Janice Edman

            If there was a class offered here at Poly on love, I’m sure the “learn by doing” motto would be given a run for its money.  Because that’s exactly how one learns about love ” not from reading Harlequin Romances or watching “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” until you have all the dialogue memorized (which is just a bad idea period).  It’s from the actual aches and pains received in flirting, dating, game-playing and all the rest that any insight about love can be attained.  True to form, I have thrown myself into learning about love with as much vigor as Non-Shakespearean Drama (and let me say, love was a lot less boring).  I have narrowed it down to five very specific points of wisdom for how to embark on this thing we call love and avoid all the pratfalls that lurk every which way.

            5.  So true they wrote a book about it: He’s Just Not That Into You.  I would argue it goes both ways, but guys have evolved past us to the point where they know better than to obsess over relationships (damn them).  We only have 70 years or so to wander around on this planet and try and make it worthwhile, which simply does not leave enough time for guessing games.  There are worse things than being rejected by someone not even worth it.

            4.  Don’t cheat.  Just don’t.  And if you ever feel tempted to, break up with whoever you’re with because obviously the connection isn’t that strong.  I believe in life we can find multiple persons with whom we might be happy, but never two at once, and definitely not eight or nine ” this would be a good time to mention that polygamy is also never a safe route, no matter how hot that 60 year old with five other wives is. 

            3.  Embrace singledom and milk it for all it’s worth.  Strong, happy long-term relationships are great ” but not if you don’t know who you are without the person.  Clinging to a significant other long after the thrill is gone is a waste of time that could be spent getting to know you, as in that mind and body you lug around.  You’ll never know who or what makes you happy until you really know yourself, single and individual.

            2.  Don’t ever compromise yourself or your feelings.  If it feels wrong, then bail out, whether it’s during an awkward hookup or five steps away from the altar in the big white gown.  Listen to that gut feeling, unless of course you’ve just polished off an entire double-double meal from In N’ Out, in which case listen to the Pepto (another wise lesson I’ve learned in college).

            1.  Don’t ever, ever play “Just the Tip.” I think that’s enough said.

            Love is fun and wild and horrible all at once, and the best thing to do is realize that and then relax.  You’ll probably never avoid all the snares, but that’s part of the thrill of it ” the incredible, dizzying highs of true love are never so enjoyable as when you’ve hit the pathetic lows of crying all day and going weeks without sex, too.  And remember: Everyone loves a lover.   

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