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An Open Letter to Serial Monogamists

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Couple Hug Smile Summer
In a world where women of all nationalities are lamenting how hard it is to find a man, you’re the one who always has one. And you can’t live without him. And if for some reason he makes a break for it, you will just fall back into an old relationship that you already know the unhappy ending to or cling on to dear life to some other guy that, deep down, you can just barely stand.

While this drama makes for great reality television and sells tabloids pushing the many loves and love maladies of Halle Berry, in real life – this blows.

No one likes to be alone. But if being alone gives you such a panic attack that you take back the ex who cheated on you with an escort service and half of the female population of the city of Philadelphia perhaps it’s time to reassess. You don’t want to be some love stoned puppet of serial monogamy with folks you pray to God you don’t get pregnant by and hence be stuck with permanently while you remain your vigil for “the one.”

First step is recognition that you are the type of person who can’t be alone. It’s pretty easy to spot.

  • Do you have a man right now?
  • Do you kind of hate that man?
  • But you’re not going to break up with him, right?
  • But the last time you broke up with someone you found another guy (or an old guy) and got with him right away? Like, you met him on a Tuesday, and were “in love” by Friday?
  • Is everyone “the one?” Like, to the point your friends don’t even want to hear you talk about guys anymore because today’s bliss always turns into tomorrow’s misery?
  • Or, do you have very few friends because you shut out those friends whenever you get a new guy?
  • Do you keep doing the same thing -- like getting into relationships quickly -- and expecting a different result?

Sounds like you have a little problem with being alone. Maybe you should do something about that? But, you’re all, well, smarty pants, what do I do about that? All of us aren’t hermit crabs like you who can spend a decade saying, “Table for one, please.”

True. Eating an entire pint of mint chocolate cookie ice cream with your cat and/or cats while watching reruns of Millionaire Matchmaker, possibly drinking an entire bottle of Merlot, while making fun of people’s hair weaves, can get old. Of course, for me, that sounds like “Saturday night,” but I’m a blogging, slave to my keyboard. I’m not normal.
But it’s also not normal to not be able to be alone sometimes. Because, reality is, no man (or woman) is going to be the “be all, end all” for you. Part of the reason why your relationships have been so awful was because you were expecting love to complete you, to finish some part of you that’s unfinished. But what you’re describing isn’t love, that’s co-dependency. And that’s not healthy.

You have to find out why you need to be in a relationship, any relationship, at all times. Even when that relationship makes you miserable. Often it’s because there is something we do not like about ourselves that is so much easier to ignore when there’s a lover around to distract us. When you’re alone you have to deal with your issues, like that you need to go back to school to finish your degree, need to live a healthier lifestyle, need to seek professional help for you low self-esteem /depression/other mental malady, that you need to lose or gain weight, that you have a terrible relationship with your parents, etc.

These problems are internal problems that can’t be solved with a new lover. Or old lover.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, Danielle, I can totally go back to school/see a therapist/exercise/confront my parents while having a man.”
Sure, you could. But will you? Will you ever deal with what’s going on with you if you have Idris Elba, (or the closest thing you could get to Idris Elba while living in Oklahoma City) making googly eyes at you all the time? Remember, you’re addicted to always having a man around. It’s like asking an alcoholic to drink in moderation. Sir-Drinks-A-Lot is totally not going to do that. Because they’re an alcoholic. You struggle with loving in moderation. So you need to quit cold turkey, get out of your bad relationship, do some self-building, discovery and then, later, come back to the dating battlefield, better equipped and armed.

When looking for love, you want the person you present to be the best you to get the best. Don’t settle for any warm body just because you don’t want to be cold.

Danielle Belton is the creator and editor of the blog blacksnob.com, and is tired of listening to you complain about your boyfriend. And don’t be shocked when I’m rude to him in public after all the horrible things you’ve told me about him. I’m human. I love you, my friend. Your significant other gets no love.
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