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.


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