Are You Coming on too Strong..?

With Valentine’s Day on us rather soon, Pete Brooker considers the rollercoaster ride of modern relationships….

My head is nestled on a cushion that I got from her as a Christmas gift with a vantage point of my mobile phone charging on the dresser across the room. It’s a funny thing waiting for a reply on a phone that could determine your happiness. If it’s a YES it lights up, with her name and a resplendent PING. If it’s a NO it lights up, with her name and an indiscriminate yet equally resplendent PING.

It’s incredibly adolescent behaviour. Do we all get reduced to this? Is it a case of the millennial culture – desperately wanting to be loved, compounding low self-esteem with suppressed anxiety issues. The anticipation of heartbreak is almost as sickening as the heartbreak itself. Yet still we all shoot for the stars on the premise, that we’re the special ones. We queue up at life’s canteen expecting to have our dollop of happiness, only the canteen is in Oliver’s orphanage, and our narcissistic ideologies empower us with the audacity to get up and ask for more.

So obviously I’m coming on too strong, and I’ve propositioned my girlfriend with an all or nothing, ‘tick this box’ text. Perhaps it’s the crap inpatient Texas Holdem Poker player in me that just wants to go all in and clean house, or leave with nothing. So how does one become cool, composed, and gain the initiative. Here’s the advice I give myself, yet never have the intelligence to take.

Distract Yourself
That doesn’t mean do the obvious and use your pathetic tears for lube. Remember the advice the prison warden gave Steve McQueen before punishing him to seven years solitary confinement in the film Papillon. It will only drain your strength. I mean hang around with friends, catch a game, avoid the cinema – films generally over identify with themes of love and romantic tosh.

Dump Him/Her 
He or she is clearly not showing you enough affection. Even if you are a demanding little snowflake, you should be paired with another demanding little snowflake who can feed your needy inner beast, pat you on the head and tell you it’s all ok. That you’re possessive behaviour is a refreshing change to their ex’s desultory approach, which they now secretly crave.

Get Help
Love is all around according to The Troggs, except in your sad little world am I right? Well Love may not be in your blast radius, but nowadays there’s a therapists office on every street corner. It will probably cost you 50-sheets for an hour but depending on how much of a chipped cup you are, you could only need an hour and it will be the best nifty you’ve ever spent.

Stay off the Drugs
I say that as a sober man that has not ingested any in the past 150 hours. You see most people count days, true abusers will count the hours. Treat her as a drug you need to give up. That could mean going cold turkey, deleting her, sleeping with her friends (actually although that is good advice, it doesn’t really work in this metaphor) and just don’t let her/the drug, dictate your life.

Talk to her Rationally
Maybe this should have gone to the top. Whilst you’ve internalised and over-thought every possible outcome and conversation, you’ve only really been talking to yourself for the past 24 hours. If the option is still on the table, they always appreciate a guy that will turn up to their door, and tell her how it is. Again don’t expect the fairy-tale ending to your optimistic long-dart at the bullseye of happily ever after, but at least you can say you left nothing on the table. riddle_stop 2

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