How I Learned to Stop Worrying (About Turning My Life Into a Romantic Comedy)

(Author’s note: Surprise! I resurrected My Week In Tinder for one night only, so you can listen to me read this essay aloud because my one true love is the sound of my own voice.)

Are omissions of fact lies? What if you didn’t ask for any information, but I provided it because I could, because I tend to overshare, and purposely left something out? I did not leave it out to be hurtful or deceitful; I omitted it because it did not seem relevant. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that it was relevant. And maybe, to some extent, remains relevant. Was this a lie? You tell me.

For Valentine’s Day last year, I wrote an essay called “A Brief History of Men I May Have Loved (And Who Didn’t Love—or Even Like—Me Back)” that charts almost two decades of largely ill-advised romantic infatuations. After exploring the who-what-when-where-and-how surrounding six instances of unrequited love, I concluded that I was hopeful that my tendency to emotionally invest in men who, more often than not, don’t even like, let alone love, me back had run its course. One year later, I am happy to report that I have not emotionally invested in any men who were clearly not even a little bit interested in me.

I did something so much worse.

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A Brief History of Men I May Have Loved (And Who Didn’t Love—or Even Like—Me Back)

This essay is also featured on the My Week In Tinder Valentine’s Day special episode, which you can also listen to on PodOmatic, iTunes, or Stitcher.

(Note: Nearly all names have been changed. This is not to protect the men I am writing about, but to protect myself from further past, present, or future humiliation.)

Wanting what I can’t have has been a recurrent theme in my life. I’ve wanted my curly hair to be straight; I’ve wanted my practically translucent skin to be just a shade or two darker (read: not vampiric); I’ve wanted my neuroses to seem charming, not terrifying.

My romantic history is not free from this curse: I am unrequited love’s bitch.

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