Since you're reading Cracked instead of YouTube comments, I'll assume you're literate with a sense of irony. That means you very likely are -- or have been -- a thoughtful person. If so, don't worry! You can still find love with this handy guide to deprogramming yourself. If not, I'm so sorry; you are either a creep or a pure soul about to die in a Nicholas Sparks novel. Salvation from all three fates awaits you at the end of this article!
But first, a quick overview of what's wrong with you.
There's always time to reinvent yourself and stake out some happiness. Why, our own John Cheese specializes in such a thing, and even proposed to the future Madame Cheese in this very gathering of electrons we call Cracked.com.
But where Cheese is here to tell you that no matter how bad things get, you can drag yourself out of hell, my purpose is to remind you that nothing gold can stay, 80 percent of everything is crap and everyone is a bastard.
I do it for the kids.
Here's a map of common mistakes to help navigate the oily waters of adulthood. Once you learn to recognize them, you can make all the errors of judgment in life that much sooner. The first trap you'll plant your foot in is usually:
Come on, you knew this one would take point.
Love! Glorious, aching love with someone who throws coal upon the hot engines of life! You want to trust someone at a time when no one -- not even you -- understands you. Every day of the teenage years feels like the apocalypse, so you'd better grab a hand to hold.
Or even just a handie in the stacks would be great, thank you.
Spoken well of.
As the best friend, you are privy to all their thoughts ... almost. Even the greenest freshman knows that crushing on others might cost them their "platonic" friend's company. While you're confident that "I wish the jerk I'm seeing was sweet like you" means your love is bearing fruit, they're practicing vulnerability to the opposite sex without fear of rejection. And because this is a comedy website, I'm leaving you space to write a punchline that isn't just mad cackling at the empty night sky: _______________________________
Don't worry, guy; she'll come back when she needs help raising his child.
So yeah, you're getting mildly used. But you're using them back, ya fink. If a deeper intimacy were what you really wanted, you'd gamble their companionship to win it. Instead you waste their time pretending you only want friendship, and when you finally come clean, it's a high-pressure cry of "LOVE MEEEEE!" That's like a poker player who sits out every hand before tossing all his chips on a pair of fours.
This is a problem of youth and inexperience. Neither of you kids knows what's up, and both of you are scared and stupid. Unless you're one of those people who's basically 30 by the time they're 15 and gets early admission to NYU because they smoke the same Turkish cigarettes as the dean. If you are, any advice would be useless.
No, you're an average kid, probably cutting your hair like Skrillex because now is the time to make your mistakes. Nobody expects you to have any idea what's going on when you're a teenager; we expect you to question everything you thought you already knew, like whether God exists and how He could allow the E! network to flourish.
It's OK to make mistakes; it's not OK not to learn from them, unless you're Charlie Sheen. Then you just gotta shoot the moon and hope your creep rocket doesn't run out of fuel before you get there.
(The fuel is cocaine, if you were wondering.)
Sooner or later, you'll get that date. But be careful what you wish for ...
She might be bored, he might be trying the Popcorn Trick, and nobody wins.
For example, your crush might ... say, agree to go to prom with you, then land a boyfriend before the event arrives ... and still go with you because he's not much for proms. That might happen to
me you twice.
Young man, if a dame doesn't trust the troglodyte who's sexing her to use a fork in public, it's not your problem to fix. Or at least, it's not your problem to spend a month's pay on. Sure, you'll have fun, but you're shortchanging yourself if you want more from someone. Be honest, and don't settle. Certainly not twice.
Conversely, ladies: If you're hanging on for a dummy who doesn't know that all women are beautiful, according to several beauty product ad campaigns, simply take off your glasses and shake your hair loose. If you don't wear glasses, beat up a girl who does for hers. If you don't have any hair, roll your wheelchair up to the quarterback and ask him if he'll give a girl one dance before your scalp transplant tomorrow. I guarantee you will be elected prom queen -- unless the school finds that girl you beat up for her wheelchair. But even if they do, you can always find his sensitive side by getting him drunk.
You can totally steal this; we won't sue
If you can't make them feel something new, get off the stage.
Sigmund Freud was famously in the dark about what women want, but that's because he wouldn't stop telling them what it was. A woman is a person, and most humans thrive on bad music, mind-bending substances and being a selfish lover. Although if they're men they might also want to hear a fart joke.
Cheese would know what to do here. He'd say something wise, like "Don't put the weight on their shoulders. You want magic? Make some. The next time they ask you to fill in for their significant other, surprise them with one hell of a kiss. What's the worst that happens? You get rejected and can finally move on?"
Unfortunately, you can't teach hot-blooded apathy, so my advice to you is to deal drugs.
