Essay,  On Writing

Why I’m Not a Dating Advice Writer

I’m not a dating advice writer. I write about dating because it is the place where all our social problems intersect with all our personal problems. Where our heart battles our mind. Where our desires compete with our needs. It is where we try to be our best, end up showing our worst and then find a way to accept ourselves, the world and each other AS IS.

Other than war, no struggle is as dangerous as passion.

Other than divorce, no negotiation is more precarious than seduction.

Other than giving birth, no experience will make you feel more alive than falling in love.

Other than death, nothing rips us apart more than heartbreak.

You know a society is screwed up when something that should come as naturally as laughing or crying — love and connection —requires instructions, guides, interpreters and interventions.

We value indifference over connection. We look for red flags warning us to flee instead of white flags seeking reconciliation and peace. We make lovers into enemies. We turn a dance into a brawl. We have turned falling in love into a game with a winner and a loser.

We’ve got it all wrong.

From time to time, I share my opinion, my perspective and what may come across as advice. That’s the packaging. That’s the format. The material is the same if I write fiction, erotica, poetry or advice. The mind food is the same if it is sauteed, baked or fried. But how do you like to eat it? What tastes good?  I’m finding out. You admit that you like sweets but I’m discovering you like the pinch of something bitter on your tongue from time to time.  I’m playing in my word kitchen. I want to make you something you’ve never tasted before. I’m trying not to make you sick but then again, what a story that would be! I might poison you to death. Just for fun.

I don’t believe people should or do actually take advice from anyone anyway. We read advice to see if it resonates with us. If it does, it is something we already know that someone has simply put into clear words. If it does not resonate with us, we dismiss it and move on. Maybe it is not true. Maybe we don’t know it to be true yet. Maybe we don’t like what it says because we don’t want it to be true. Just because it is true or good doesn’t mean we will follow it. Welcome to the human condition where our hearts battle our minds!

I write what moves me.

Everything that matters to people- everything that matters to me- plays out in big and small ways in the dating scene. Whether it is an extreme or subtle moment, a slow burn or a raging fire, it happens when people are caught in the tangled dance of desire, pulled between fear and wanting, hope and despair.

There is nothing more complex with meaning, rich with feeling or limitless with creative material than what happens in the mad crazy wild messed up world of dating.

And that’s why I write about dating.

PS. I write about other things, too.

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