

  10. Your attraction to 40+ men is the strength and weakness. You seem more intelligent and worldly than other women your age. That explains why you prefer the company of these men. Still, you are prematurely 40 yourself, mentally. How will you feel when you are older?

    Observing you with your last two boyfriends here and there, you always seemed happy. Relationships aren’t perfect. You aren’t finding the perfect man in the mid-20s nor mid-40s. All have their drawbacks. You are getting sucked into dealing with their friends and not yours because it’s expedient and you don’t seem to want to make waves. It seems you’re naturally submissive. That isn’t a bad thing. To people who aren’t like that (maybe your friends?) it seems horrific but to people who like that, it works. Don’t live the life you’re “supposed” to have. Life the life you enjoy having. Getting serious in a relationship means shutting others out (at least at first). That’s normal too.

    peace

  11. I would say with all you have done so far that you are a Success. But what do I know, I’m just a poor Tow Truck driver. Keep doing what your doing. You will get where you need to be soon enough. Good luck.

  12. you’re lucky that you’re young enough to realize what’s going on ….”I’ve been relying on men to make me happy since forever ago, so now I’m planning on relying on my own fucking self to make me happy because that’s what normal fucking people do”

    as old as i am, and knowing what i know, hasn’t changed a fucking thing with me. i’m still bad at relationships and even harder on myself. .. .. gurl, i can go on and on … but i wont. i just hope you take what you’re realized and go in the right direction with it . . . . i’d hate to see you turn out all fuckin twisted and co-dependent like me . . . . . .

    peace & love to ya!!

  13. Love your boots, love that your cat’s name is Kitler, and a big thumbs-up to a healthy sense of self awareness. It’s almost impossible to talk about this shit without sounding smug or try hard, but you’re so there. Go you!

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