If you can provide something no one else can -- particularly something that makes Kings of Leon bearable -- you just differentiated yourself from the pack and flashed a dangerous edge. Nothing hits that tight overlap of "passion" and "stupor" like the chemical cycle of a prohibited substance. Plus, you get them wholesale, so they're cheaper than an evening on the town. Here are some fun ways you can use drugs to show you don't make friends -- you make business associates ... and it's business time.
** Offer them opiates. If they refuse, they might be a narc! Check their underwear for a wire. Now you're in like sin.
** Marijuana reefers, aka tea sticks, aka Scooby-Doos, are a powerful, addictive hallucinogen known to cause psychotic murder sprees. Even a single lick of a marijuana leaf makes nice girls loose, according to the 1936 film Reefer Madness.
** Cocaine is an expensive substance that shows you're willing to spend on them.
** Have you tried KFC's chickenlike food nuggets? They're addictive!
** Shy about sharing a first kiss? Sell them some bath salts and they'll be chewing on your face in no time!
** Nuke is an intense stimulant, very common in RoboCop's Detroit. However, due to its fictitious nature, it can be difficult to obtain.
** Cooking meth together is a fun bonding activity, as seen in -- dude, why aren't you watching Breaking Bad?
** Supermodel Kate Upton is intoxicating. Warning: There is strong evidence she causes brain damage in men.
If for some odd reason you don't want to traffic in illegal narcotics, you can still offer them sex. Ladies, you have it easy here; according to 60 years of sitcoms, no man has ever refused sex.
Certainly not after seeing Kate Upton smile.
Guys, she will likely refuse. Never fear! Do you own a Sybian? Look in your mother's closet. Leave it on the coffee table when your crush comes over, then pretend you have to take a phone call. She'll get the hint.
Ah, NOW it's a party! This is the love you'll remember the way jazz musicians recall their first spike of heroin. Years from now, every memory of this time will look like an Instagram photo, and every Instagram photo will get its own Vaccines song.
But oh man -- guy, you are going to screw this up so badly it'll make the Hindenburg look like a frat hazing. In your first relationship, you are going to get so many basic things wrong. Those bad girl/boyfriends you scoffed at when you were armchair quarterbacking your competition? At least they didn't think of themselves as considerate.
At any moment in a relationship, you should be ready for a sandwich.
Also, at this stage you kiss like an angry vacuum cleaner.
You're about to synthesize all your dreams of romance to the realities of a relationship. So on the one hand, enjoy the high. On the other hand, prepare to get yelled at for everything you're doing wrong. Little annoyances that wouldn't bug you if a friend did them resound loudly in the echo chamber of a relationship. Dammit, like it or not, you're going to have to learn and grow as a person, even though there's good TV on.
Still, you're in love! When their pain hurts you more than your own, you're living outside your own interests for the first time. No way is that a healthy impulse. So enjoy it! Because it's going away when you realize that the person you want to make love to forever is also the person you'd have to do chores with forever.
The good news is that years later when you see her walking down the aisle in white (or red, if you fell in love with a Chinese girl. High five!) she'll look exactly like you always dreamed she would. Granted, your POV will be a little lower and much farther away than the groom's, but hey -- while they're stuck in a thriving marriage, you'll be having crazy hot sex with a different website every night.
You can totally steal this; we won't sue
Even though sales techniques work great in dating, celibacy is preferable to having anything in common with pick-up artists. So whereas that no-good Cheese would tell you to be yourself, I'm going watch out for your interests and suggest being someone else.
Women already know what's up. They have a dating advice book called The Rules that famously curses them to be "A creature like none other," which is another way of saying "Have no personality and drift whichever way a man's will takes you." I think that's sexy, but then again, I date jellyfish and spring breezes, and have no interest in human females.
Grand Central Publishing. Ugh.
Burning books is like the death penalty; everyone's against it until they meet a perfect abomination.
But if they can reformat their personality drive, so can us fellers! If the problem is you, simply create an alter ego and delete your old personality. You just have to become the kind of unstoppable force of will that complements an empty Rules vessel. This was the premise of the romantic comedy Fight Club.
20th Century Fox
No personality, no goals, no feelings: On paper, Marla's the perfect Rules girl.
Some famous champions you may want to emulate:
** Clark Kent created an invincible persona, and Lois Lane literally began hurling herself out of buildings to get his attention.
** Soren Bowie is Soren Bowie.
** Any guy with a lot of money.
** Napoleon Bonaparte grew two feet through sheer hate, and got to sleep with an Empress!
** For some reason, women literally cannot say no to Wilmer Valderrama.
** Chaz Lamborghini, a sexy, gum-gnawing guido worn as a fiction-suit by thousands of young men with spiked hair.
What do all these gentlemen have in common? Trauma. It is trauma that makes a man, sir. Do not hesitate to smash your skull with a variety of objects until you find a personality that works. Eventually you will discover the "real" you. But -- *gasp* -- what if the real you is a different ethnicity?
For the females among you, I have no advice except start punching things and don't stop until you've introduced yourself to the authoresses of The Rules.