Love sux, and I want as much of it as I can

Updated: Apr 7


Love Sux is Avril Lavigne’s highest-rated album to date. What in the world, you might ask, does her album have to do with this blog and our entire life’s work?


Good question. It so happens, by sheer coincidence, that the unofficial motto and theme of our book Women & Love is Love Sucks and I Want as Much of It as Possible.


Our book was about the story and stages of love in women’s lives, and the “love sux” part sure as hell stood out, hand in hand with wanting as much of it as possible.


The title song from Lavigne’s album sure nails the whole love sux idea. Snippets:


You make me nauseous, yeah
Am I a regret yet?
I thought you were my best bet
Was it worth what it costed? I am exhausted
You make me nauseous, yeah
...
Lying in my bed, thinking love sucks
Na-na-na, not another breakup
When I think of you, gotta try to be tough
Na-na-na, now I'm all fucked up
Call it bad luck, why does love suck?
...
Do you think I'm stupid?
I keep killing Cupid (why does love suck?)
Na-na-na, now I'm all fucked up
Call it bad luck, why does love suck?

And more like that.


It’s pretty clear what she’s talking about. This relationship I’m in sux. The others have too. WTF!! Love sux!!!


Anyone who’s had a run of bad luck when it comes to love can sure relate to this. The great Erich Fromm is in your corner, Avril, when he says, "There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love."


But what about the “...and I want as much of it as possible” part? Love may mostly suck, and overall suck, but come on!: sometimes it’s, like, the best thing ever. Intermittent reinforcement, babe, which we talked about last time. Keeps you coming back for more like crazy.


I think the most interesting theme in Lavigne’s piece is the question Why does love suck? There it is, the victim’s eternal question. Here’s something I will never forget. A man had broken into a woman’s house and was attacking her with a knife. She just managed to call 911, and the attack was recorded, the whole nightmarish experience of her being stabbed to death while fighting him off. And throughout this experience, the one thing she said wasn’t No, or Stop, or Fuck you. It was Why? Why are you doing this to me?


She wanted the nightmare to explain itself to her. Okay, you’re stabbing me to death, but just tell me why.


Lavigne asks her question in the same spirit. Okay, love sux, but just tell me why?


Is there an answer?


There is. A good answer. A very satisfying one, though? Let me know.


Love sux for a number of reasons.


Let’s pop the hood on the nightmare and check them out. Maybe if we know them, we can prevent the nightmare.


One reason is we get involved with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. The best reason to join your life with someone else’s is that they’re sane, smart, good, kind, thoughtful, and they have their shit together. And they come from a good family and have good friends.


When’s the last time you made that the basis for choosing who you thought was hot? Case made. Mike drop.


Another reason is that when people’s needs are in conflict, they very quickly start thinking of only themselves and start feeling disempowered. My wanting us to move to another apartment makes you feel disempowered, and we’re off and running in a power struggle. The more needs that are in conflict, the more power struggles, and the more love will suck. This is what our newest book Why Couples Fight is all about.


So if you want love not to suck, you have to vet the other person for how similar and compatible your two sets of needs are, without looking past any differences in your needs that are inconvenient to face. When’s the last time you did that? Nah, I didn’t think so.


Another reason love sux is that we, you and I, are not as happy, easy-going people as we could be. We’re a little bit gloomy, anxious, stressed out, hyper-vigilant. We get on people’s nerves, and they get on our nerves.


We’re like two rescue dogs with issues who find each other and expect that getting along will be a breeze. Instead, when’s the last time you vetted the other person for how happy and easy-going they were and allowed yourself to be vetted for that too? Nah, I didn’t think so.


So Avril, sweetie, why does love suck? Because love is hard enough in and of itself, and then because we make it harder by not being smarter and more patient when it comes to choosing our partners.


Oh, yeah, and also by not getting the hell out of the relationship fast when it’s clear that things aren’t going to work out.


So then here’s the good news. Love doesn’t have to suck.

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