Dear Dr. Date,I know that I am scared of serious relationships. My interactions with men usually involve one-night stands or a couple of dates. Once anything looks too serious or feels too real I break it off. I’m not sure how to change. I am going out to dinner with a man that my friend introduced me to at a party a couple of weekends ago. I can’t stop thinking about him. He was so cool and made me feel so comfortable. How can I pull it together before our date so that I don’t also bail out on this wonderful man?
Before I answer your questions, I have a brief announcement to make. Well, friends, we’ve come to that inevitable point. This will be my last week as Dr. Date. For the last four years, I’ve been the sole author of this column. It’s been an honor and a guilty pleasure to write these few words each day. Thank you.
To me, the answer to today’s question is simple. The process of change has already begun and will proceed naturally. Once you recognize in yourself something you don’t like, you can change it. Sometimes your problem is tough and you need help. You’ve heard it before, but the hard part is just admitting your problem to yourself.
So, I think you are fine. In fact, I think you’re great. You’ve spotted a trait in yourself that you feel is preventing you from getting what you want out of life. That’s huge. You’ve got some work to do, but it’s nothing big. Really, what you must do to change yourself is no harder than what you did when you were living a more uncommitted, promiscuous lifestyle. (Trust me, there’s plenty of people that want to be uncommitted and promiscuous, but think it’s too hard. You should write a column about it.)
You can use the lesson you learn here throughout your life, so pay attention. The one key piece of information you need as you embark on your transformation is this: You are not doomed to repeat your mistakes. Just because you did some crazy shit when you were 18, doesn’t mean you’re going to act like a crazy 18-year-old your entire life. You have made and will continue to make really dumb mistakes.
We all do. Please remember that you don’t have to make those mistakes again.
Despite what your friends, family and enemies might have said about you, these mistakes are not part of your permanent personality. They are not part of your genetic makeup.
Do this for me. Every time you think you cannot do something because you’ve never done it before, stop. Say to yourself, “I am not doomed to repeat my mistakes” and rent the movie “Groundhog’s Day.”