“There’s nothing wrong with me…”
She just won’t quit with the awesome
Sometimes dating feels like being caught in a time-loop. It’s Groundhog Day- only because we’re way more awesome over here, it’s spaceships and a time-rift.
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 them 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. Maybe it was that time you didn’t wanna have sex because you still hadn’t made sure your (deceased) ex hadn’t given you something (he hadn’t, for the record), or maybe it was that time you aborted the hook up because he had post-Thai food induced burning mouth syndrome, or maybe it was because that awesome sweaty hike you went on in Joshua Tree was spent with him taking Grindr profile pictures amongst the shrubberies (fucking really). Whatever polluted the chemistry, the comfortable fun of it is gone, and now everyone seems like they’re kissing with their eyes open.
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 (“we should go grab a drink and talk”), and you know you’re gonna get hurt.
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 in real-talk style which they can’t seem to process- 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.
Over. And Over.
And. Over. And. Over. And. Over. Again.
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.
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.
Forcing this conversation 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:
Star Trek TNG: “Cause and Effect”
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.
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.
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.
Pretty much every action they take can be understood in terms of one of 3 easily memorizable tenants:
I. Don’t let your emotions dictate your behavior.
II. Apply strict logic when analyzing situations.
III. Make decisions based on a personal moral code.
The first rule we’ll discuss falls under tenant I.
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?
Fucking keep it 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 iced 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.
Someone has created the music video form of UpperPylon3. And they’re a genius.
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 fucking epic, but at the end of the day, you’re still getting taken out like a bitch.
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.
Star Trek DS9 - "Call To Arms"
Sometimes you’re blindsided when someone ends things. You say “I love you” and they say “I think we should see other people.” Out of nowhere, the Sitak and the Majestic have been hulled. You’re on your own.
But, if you look back, maybe you could’ve seen this coming. That whole thing about “not being sure” if they’re ready for a relationship right now? Or that whole thing about “not being sure” what’s going on with that ex they kept mentioning ? Or that whole thing about “not being sure” about that current relationship they’re in? Those are called “red flags,” and they portent a war-storm on the horizon. At best, they’re immature and just don’t get that they need to figure their bullshit out and not string you along while they do it. At worst, they’re an asshole who’s looking for an ego boost or a rebound fling. Either way, this is not how a healthy relationship is born and you’re gonna get hurt, so hit that mother-fucker before he hits you.
The Preemptive Strike
Don’t waste time making your case, showing them how awesome you are, or negotiating for their time. No amount of diplomacy is gonna save this. This is not the time for pour-your-heart-out honesty. This is war.
Before they have a chance, tell them you’re ending it. Tell them you think you should just be friends, tell them you’re too busy with your important life to really focus on dating right now, or even tell them you’ve met someone else. Lie. Strike deep into their territory and decimate that shit. Make them sorry they ever set foot in the Alpha Quadrant. There’s a storm coming alright, but its fucking coming for them.