Terminator 2: Judgement Day, An Allegory For A Doomed Relationship

*Written by a friend of mine guest-author who chooses to remain anonymous to protect the innocent.

One day, you might find that you’ve stumbled into a relationship with a future that looks like this:

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Everything is sunny and you’re happily married raising kids in the burbs where they have parks like this one.  At least that’s the future everyone else sees.  And no matter how much you want to believe in that future with all of it’s kid laughter and sappy sweetness, down to your core you know that the future actually looks like this:

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Maybe you’ve even tried to tell people, people you’re supposed to be able to trust that should support you.

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But they don’t believe you.  They tell you you’re “overthinking it,” you’re crazy, everything is going to be ok.  Every couple has ups and downs.  You guys are totally normal.  Your problems are the same as every other couples’ problems, “you just have to work at it.”  If you don’t quit, if you try harder, there will be kids laughing in the sunshine on the swing set and no catastrophic robo apocalypse and fiery death.  And so you look at them like this:

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Because you’re frustrated with their alternate and ultimately inaccurate view of reality.  But then you’re kind of trapped in this relationship and no clear way to get out so you decide to just work as hard as you can and prepare for the apocalypse in the meantime.

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And then you start to find allies.  The people you talk to that say, “Um, I’m not sure it’s normal to dread getting married” and, “Actually, yeah, I’ve seen that future too, if you go through with it you both will go down in flames.”  And of course, “You’re so right!  We’re all going to die and we need to do something about it!” 

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Then you start to feel a little bit stronger.  Like, “Maybe I can do something to prevent the incineration of the human race.”  And then you make those nay sayers shut up:

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And get out of the prison you’ve been living in so that you can walk around outside with your bad self (except no smoking cuz it’s not the 90’s):

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And then with your new found strength and belief in your ability to change the future, you decide to do something bold…like crazy bold.  You’re going to end your partner (metaphorically speaking of course).  You’re going to kick them to the curb no matter how much it’ll destroy them.

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Because you know that that future, that fire and brimstone cannot happen … but then you remember you’re not a robot.  You really don’t want to hurt anyone.  In fact you’re not sure if you can live with yourself if you do.  So you have a moment of weakness and doubt (or several, this may actually play on a nearly endless loop like Friends re-runs).

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But your allies are there for you (and tired of your waffling) and they remind you of your mission and help you to see that you can protect your future without necessarily ruining someone else’s.  You just have to destroy the link that connects you two.  But that is a motherfucking big link, years in the making, with top notch security, so you’re going to need all the help you can get, including the inside man (your partner).  Then together you blow that motherfucker to kingdom come.  And everybody’s there to see.  Some people even try to stop you because they don’t know better, but you can’t blame them since they don’t see the future like you do.  Still you succeed.  It’s done.  They moved out, “and no mom, they won’t be coming to Christmas this year.”

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And then you look like this for a little while.

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Especially after you realize that just when you thought it was finally over, you were wrong.  To destroy that link and prevent that future…

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…you have to suffer, I mean really suffer, because you gave a piece of yourself to that person, and now that piece has to die too.  And all you want to do is say, “No!  Don’t go!  Stay.  It’ll be ok,” but you know you can’t. 

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And it is heartbreaking, like “I think something was just ripped out of my chest and now I’m being dragged around by it” heartbreaking.

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And you kind of just live with that for a while. 

BUT, later, you realize that instead of knowing that this was in store for you (that life in the burbs where you would bury your dead dreams with prozac and xanax and angry outbursts on the sidelines of your kid’s soccer game)…

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now the unknown future rolls toward you and you face it for the first time with a sense of hope…and that was worth fighting for.

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ensemblestudiotheatrela:

“There’s nothing wrong with me…”

She just won’t quit with the awesome

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The Time-Loop

Sometimes dating feels like being caught in a time-loop.  It’s Groundhog Day- only with spaceships and a time-rift. 

