Go fuck 10 girls, they laughed. Then we’ll see what you say.
Of course… Pussy. The magic solution for everything.
Go fuck 10 girls, they commanded. And I did. They were in their early twenties. Brunettes, blondes. Some of them objectively hotter than my ex. I met them at bars and on Tinder. Got a few numbers at grocery stores along the way. Probably kissed 40 different chicks in a few months.
Go fuck 10 girls, they urged. And all your problems will be solved…
Except nothing changed.
I was lying in bed in Miami next to a 21-year-old Cuban girl with a goofy foreign name. She had that funny accent they have, that just comes out on certain words like when they say “L” sounds. We had met earlier that night, our first date after matching on Tinder a few days before.
It was 3 AM, and she was laughing because her stepdad kept calling her to try to find out where she was. I imagined maybe he was secretly into her, and jealous she was out with a guy. It turned me on, so I rolled over and fucked her again, imagining her stepdad banging on the door trying to stop us, or hugging her when she got home with a sad, hidden erection.
She started screaming like some kind of Latin stereotype. “Ay papi,” that kind of shit. I don’t know exactly– I don’t speak Spanish. I had to say no hablo more times in Miami than I could keep track of. Thankfully no one shot me.
So she was waking up my neighbors, and I was pulling her hair and giving it to her pretty good. Then she started digging her nails into my back. It’s happened before, but not like this. This was deep. I almost stopped. It fucking hurt.
But it kind of pissed me off, too. So I started fucking her harder. She got even more into it. “Son of a bitch!” I thought. “What if that was her plan all along?” Then I got angry that she was manipulating me like some kind of giant sex toy for her own selfish pleasure, so I fucked her even harder.
She came. I came. I stood up and my back was bleeding.
There is no greater gulf than that between a man before and after his orgasm. A second earlier, I had been some kind of demonic beast– thrashing, slapping, choking with the fury of Hell. Now I looked at the worst scratch in the mirror and felt like a sad little kid. But I didn’t let on.
“The fuck is this shit?” I queried.
She smiled. “I’m a happy camper,” she said.
I went to the bathroom to flush the condom, and took a minute to wash up. I put a towel on the scratches. They burned. I figured I’d put some peroxide on them later. First I had to drive this bitch back to her car, about 20 minutes away. Thankfully there wouldn’t be much traffic at 3 AM.
We got back to the public lot where she parked, and her car was the only one there. I felt a deep sense of relief to finally be rid of her. There was nothing wrong with her, per se, but sometimes being around a stranger can make you feel pretty lonely. And I’m an introvert, so at a certain point, company has just outworn its welcome.
I pulled up next to her car. “Nice meeting you,” I said with my trademark smirk. I brushed my hand against the hair on her forehead, traced it over her ear, and kissed her goodnight.
Her car was booted.
“Did you pay when you got here?” I asked.
“I thought you pay when you leave,” she said.
Turns out she was wrong.
She called the tow company that was listed on the boot. “‘Bout 45 minutes,” the gruff, ethnic voice on the other end of the line replied.
We sat there for 2 hours. I almost bled out. She played Candy Crush on her phone, I caught up on my Twitter feed. We called the number back a few times, and they kept assuring us we were the “next stop” and the previous one had just run a little bit long.
At 5 AM the guy pulled in. She got out of the car to greet him. He had the boot off within 30 seconds. She paid him the $75, and we said goodnight again.
I got home and parked as the sun was rising over the Atlantic, a couple blocks away.
God damn, I thought, crawling into bed. Another night of this shit. What the fuck am I doing with my life?
It felt hollow. Why was it any different than jerking off? I could have just imagined fucking a 21-year-old Cuban chick with a goofy name, and still had the companionship of my ex.
These negative thoughts had been running through my head on a loop for months. Always centered around my ex. “You made a mistake…” they whispered. “You hurt the person who loved you the most. You’ll never find someone else like her. You’re going to be alone forever.” In all my times of stress or exhaustion, the voices got louder. And I couldn’t help but believe them most of the time.
It’s interesting looking back, because I didn’t have “Oneitis” while I was actually with her. I did try to talk myself into dating her in the first place, to an extent, because I had been so anti-relationship leading up to that point. So there was a process of pedestalization. “She’s worth it, because she’s different. She’s not like all those other dumb bitches.” It was true in some ways, but love is irrational and comes from a primal place. You can’t talk yourself into being excited about it. So my mind, my heart, and my dick could never all agree. I shattered myself into multiple pieces trying to keep them all separate.
But the depression, the obsessed oneitis that I felt following the breakup– where did that come from? Even though I put her on a bit of a pedestal in my mind during the relationship, I never got obsessed with her while we were together. I was a leader, I was indifferent, I was unmovable. But as the whole thing came crashing down, something fell apart in me too. It was terminal oneitis.
This is a separate issue than normal, run-of-the-mill oneitis. This is what happens when you first meet a girl, or get taken-advantage-of while you are seeing her. These forms of oneitis can be dealt with by reminding yourself to stay emotionally detached, practicing good game (such as “The 16 Commandments of Poon“), and reminding yourself that she isn’t completely unique and irreplaceable. But she’s still there. This form of oneitis is born from a belief that she is “out of your league” or that you are inadequate to keep her.
