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  • - My dating history is a hot mess inside of a dumpster fire,

  • inside a train wreck, swirled up in a tornado.

  • All of the lessons that I needed to learn over the years

  • have showed up in the form of my lovers.

  • Like, oh yeah, I dated my family dynamic,

  • my fear of commitment, my bad boundaries,

  • my fear of commitment, my low sense of self worth,

  • my fear of commitment, my fear of commitment,

  • my fear of commitment.

  • Which all things considered is a little ironic.

  • I never saw myself as someone

  • who was actually afraid of commitment.

  • I've always deeply yearned to be a wife and a mother.

  • And I joke that cats are really great birth control

  • until I find my person.

  • But then sometimes I realize

  • just how much I prefer cats to humans.

  • - Hey Anna, I have to rehome

  • my cat because my baby's allergic.

  • - Well, you've known that cat for 11 years.

  • - I know, I'm so torn up about it.

  • But I was hoping you'd take her.

  • - You've known that baby, what, like three weeks?

  • It seems pretty easy, just rehome the baby.

  • - I'm not gonna give away my baby.

  • - That cat has been with you

  • through every major adult moment of your entire life.

  • Your marriage, your divorce, your second marriage.

  • That cat is the longest standing relationship

  • you have ever had.

  • Just rehome the baby and then make another one.

  • It's easy, it's fun.

  • - Okay.

  • - But I have finally accepted on a conscious level

  • that subconsciously I have sought out people

  • who are also afraid of commitment,

  • ensuring that our relationship will never go anywhere,

  • but that I can feel superior

  • like I'm trying to find what I want.

  • And there's one event I remember in particular

  • that solidified this belief.

  • I was maybe seven or eight,

  • and my mom had recently shaved her head when she was drunk.

  • It was very Brittany Spears.

  • She looked very fierce bald.

  • And she was crying on the stairs,

  • because she was raising three children alone

  • while my dad was overseas fighting a war or whatever,

  • which I'm sure we can agree

  • is the easier of the two situations.

  • And she said to me.

  • - Anna, don't have children.

  • Have a career.

  • Don't make the mistake I made, be ambitious.

  • - And you know, when I was a kid,

  • hearing these words from my distraught mom.

  • (laughing) You are such a loser mom (laughing).

  • I laughed in her face and then ran outside

  • to play basketball because kids are assholes.

  • I was also the only girl on Juniper Berry Street.

  • Clearly physically inferior when it came to sports ball.

  • So I'd try to throw off the neighborhood kids

  • by gaining a psychological advantage.

  • (thumping beat)

  • I like your butts.

  • - [Girls Together] What?

  • - Ha, psych, swish, swish bish.

  • - [Girls Together] Hey, that's cheating!

  • - I don't play the game, I play the players.

  • Also, your butts are ugly.

  • - Is it?

  • - That's so mean.

  • - But I digress.

  • For a lot of us, relationships are the way

  • that we grow and gain insight

  • into some of the most powerful lessons

  • that are integral to our development.

  • And we fall into the trap of dating those lessons.

  • And sometimes the lessons are so obvious

  • that everyone we love wants to eye roll into oblivion.

  • (phone dinging)

  • - Girl, put your phone down.

  • Stop texting him.

  • He didn't respond the last four times.

  • Is he not going to respond now?

  • Delete his number!

  • - And look, our issues are never going away.

  • (laughing) Mine certainly aren't.

  • But that's the nature of having

  • this terrible disease called humanity.

  • We are always gonna have something

  • that we're working through.

  • But we can choose to work on our issues

  • outside of any healthy, romantic relationships

  • that we're in.

  • And I say this from 15 years of experience

  • of doing the exact opposite.

  • - No, no. - Give me the phone.

  • - No. - Give me the phone.

  • - No Michelle, he's gonna respond.

  • No, he's gonna respond!

  • So if you feel attacked by this video

  • and you wanna know, well, what the hell

  • do I do to stop dating my issues?

  • The good news is there's several things you can do.

  • Can you guess what the first one is?

  • Therapy, yes, you can work on your issues in therapy.

  • Another thing you can do is become highly aware

  • of your dating patterns and integrate lessons

  • that you've been learning in those relationships

  • as you move forward in your romantic life,

  • which is easier said than done.

  • I definitely have not been doing that.

  • And finally, you can listen to trusted friends.

  • - (yelling) Michelle, no!

  • - No. (screaming)

  • Give me the phone. - No (screaming).

  • - So often my friends would call out

  • my destructive choices in partners, but I'd say,

  • you just don't know him like I do.

  • - I don't like the way he talks about women.

  • - He's really misunderstood.

  • - I don't like how dismissive he is of your friends.

  • - Okay, he has social anxiety.

  • He's really better one-on-one.

  • - I know you don't want to hear this,

  • but from my experience, I just wanna say

  • this seems like the beginning of something abusive.

  • (dramatic music) - But I love him.

  • No honey, ya don't.

  • You're addicted to emotional chaos and your subconscious

  • is trying to right the wrongs of your past

  • by seeking out similar dynamics and rewriting history.

  • You're like a time traveler trying to fix the timeline,

  • but you can't because the very nature of you time-traveling

  • means that you caused the future to happen.

  • I've been watching "Dark" on Netflix.

  • It's a great show, making me think a lot.

  • It's hard work thinking.

  • You know, it's way easier to go through life

  • unaware of why we think the things we think

  • that influence the things we do.

  • It's easier to go through life

  • not trying to pinpoint patterns or things in the past

  • that are no longer serving us,

  • and then attempting to change them

  • to create a life of joy and happiness.

  • It's hard work to reparent your inner child

  • and be the adult observer all the time.

  • It's mentally exhausting.

  • And look, all of this may sound incredibly cheesy,

  • but I'm a philosophy major dropout

  • dressed as a fucking clown.

  • So cheesy is the least of my problems.

  • I'm Anna Akana, and thank you to the patrons

  • who supported this video.

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  • for sponsoring today's existential crisis.

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