The Walk Away

This came up on Facebook recently, and I was surprised how many people it resonated with. It’s also come up a lot in conversations I’ve had with friends lately. So.

The walk away is the most important tool in your dating repertoire.

I realize that can sound cold. Or even manipulative. It isn’t.

You need to be able to walk away from a bad situation. You need to be able to walk away from someone who mistreats you, or even just someone who is bad for you (without intent to mistreat you). In either case, you need to know how to walk away. And yet the instinctive response for a lot of people is to cling harder. To hold on harder, in hopes of fixing things by sheer force of will. That doesn’t work

One guy I dated didn’t want to hold hands with me in public at an art event he’d invited me to, because another girl he was dating was going to be there, and he hadn’t told her he was dating other people, too. I could have gotten insecure and put up with it and tried to please him. It would have made me miserable, though. So I didn’t.  I told him no and not to call me until he got his act together. And I walked away.

He never called. And that’s a good thing. Because I would have been miserable dating him.

In another situation, a guy I’d been with for years couldn’t set boundaries with his family. Boundaries I needed. I should have walked away then, but I held on for another 6 months or so, before realizing I needed to walk away. He hadn’t mistreated me. Arguably, he didn’t do anything actually wrong. But I was very unhappy and it was only getting worse.

Here’s the thing, if you walk away from bad dates and bad relationships, pretty soon you start having good relationships. The ones you’d miss out on because you were trying to make it work with Mr. NotRight. (Or Ms.). The times someone treats you the way you want, you stick around.

You stick around when someone respects you, and shows affection in a way that works for you (let me tell you, the dude who tried to show me affection by scooping the cat litter when all I wanted was to be held? Not a winner). 

So, when someone tries negging you, (“You’ve got an hourglass figure. I’ve always prefered waifs, myself,” or “Most people wouldn’t be into you, but I like you,”) — walk away. When someone needs you to always drop what you’re doing to pay attention to them (“Why are you always gaming? I want you to go see a movie you won’t like but I will and I can’t go alone, because my time is clearly more valuable than yours”) — walk away. When someone blames you for all their stress — walk away. When someone demands you magically read their mind and then gets upset when it turns out you aren’t telepathic — walk away. When someone is a rude jerk to you — walk away.

“But,” some friends of mine have protested, “what if they’re really awesome and I won’t find anyone better?”

Okay, no. If someone treats you poorly you can definitely find someone better. And I’m not saying to bail on a relationship the first time you have an argument. Arguments are unavoidable. And we all behave badly from time to time. The thing is, the good ones? When you walk away, they realize, “Oh, shit. I fucked up,” and then they walk toward you. Now they know you won’t put up with bad behavior, so they stop doing it. Or at least genuinely try to work on it.

Do not–I repeat– DO NOT use the walk away as punishment or manipulation. That’s stupid. And counter-productive. You overdo it, and you’re the asshole. That, however, is an entirely different conversation.

Walking away doesn’t guarantee you’re going to find the love of your life. It doesn’t guarantee that life will be puppies and kittens and rainbow skittles, either. But it does give you a much better chance of finding the kind of relationship you want. Yes, you may be lonely for a while. It’s not the worst thing in the world.

Every relationship I’ve had since I learned the walk away has been better than the one before. Sometimes exponentially better. It’s so noticeable that my entire family has commented on it. At one point my mother even said, “Wow, I like this boyfriend a lot. I can’t wait to meet the next one if this doesn’t work out.”

So please, please, please, please, please, if you’re dating someone who treats you poorly, or criticizes you endlessly, or takes you for granted, or kicks your cat, walk away.

A Rant on Tentacle Porn and the True Masters of the planet

I totally need to write a rant on tentacle porn and the true master race of the world. Totally!

Think about it. All those paintings of fishermen’s wives being sexed up by tentacled sea monsters. How far back do those paintings go? Okay, 1800s. Not that far back. But still. Tentacle porn starting in the 1800s. With the possibility that prior instances may have preceded it (wouldn’t be surprising).

