How do you solve a problem like Maria's?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Question

I'm in love with impossible people. I always find myself chasing the people who aren't interested. I've missed a lot of good relationships and hurt a lot of really good people because of this.

I had a girlfriend who was really loving to me, but I lost interest and started obsessing over a guy who was clearly unavailable. It destroyed her, not only because I wanted to be with a man (how could she compete with that?), but also because I started to be a real bitch to her. Nothing she did was ever good enough, and eventually I dumped her. I really broke her heart.

And here I am, single and still chasing after the difficult ones. As soon as they're interested I lose interest, but mostly they just stay dysfunctional and uninterested, or they push and pull. And I keep on chasing.

I can't tell you how much of my day's energy is spent grabbing onto these slippery ideals, but it's a lot. I don't know how to change it. I'm aroused by the wanting. I guess I need tension in my life. Is there any way I can change and be healthier?

Maria

Answer

Maria, all people are impossible. Whether it’s because they are unattainable, overly attainable, clingy, distant, loving or spiteful, they are just fucking impossible. And that includes you, my dear. Intimate life with other human beings is a never-ending compromise smattered with rationalizations and dashed dreams. 

As Woody Allen says in his film Love and Death, To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But, then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness.

What does all this exhausting double talk mean? This is how I see it: the way we choose to love is often directly related to the kind of suffering we can handle. We construct different paradigms of loving to accommodate our limits of suffering, not the other way around. For you, boredom is a brand of suffering you cannot handle. And sister, I am there with you. Come on over, let’s watch some Bette Davis films.

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