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No matter what you do- no matter how cool and aloof you play it or how boisterously you sing “Teenage Dream,” no matter how soon you bang or how long you hold off, no matter how whimsical your dates are or how “it’s just a chill hang, bro” they are, it always follows the same course.  After a short amount of fun time, you get the sense that somethings off, the chemistry feels weird, and the connection is broken.  Whatever polluted the chemistry, the comfortable fun of it is gone, and now everyone seems like they’re kissing with their eyes open.

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A few ignored texts, randomly awesome but preeeetttty train-wrecky dates, possibly flaked plans, and  definite drunken make-out sessions later, their ship is barreling at you CBDR- aka “we should go grab a drink and talk.”   

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So, you try and get them to change their course. You play it even more cool, or even less cool, or try to make them jealous, or give them a heartfelt confession of realness, pouring your heart out- but your tractor beam doesn’t do the trick, their trajectory remains the same, your ships collide, they explode, everyone dies, and you’re sad.  

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Over.  And Over.

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And.  Over.  And.  Over.  And.  Over.  Again.

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It’s frustrating- you feel like you don’t have any control over this- that something out there wants you to keep repeating the same 20 minute dating sequence.  But, reality is the universe isn’t trying to save budget on your life and reuse footage.  You gotta think outside the box if you’re gonna figure this out.

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Decompress the shuttle bay, obviously.  It’s not about altering their trajectory, it’s about altering yours.  They’re coming at you, and whatever their intention- be it to break up with you, hook up with you, or some kind of vague solution that sits in between those two- it isn’t really gonna be changed by anything you do.  So, the only way to survive is to figure out how to alter YOUR trajectory so they don’t destroy you.  And, the cold reality of it is, that often means just getting your ass out of the way, lying through your teeth and saying “you know, I’ve been feeling EXACTLY the same way about our whole chemistry thing” and moving on.  

Trying to somehow convince them to stay in the relationship now will only result in the same emotional collision you’ve already seen happen dozens of times before, and let’s be honest, the only reason you want to have it now is to try and trick them into sticking around a little longer.  Their actions and bullshit are not in your control, you can’t change how they feel, and accepting that is the only way to get out of this cycle (also stop dating actors).  Let it go, break the loop, put it all in a safe blog entry that they may or may not read several months out, let their ship pass and get away without colliding.  Then, have some therapy about it from Frasier:

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Star Trek TNG: “Cause and Effect

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hooking up in a car

Hooking up in a car or other semi-public and kind of confined space (if only I had an X-Wing or Starfury to bang in) is infinitely more awesome than hooking up in a bed.  Yeah it might seem a little juvenile, it’s a hell of a lot trickier to actually get it right, and there is a definite risk of it failing miserably, but it’s a solid 10x as thrilling if you manage to pull it off.  

It’s like, if the rebels had just been able to shoot their way through a couple Tie fighters and take down the Death Star, sure, great, cool explosion, I guess.  But the fact that they had to maneuver through those trenches, pitching and yawing over laser towers and bizarrely placed bridges while the Dark Lord of the Sith pursued them- and further that they only managed to launch those torpedoes into that exhaust port because at the last second Han came out of nowhere to save the day- it all makes you say “fuck yeah!” with a little more vigor.  Look at Luke’s face- that’s pure thrill.

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So, having one leg braced against the dashboard while your date climbs over the center console and somehow manages to sit on your lap between you and the steering wheel and is able to prop their legs god-knows-where in a position that by all rights should be awkward, but manages to actually not be awkward at all and totally hot instead is basically equivalent to the Millennium Falcon taking some Tie fighters to physics-school in an asteroid field.  The challenge makes the victory taste so much sweeter.  Or, you could be boring and just do missionary in bed, again.

How To Date Like A Vulcan


Dating like a Vulcan is dating like an adult.  These guys are an ancient race, and they’ve got their shit on lock.  It’s not that they don’t have emotions, they just have learned how to regulate them by way of logic and morality so they don’t make stupid decisions like trying to date people in relationships or banging people they kind of hate.  When life throws them a curve ball they don’t fall into self-pity, they don’t get self-destructive, and they don’t panic and ruin everything.  They just raise an eyebrow and carry on.  