And then there’s Cthulhu. The dark god, destroyer of worlds. Looks like he came into popular literature in the early 1900s. Huh. Wonder what was going on in the world at the time that might have created that kind of zeitgeist.

Tentacle porn
Tentacle porn

Anyway. Powerful, predatory, sensual, sexual squid things (and octopi) exist at the margins of those time periods. Seducing pearl divers on their good days, overwhelming the fragile minds of men on the bad days.

What if, what if…. in reality, we were their servant race. Slave race. Whatever you want to call it. Minions. Peeps. And they ruled the world, and had us two legged things to run around on land arranging things to their content. But then some enemy came, some mysterious enemy came, from which they couldn’t hope to defend themselves. It would be war. Death. Destruction. Human servant peeps tossed this way and that. Messy.

So instead, they all convened–or maybe they didn’t need to convene, maybe they communicated telpathically to each other– and agreed to sink deep under the seas and hide there. For however long it took the danger to pass. Leaving their servants, or slaves depending on whether they were Torries or Whigs, behind above the land. Wandering around kinda aimlessly, not knowing their purpose in life. Trying to find it, trying to come up with meaning and goals, but ultimately feeling kinda lost and confused. Poor little peeps.

And the enemy, it leaves the confused little fellers alone. Maybe it doesn’t know what they are. Maybe it does, and doesn’t care. Why go for abandoned hampsters?

Maybe, in fact, these deep sea tentacled world masters have been in hiding for longer than we know. The truly great stay below, growing into their full strength. The smaller ones serve as spies and scouts to the world above. Where, if they’re small enough, they sometimes get caught, dunked into formaldehyde and then dissected by bored little peeps who, in another reality, would have been serving their every whim. Or getting captured and put in cages by peeps who ought to have been providing some sexings instead of taking notes and babbling.

What if this has been going on for centuries. Millennia. And they’ve erased most of our knowledge of them. Maybe they sank Atlantis.

Maybe, maybe their great enemy is the whales. The largest of the whales. You sometimes see them scarred, with tentacle marks crossing their skin.

Maybe there has been a great battle between the sea behemoths. Maybe we worshipped both once, but the mammalian whales struck marketing gold when they hooked up with the dolphins and sent them out to help the poor stupid two-legs things that keep falling off their boats. They don’t swim so good. Get ‘em out before they pee in the water.

Maybe we have been the unwitting audience, missing the greatest battle of our planet, silently waging on the depths of the sea floor.

And while the gods of our era (squids and whales, kids, squids and whales) engage in their titanic struggles, we little two-legs-peeps-servant things are still trying to figure out our purpose, and we keep poking at shiny rocks that burn, and digging for oil, and putting crap into the air (with no one to tell us not to, since the big guys are underwater and totally ignoring us). And maybe, just maybe, after centuries of struggle, their battle ends in a wash of plastic bottles and pollution.

The great war is ended. What few remain struggle off to hiding places in hopes of healing. In hopes of raising their civilizations again, and finding whichever little fucker it was went and got the whole planet fucked up. And meanwhile, we keep wandering around on land, with our strange hats and shoes and shit, totally unaware of our impending doom, and occasionally giggling over dirty pictures of a cute Japanese diver girl getting sexed up by a bunch of amorous octopi.

Well, until the probe comes and starts wailing in the air over San Francisco and there are no fucking whales left to answer and the giant squid down below are thinking, “Yes! The plan will work. The whales are dead, and now this dumb probe will kill off the walkie-incompetent-peep things–and really, who let them stop worshiping us? That was a totally bad idea. But all we gotta do is chill and relax on our deep sea sofas and divans and wait for life as they know it to go kaput. Then the whole place is ours again. Rock.”

Until, of course, the peeps figure shit out because, man, they did that whole space travel thing in the time that they had no squids to worship, and hey, if you’re going to pick a purpose, building spaceships to fly to the stars is a pretty good one.

And so the peeps ruin it again, and the squids wake to silence as the probe stops wailing and goes away, and that wasn’t quite supposed to happen that way and then they hear it.

The ancient enemy.

Is back.


I guess I can take that rant off the to do list.