I have a confession to make. Everything we have ever said about relationships — the rules and regulations, the mores, the laws, the lists, the 21st century updates, the theories about the cookie, when to give up the cookies, how to bake the cookies, and how to eat cookies if you’re dealing with a severe case of acid reflux — is bullshit. All of it. Everything we’ve ever said is full of shit. Shitty shit shit shit shit.
And, by “we” I’m not just referring to VSB. No, this applies to every single bit of dating and relationship advice you’ve received from any and every one from Tyler Perry to the toothless boosters selling ironing boards outside of your nephew’s barbershop.
Shit, when it comes to relationships, even our book — as amazing, insightful, and awe-inspiring as it happens to be (Seriously. Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night is the shit.) — is about as useless as an anus on your elbow.
Now, I realize what I’m saying isn’t necessarily new. You don’t have to go very far to hear someone argue that relationship advice is ultimately meaningless because the dynamics present in each relationship are too variable, too nuanced to be addressed and “solved” by some arbitrary advice. And, well, you also have people who argue that most “relationship experts” are charlatan chickenhawks seeking profit by offering answers to unanswerable questions.
But, while I agree with the valuelessness of relationship advice, I disagree with the reasoning for their conclusions. It’s not useless because the advice is usually wrong. It’s useless because, well, we’re looking at it backwards.
While romantic relationships are often thought of as these mindlessly complex labyrinths where cheat codes and color-coded maps are necessary in order to even have a chance of making it through, relationships are supposed to be easy. Not easier than we currently think they are, but f*cking easy. Easy like Sunday morning. Easier than paper Deltas. So easy that any advice about them should be obsolete.
We make them difficult, though, because we continue to get into relationships with the wrong people.
That is it. There’s no deep discovery. No byzantine secret. 99.999% of the problems that exist in our relationships occur because we allow sexual impulsivity, horniness, peer pressure, cold weather, boredom, loneliness, bills, biological clocks, Beyonce, beer goggles, work goggles, internet goggles, availability, and convenience to convince ourselves to enter relationships with people who just aren’t right for us. And, to add insult to injury, not only are they not right for us, we know they’re not right and still go through with it. Your (and “your” is addressing everyf*ckingbody) relationship didn’t end because of shit that occurred during the relationship. It ended because, well, it never should have began in the first place.
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)