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Pretty much every action they take can be understood in terms of one easily memorizable tenant:  

Don’t let your emotions dictate your behavior. 

Never text when you’re anxious.  It’s been TWELVE hours and they STILL haven’t responded to your last message asking when they wanna hang out again?  And you KNOW they’re on their phone bc they just Instagrammed up a photo?  

Keep it the fuck together.  No “where are you?” or “did my last message come through?” or “…?” and for the love of sweet christ don’t add a smiley face to it.  You’re probably not going to push them too far away, because honestly, have you ever been deal-breaker-style turned off by someone you were really sprung on just because they sent one needy text?  (OK, yes, I have, but that’s only because I as a rule loathe all emoticons other than the  vague/contemplative/neither-happy-nor-sad :/ face.)  But what you ARE going to do is escalate your neurosis and turn yourself into even more of a quivering nervous wreck than you already are.  

They aren’t going to respond until they’re good and ready- be that when they’re back from that run, out of that meeting, or done getting nailed by that other sliiiightly hotter but extremely less cool than you guy.  This is the case no matter how many question marks and emoticons you send.  Wait until the anxiety passes- wait until you don’t CARE whether or not they respond (or at least until it doesn’t feel like their SMS data is your life-force), and then you can decide how important it is that you know whether or not they saw your last message.

Look at that stone-cold face (and that tiny waist, Kirstie).  Her entire bridge crew got killed and she failed the Kobymahi Maru, but she’s not letting a single nervous laugh, self depricating comment, or casual-appearing but obviously needy text message pass her stoic lips- she just raises an eyebrow, and carries on.   

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Someone has created the music video form of UpperPylon3.  And they’re a genius.

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This Is What Happens When You Ignore Red Flags

They just got out of a codependent and controlling relationship?  Hot. They’re still (at the age of 30) figuring out if they like guys or girls or Jesus?  So exciting! They tell you all about their mental illness + (most recent) hospitalization?  Totally just got hard.  You’ll justify it by giving some bullshit reason about how you’ve got your issues too, how it shouldn’t matter if you really have a connection, or how they’re really hot.  So you go for it, and at first it seems like you’ve won- you’ve knocked down their defenses and are about to send over your boarding party to their bridge.  Problem is, that ship had its auto-destruct counting down before you even stepped on the transporter pad.

Even if you do manage to form a connection with this person, or at least get them interested enough to bang, those real issues that were waving in your face at the beginning are a ticking time bomb.  They’ll resurface, and you’re gonna go down in flames.  

When they say “I really like you, but…” what follows may take many forms, but translated it always means “Code zero zero zero. Destruct. Zero."  The ship is rigged to blow, and you never had a chance of taking it alive. EVEN THE PLANET IT’S ABOUT TO CRASH INTO IS GOING TO EXPLODE.  It might look epic, but at the end of the day, you’re still getting taken out like a bitch.  

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock


It Gets Better

She’s lived seven lifetimes, is a level 5 pilot, can handle a bat’leth, and her spots go all the way down.  Oh, and she totally digs nerds.

Hang in there kid, things really do get better after high school.


Star Trek DS9 - “Trials and Tribbleations”

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the one that got away

Star Trek DS9 - “Rejoined” 

You man-up and do it.  You tell them how you feel, how you still love them, and how you guys are and always have been the real deal.  You scorch the Earth.  

But after you bare your soul, sometimes they don’t want to face banishment from Trill society and get back together with you, and it just plain sucks.

Your friends might tell you all the reasons you’re too good for them, how you’re better off, or how there are plenty of slugs in the sea.  They might be right in the long run, but the truth is, that’s not how it feels right now.  

You don’t have to put “Since U Been Gone” on loop right away- it’s OK to cry on the floor of the Defiant for a little while.

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