There are people in the world who are superstitious. These people blame mercury retrograde for deals going awry and say “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” at the start of every month. They plan their nights out based on horoscopes and think twice before starting a relationship with someone who is an opposing sign.

You probably think these people are crazy. But don’t laugh too hard, friends, because I am one of those crazies.

If bad things were happening in my apartment, I’d burn sage for a cleanse. If I felt things were messed up at work, I’d do some nice things for coworkers to align my karma. But how in the world do you cleanse your dating life?

I’m going to get real with you for a moment: I’m in a dry spell. Like, Sahara Desert kind of dry spell. And when I try to break this little spell, the results are disastrous. A few weeks ago I went on a date with a guy who admitted – on the first date – to a fetish for pregnant ladies. Then there was the guy who smothered mayonnaise on his pizza. The guy who wanted to go to my office to fool around (my office?!?) followed soon after that. Don’t even get me started on the serial phone caller (yes, he still calls). And, because I’m me, I’m looking to my dating karma to see what’s gone wrong.

I’m kind of an amazing girlfriend. Just ask my exes! I know this because I’ve tried the High Fidelity thing and called them. I may-or-may-not have asked them if they cursed me (they said no!). I’ve also called friends and offered dating advice (most of them are happily coupled. And laughed. WHATEVER FRIENDS). What I’ve learned from this that I’m good at the relationship thing. EXCELLENT at the relationship thing. Horrible at the dating.

What I need is an idol. A dating idol. Someone to whom I can ask questions and who can provide me with spiritual dating guidance. A dating idol would warn me about dudes with weird fetishes and help me find someone that doesn’t secretly want to grow a soul patch. A dating idol would give me the strength to make eye contact with people I find attractive and perhaps even form complete sentences when they talk to me.

In lieu of an idol or John Cusack solution, I’m left with the Internet. Where I write posts about bad experiences (um, perhaps hurting the aforementioned karma?) so that you can feel a sense of schadenfreude and thus be a semi-high functioning adult in your dating life.

Am I getting karma points back for that? I hope so.



Joy Engel lives and works in Portland, Maine where she tweets far too much and solves the occasional murder-mystery while riding around on a bicycle. Everything she writes is her personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of her employer or its clients.

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