My whole life I have been dating an Israeli named Danny.
I made him up.
Danny has been in my head since I was ten years old, I think about him often. The only time we drifted was when he was in the army. That’s true.
We are mythical creatures. Danny and I know everything that no one else knows. And, we have known it all for nearly twenty years.
No one knows. No one sees him. I know he isn’t real. But if he were real…
If he were real, we would be the world’s best best friends.
If he were real, I would date other people and Facetime with Danny in Hebrew and we would talk about the men I’d be about to sleep with who would be in the room, right in front of them and then Danny’s wife (who obviously hates me) would appear and briefly say hi, let me look at their baby, she’d leave and we’d talk about her in English.
We are in love without marrying and I don’t know why.
We send each other our novels and give notes on our respective brilliance.
I think about Danny all the time. I even think about him when I am with other men (not sexually, just sitting at the table not really listening and wishing I could instantly invent chemistry between me and every stranger everywhere).
I wish so badly that Danny were real, it seems to have ruined my ability to trust another man as intimately.
Other men don’t have the insight that Danny has about me, about women, about literature, about my writing, about the world. Danny knows what I know. He sees what I see.
There is no one like him.
I am almost thirty years old and I have never had a boyfriend.
I am going to be alone forever because I only want to be with him and he doesn’t exist.
I’m beginning to understand that, for each of us to find the exact Danny we need is at least what we could call “difficult”.
The search leaves me feeling alone and sad.
I try using dating apps. I go on dates with men who are fine but I can’t force a chemistry, I leave them with a hug and I come home alone and sad. I do not know what I am getting out of this process but if Danny were here he would tell me to go back to writing and forget about my future.
He’s right (He’s always right).
There really is no future. If I was hunting for sex, I would understand the dating process better but I’m not. I don’t want sex. I want to find Danny. Meanwhile, he’s right here. If I invented the only man I need then, effectively, all I need is my own invention. Go back to writing. Forget about the future.
This is my resignation. From men. From real men.
I don’t question my sexuality or my sex drive or the vibrator in my bedside drawer or the lesbian porn on my phone or my sexual history or my wants in general. I don’t question my level of need. I don’t question my level of absolute romantic and sexual “normalcy” (if a normalcy can exist).
I have never had a boyfriend because I have never found one.
Men don’t really seem to want me.
When I find one I want, he decides to leave before I can even learn his last name.
It’s only sad if we assign value to men.
But, really, they have no value.
Men, I mean “Men”, I mean the ones I go out with, the ones who go out with me, I don’t mean “People with penises”, I don’t mean the gender and I don’t mean the sex, necessarily. I am not necessitating definition.
I just mean: The people I thought I needed.
“Men” as in MEN as in I chased you and now you’re gone,
MEN as in media prioritizes you and that’s why I think you’re interesting but really you all end up being dull and creepy and self-involved,
MEN as in the construct of a supposedly flawless hero,
MEN as in those who I prefer to be held by,
MEN as in those people who I am afraid of because of the inherent knowledge that they could hurt me in a number of ways.
This is it, I resign from you.
If you’re like me and you’ve missed the point your whole life or lost the point or invented a brand new point and now you need to move on: Here are ten great ways that you can stop talking to MEN
1. Get a dog
My dog currently sits beside my desk, breathing into my face, waiting for me to love him. There is no better species for love in the world and there is no better way to reassure yourself that you are valuable and capable and loving and loved.
2. Grow out your body hair
We all know the rush of “GET IT ALL OFF OF ME” that we go through when we suppose that maybe a man might be naked with us for the evening, in fact I share a story: when I was in university, a friend of mine brought a boy home to hook up with and left him in her residence room while she flew to the shower and shaved everything off. Let it grow, throw away your razors, put the money you spend waxing yourself into a fund for your future dog and when the time comes to choose whether or not to go out with him, remind yourself that your bush is only worth sharing with the one guy who would shave it for you if it were really that important to him. Bonus points for facial hair.
3. Read a lot of 19th C “Femme-Lit”
I’m going to use Austen as an example because she’s currently my favourite, but the subtle ways in which these early female writers chose to depict men…Austen, for example, subverts the usual Shakespearean gender dynamic by always writing one man who is a flake and one man who is rigid and both of them are IDIOTS and it is very satisfying. Build sisterhood with these early female writers. They were brilliant for knowing how to outsmart even their male readers and it is stupendously rewarding to be a woman upon reading them.
4. Learn to hug yourself through Yogic Practice
Seriously, the right amount of Hatha will loosen up your shoulder joints so you can just cuddle yourself all night, partner it with one of those heating pads and you’re essentially sitting in your own kangaroo pouch
5. Take pride in your work
This is important. Decide what it is that you offer the world and take pride in being able to do that. When you agree to be powerful, you refuse to be dismissed. Marry your work and let it love you back. Then…give it to all of us so that we can love it too!
6. Pay attention to your family
Whoever “family” is to you, call them, give them gifts, love them so much, pay them the attention you have been paying to total strangers because they support and love you which feels amazing. (If you feel that your family does not support and love you, go find the people who do those things for you, call them Family to their face and see how great it feels)
7. Study your own beauty
Sit a few inches away from a mirror and study your face. Believe me, you’re beautiful. Do it every day. Don’t tell anyone. Don’t say anything. Just sit and see yourself. Do it naked. Do it clothed. Do it smiling. Do it on the worst day of your life. Just sit. Believe me
8. Celebrate Everything with Wine
I mean everything. At the end of the day, write down the things you did. Call or text a friend with a ‘I LAY ON THE COUCH TODAY AND IT WAS GREAT!” or whatever you accomplished, drink wine, drink so much wine and cry with joy because you know some of the best people on the planet and they happen to love you and you happen to love them too, they are your friends, your REAL friends and they want you to be everything. So, celebrate everything you are, every day, every night because the best people have been waiting for you to get it.
9. Write notes to people you love
Honestly, write something on a piece of paper and hand it to someone. It is the best feeling.
10. Invent a best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/partner/spouse/forever love
Draw up a person you want to be with forever and decide that they exist. This is not manifestation, though if you want to call it that or take it there, that’s totally fine but truly, begin to believe that you have a particular brand of knowledge and power and that the magnitude of that knowledge and power can be spun into the invention of another person. You may never meet this person but you can decide that they are guiding you, knowing you and seeing you. The security of someone already being there makes needing “men” almost comedic. Invent a symbol for the love that is already here for you. Maybe their name is Danny. Maybe they have a life story. Maybe it’s just something you feel every time it rains. Maybe it begins by you sitting still, listening to the heater and smiling at the notion that someone is giving you warmth. Do not underestimate the power of thought. Your thoughts dictate needs. If you train your thoughts to assert that someone loves you, someone is here for you and someone knows everything you might actually need, it’s all taken care of, it’s all up to Them…the neediness disappears.
I love you all. Good luck, Amigos.