On hate and unavailable jerks

Dear Coquette,

How the hell can you NOT hate someone who abused you for 18 years?

If you can’t imagine yourself not hating someone, that means you’ve allowed that hate to become a part of your identity. You believe the hate you feel is an integral and inseparable part of you, but I promise, it’s not. You think it defines who you are, but all it does is corrode your soul.

It really is as simple as letting go of the hate. It may take some time to process all of your emotions, but that’s perfectly okay. The moment you realize that you don’t have to hold onto all that anger and resentment, you’re on a path to forgiveness.

And yes, forgiveness is your eventual goal. Not for your abuser’s sake — for yours. Forgiveness is not the same thing as absolution. It doesn’t mean your abuser is free from the consequences of his or her behavior just because you’ve let go of your anger and resentment. All it means is that you are free from the consequences of their behavior.

Remember, as long as you hate someone, that person still has the power to bring chaos into your life, but by letting go of the hate, you take away that power forever.

What does “I’m emotionally unavailable” even mean? I’m getting too much of that phrase from the guy I’m seeing. Could it also be the reason why we are termed “seeing each other” and not “in a proper relationship”?

In the context of a romantic relationship, the phrase “I’m emotionally unavailable” is a catch-all excuse used by selfish people to rationalize patterns of behavior ranging from garden-variety lack of character to downright malignant narcissism.

If the dude you’re seeing says he’s emotionally unavailable, believe him. It means that not only does he not love you, but he’s not capable of loving you, most likely because he’s too busy loving someone else. No, not another woman. Himself.

If he’s been saying it from the beginning of the relationship, you’re an idiot for not taking the hint and moving on. If he started tossing around the phrase only after sleeping with you, run for the hills. He’s bad news.

Of course, if you’re a love-stoned glutton for punishment, feel free to ignore the obvious and immerse yourself in an unhealthy, imbalanced relationship with a guy who’s neither willing nor able to make a meaningful connection with you.

I hooked up with a girl who goes to my college. Now she is starting to act like my girlfriend. I don’t want to date her, but I would like to be friends with her. Is there a good way to go about that without seeming like a jerk?

Quit worrying about seeming like a jerk, and just don’t be one. Tell her flat out that you don’t want to date her. Be honest, straightforward and compassionate. Don’t string her along, and don’t hook up with her again.

Fun-Sized Advice

On fun sized advice.

Dear Coquette,

My best friend is dating my crush. How do I deal with it?
Un-crush, or disaster will follow.

How can you tell the difference between bad timing and a jerk?

If it’s obvious to you that it’s bad timing, then that’s probably what it is. If he’s trying to convince you that it’s bad timing, then he’s probably a jerk.

What’s your opinion on Rihanna collaborating with Chris Brown?

Just gonna stand there and watch her burn. That’s all right, because she likes the way it hurts.

I cried at work yesterday. Now I feel like a pansy. Help?

No one cares. Get over yourself.

What if everybody could have sex with anyone at any given time? What do you think would happen?

You still wouldn’t get laid.

Coquette, have you reached Samādhi?

No, but I love Indian food.

What do you think about Obamacare?

I think it’s a reductive ad hominem label for complex health care legislation. It’s just branding that encourages idiots to reflexively polarize on what should otherwise be a complicated sociopolitical debate.

What’s the difference between being lovers and being “friends with benefits?”

One is a tragedy that makes you laugh. The other is a comedy that makes you cry.

Why do the Catholic bishops and Rick Santorum hate (or fear) sex so much?

They don’t hate or fear sex. They merely want to control sex, and what they hate and fear is anything that threatens that control, because without it, the patriarchy crumbles.

If a member of the opposite sex with whom you’re kind of friends asks you to go with him to a party, how can you know whether it’s a date or just two people attending a thing together because they’re kind of friends?

You do realize that you’re the one who gets to decide whether it’s a date, right? Yep, it’s completely up to you. (Relax, you can change your mind at any point throughout the evening.)

Should I use all my savings on heading to Antibes to try get a job on a super yacht, or should I stay in Melbourne, develop my professional career and explore new love with someone even my cynical, feminist mother thinks is worth putting my travel plans on hold for? WWCQD?

It depends. If you’re 20 years old with $2,000 in savings, go to Antibes. If you’re 30 years old with $20,000 in savings, stay in Melbourne. If you’re 25 years old with $10,000 in savings, flip a coin.

I keep dating men who are emotionally unavailable. Why do I keep doing this? What can I do to stop this cycle?

This is not a cycle. This is just a pattern of behavior. Your behavior. You are the common thread in all your relationships. I don’t know why you keep choosing emotionally unavailable men, but if you really wanted to stop doing it, you would stop. Yes, it’s that simple.