DatingLove! Do you suck at it? I do sometimes and when I suck at love I sometimes find myself stuck in some of the worst possible positions known to the dating kind. These positions know no gender, but since I’m a lady person and these are abbreviated versions of my own love horror stories there is a bit of a hetero-normative, female slant to it.

But throughout my dating disasters, I’ve found that the following five positions are some of the worst positions to be in when screwing up at love.

  1. The Mother: You have a nurturer’s spirit, and it’s beautiful. You cook. You clean. You’re loving and attentive. And he always comes around … for dinner … and then leaves. He won’t commit to you because you’re more like a friend. And besides, you remind him of his mom or auntie! And why date you when you’re willing to cook him elaborate meals without him ever having to put out, take you on a date or commit to you? Yup, he says. Things are fun just as they are.

(Alternate Version of “the Mother” is “The BFF.” That’s when the guy loves you as a friend and you love him as a homey lover friend, but would prefer boyfriend-husband. This typically happens to women who don’t believe they actually deserve a real relationship and instead idolize a “safe” friendship, trying to force it into a romance. This situation also sucks. Don’t do this, nerd girl with low self-esteem. DO NOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF. It wasn’t cool in the 9th grade and it’s not cool now. He will never, ever, ever love you. Even if you do take down your ponytail and throw away your glasses.)

  1. The Disney Princess: When you told everyone one that “someday your prince will come” we were thinking more beauty than beast. But you swear, SWEAR that the fact that he’s lying to you about who he really is, stalking you, threatening you and keeping locked up in a castle is simply because he “loves you so much.” Sure he’s controlling, but that’s because he cares. And so what if horrible things keep happening to you and your relationship is creeping over into abuser territory, you have passion and excitement and possibly a restraining order and what could be more romantic than that?
  1. The Accidental Beard: He could have told you he was gay, closeted and needed someone to act as a front for his elaborate house of lies, but you wouldn’t have dated this person if you knew that’s what the deal was. Or maybe you would have? You were both good friends. You were bored that day. You had “chemistry.” But whatever it was that made you two special, dude ruined it by lying, so now you’re running around talking about how great your man is when your man is secretly dating another man and using you as cover for nosy relatives and prudish co-workers. Maybe he’ll be able to hide forever. But history says that’s probably not good for either of you.
  1. The Farrah: Like Farrah, you joined the romantic version of Destiny’s Child thinking it would last forever. OF COURSE Beyoncé wasn’t going to kick you out of the group. You, the romantic replacement who was not Michelle Williams. Not you. Never you. And sure he started dating you JUST after he got out of a six-year relationship that was pretty serious. And yeah … he wanted to keep things open because he’s seeing a few other folks too, but … c’mon! This is real. Nobody dumps Farrah. Nobody. Right! Right? Wrong. Farrah is the rebound. Farrah is the rebound. Farrah is the rebound. You will not be asked to contribute to the greatest hits album. You will be a trivia question at your ex’s wedding. I know you want to think this will be forever but sadly, it will not.
  1. The Genie: Granting wishes in hopes that your partner will “change,” the Genie thinks their No. 1 guy would be “just perfect” if he’d stop being himself. Convinced that through the magic of love you will be able to get your partner to change into the loyal, faithful, smart, clean, wealthy, successful, charming, affectionate, sex machine you’ve always dreamed of, the genie wastes her valuable time and energy that could be spent on finding the right partner on a “fixer-upper” who cannot be fixed. Real change comes from within, not from your magical head bob, genie.

Do they sound familiar? Have any of these people been you? And what did you do to break the cycle?

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