Terminal oneitis is the version that develops after she’s gone, and it can coexist even with a belief that you can get any girl you want. It’s a form of idealization, a fear of being alone, and a deep obsession and regret about the past. It keeps you stuck in place, afraid to move forward. You go back to her in your thoughts constantly, because you believe your happiness is tied to her. She is your object; she is your drug. Even if that wasn’t even the case while you were still, actually together. Suddenly, you believe everything could have been different, because you are so scared to actually let go of her.
I believe terminal oneitis is born of a deep-seated insecurity that some of us carry from a young age. Mine always seems to connect back to my parents’ divorce in some way, of subconsciously identifying my situation with what I felt about my father back then, when he had to be “abandoned” in a new place and exiled from the family, while my mom moved on to new men. Regardless of exactly what causes it, terminal oneitis is brought on suddenly by the end of a relationship, even if the rest of the relationship had a perfectly balanced dynamic. And the circumstances around the breakup can exacerbate it.
Most of the time, the girl is going to find someone new before the guy after a breakup. She can literally trip over a guy who is willing to date her just by walking outside. It took my ex 2 days after moving to a new city to meet her next boyfriend– he literally lived next door– and now she’s engaged to the guy 6 months later. Knowing that your ex has “moved on” so quickly can compound the negative feelings associated with terminal oneitis, and it will fuck with any man’s ego and self-confidence.
I have a bad habit of wanting all of my thoughts and emotions to mean something. In my most fragile moments, I become fatalistic, believing that I’m doomed and that I would need a miracle to be saved by a better “destiny.” It leads to romanticization of my ex, and also of the new girls who I do like. “Maybe this is meant to be, just like my ex knew right away that her new guy was the one she was supposed to be with!”
The only problem is, I don’t really believe it works that way. Girls have the luxury of believing it’s “fate” that they’re supposed to be with someone, because 90% of the time, whatever guy they choose is going to just stick around and be grateful to have some pussy to call his own. If I meet a girl and believe she is the predestined “One,” and start being too familiar, comfortable, or committed before she has sized me up and fallen deeply in lust, the whole thing crumbles into dust before my eyes.
Obsessively wanting your life to mean something is a form of suffering. There is no answer to this question, and you will just think yourself into oblivion. Conversely, being depressed that life is meaningless is a form of suffering. The key is to stop thinking about the issue of “meaning” altogether. Just keep doing stuff– pursue projects and adventures, find a way to contribute something to the world– and you’ll feel better.
The cure for terminal oneitis is not a tangible one. It’s not as simple as fucking 10 new girls, because if your mindset is in the wrong place, even positive new experiences make you feel worse. I sometimes felt guilty having sex with new girls, feeling like I was still betraying my ex. Or that I wasn’t allowed to feel proud or happy that they were “hot,” because it was shitty to my ex.
Like most guys following a breakup, I also got disheartened when I didn’t feel the same “connection” I did with my ex. But if it was easy to have that kind of connection with a girl, it would be meaningless, and not at all special when you do find it. So it’s a good thing this is the case, overall. Also, it’s important to remember that when you meet new girls, you’re comparing your first interactions with the endpoint of your last relationship, when you were at your most intimate and knew each other extremely well.
All that you can do when faced with terminal oneitis is to keep moving. Try to realize that your thoughts are not “real,” but they are distractions meant to keep tearing you down. The more you can escape from all thoughts, clear your head, and focus on things that make you feel fulfilled, the sooner the voices will quiet. It’s a gradual process, and yes, eventually, finding the “next girl” might help in this healing. But you must forgive yourself, and radically accept everything from your past. You must feel grateful for everything, because you got to experience the high highs (even with the lows), and it taught you so much and changed the course of your life.
If you are able to let go of all the irrational fear, you can regain a strong footing in yourself and the world around you, and soon you will be back on the winning path. But if you keep falling into the same patterns and do nothing to actively change it, then your terminal oneitis will truly be terminal. And there are wandering, lost souls out there who never got over a heartbreak, and decided to give up. There are nights when I’ve wanted to give up, so I can relate. And it’s a sad phenomenon to see.
It’s not so much “time” in and of itself that heals you from a breakup, or sleeping with new girls. Not to sound like a cheesy self-help magazine, but it is really about learning to love yourself again. Once you are able to truly love yourself again, to completely trust yourself and feel at ease with wherever life takes you, the stakes don’t seem so high, life doesn’t seem so scary. You can go out to a restaurant by yourself to eat a great meal again, without feeling like you’re acting out some kind of pathetic tragedy. You get back in rhythm, one day at a time. It’s a gradual process.There is nothing short of a lobotomy that can heal terminal oneitis overnight. But it’s an active choice to regain the feeling of irrational self-confidence. If you act as if everything is okay, soon it will be.
Once you re-learn to love yourself, some girl can finally come along to ruin it all again. Just kidding.
But when you do find the next one and the one after that, you get to repeat the cycle over and over, hopefully learning a little bit and getting better each time. Terminal oneitis can be avoided altogether, once you have gained more mastery of yourself through having experienced it, and overcome it. Ideally, when you are able to observe and identify this automatic process your thoughts and emotions go through, you’ll be able to minimize it and have a more seamless transition between relationships, or stages of life, in your future.