I’ve been reading your column for a few months, and I am surprised to find myself asking for advice.
I was talking to this girl for a couple of months and found myself liking her a lot. I haven’t dated in a while and wanted to get back in the scene with this girl. Unfortunately, she turned out to be dishonest and a flake, among other bad qualities. I decided to stop talking to her.
As much as I am uninterested in her, I can’t get her off my mind. Even when I am with other girls, I still think about her. I find myself wanting to call her or go visit her at work. She is also a friend with my close friend and coworker, so she’ll sometimes drop by work, and I’ll hear my friend talk about her. Finally, we go to SAC together and take classes in the same department, so I know I’m going to have another class with her in the fall. I know that’s far off, but the thought doesn’t make this situation any easier.
I’m almost to the point of forcing myself to hate her so I don’t take interest in her anymore, but I don’t want that. I’ve done the same with ex-girlfriends in the past and I feel guilty for hating someone because I like them. Help?
— Not a Hater
Dear Not a Hater,
Most people who write in for advice are “surprised” to find themselves doing so. Being an advice columnist is like being a call girl (a high-class call girl for sure). Society finds the idea amusing and enjoys watching others engage in the activity, but feel a bit dirty or low for soliciting my services. Well, fear not, I am not a call girl (I’d be so rich if I was), and you are not a john.
It can be very difficult to avoid becoming entangled with a person we find physically or psychologically appealing even though they are clearly no good for us. I want to give you credit for getting that part right.
The rest of it you are more or less fucking up.
You don’t trust yourself, so you trick yourself into “hating someone” to make them unappealing. This is going to make life a bit difficult as you go along because life is full of people you will find it unpleasant to be around, but ultimately need to have social or professional relationships with. This kind of antipathy is often related to the qualities you don’t like in them that you fear you may see in yourself. You perceive that associating with the person makes you guilty of these faults or will expose them to others like a mirror or microscope. Learn to trust that you are a good person. If you’re not the good person you want to be, then it’s time to get to work on that.
For the sake of completing this round of advice, I will assume you love yourself for the flawed yet earnest man you have become. The trick to dealing with exes and other people that you may find distasteful is to focus on that which is good in them. Possibly this girl is smart or studious and respectful in class or really knows how to dress well or bakes great pies. It is an above-human task to search out the value in every person we meet and have relations with, but a good one. Keep a safe distance, though.
If you want to hate someone, try Little Miss Spreads the Bigotry, I mean Miss California. It’s always a pleasure to see a privileged freak raised in a bubble take time away from polishing her tiara to share her opinion about the rights she wants to deny others. I am still unclear why as a nation we find it at all interesting or pertinent what her vapid ass and Donald Trump’s philandering combover think about marriage in the first place. If it weren’t for newsreels I suppose only a small population of pageant shut-ins that still care about Miss USA would even be aware.
Oops, I think I just tripped on my soapbox.
Much love and understanding,
Your Uncle Mat
P.S. I love people who watch pageants. No hate for the faithful here.
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.