Billy Curtis, Sex Columnist

In the earlier years, many philosophers believed that in order to find the absolute truth in this world one had to doubt everything, question everything, and eventually a person would—through experience and reason—find the pure truth they were looking for. This way of thinking can also be applied to dating.

Let’s face it. As years progress and time continues to slip away, we can see the people around us continuing to lose faith in their search for happiness. So many times we have been hurt, shed unnecessary tears and overthought every aspect of our past relationships in the hopes that something we missed or misunderstood would bring more light to our lost causes.

We continue our search for love, but as time goes on, after every ache and pain, we lose more and more of ourselves in the hope that someday something new or better will come along and save us from the prison we have entrapped ourselves in. I bring this topic up, because I have a very dear friend who has for all intense and purpose given up hope for her happiness.

Marie was an intelligent, beautiful and hilarious woman in her mid 20s. Heartache after heartache she began losing all hope of finding someone who could truly make her happy. As her life continued to dwindle around her, most of her friends found happiness almost instantly; they would marry, divorce and before the settlement was even finished have another man in line at the courthouse doors. While others however, were just content with the people they had been dating for years.

Marie became very jealous of people around her who had the happiness she was searching for all this time, but to Marie, her search for love became the search for the Holy Grail; unrelenting, and unrewarding. So she gave up, she let her doubts consume her, and locked away the thought of ever being happy again.

Her sorrow consumed her, devoured her and never let up. Years continued to pass, and she continued to be single, going on horrible date after horrible date, still searching for what she continued to believe would never come; sometimes at the expense of her friend’s amusement.

Finally, I grabbed wind of this problem and felt that something had to be done. At first her situation made me think a lot about myself and my own pursuit for happiness. Relationship after relationship, breakup after breakup, after all the lovers found and lost, even after Mr. Madison and everything I went through with him; I still believed that there was more to this never-ending fight for happiness, something still unknown, waiting to be found.

And then I realized, after all the hardships and trials I faced with the hundreds of men I dated (and slept with), I still hadn’t given up hope. As much as I tried not to believe it, something inside me clearly believed that there was more to life then what I had already experienced. There would be more pain, more joy, and all the other fun stuff that comes with dating someone you may eventually care about. But just the fact that no matter what, hope still wasn’t lost made all the difference in my eyes.

I tried everything with Marie, getting her to go out on dates with men she met online, blind dates set up by her friends and acquaintances, even just going out more and enjoying the fine restaurants and bars our perfect little city had to offer. But my attempts were all undermined by her pessimistic attitude.

“This is never going to work,” she would cry after she came home from her dating disaster. It seemed that after every failed attempt the idea of a man in her life continued to disappear into her world of fantasy. This attitude was just one of the many reasons I thought she has had so much trouble finding someone.

My biggest qualms with Marie came when she told me that I should never see or speak to Mr. Madison again. She had witnessed most of our downfalls, and already had her own perspective on our relationship—that it was wrong. She was convinced by her own deluded belief that no one could ever be happy together—especially two people who tried as many times as Mr. Madison and I.

I am and have always been a firm believer that if you can’t remain objective when looking at a problem, you’re clearly not going to be able to solve it correctly. Marie could never do that with my situation, let alone her own.

Her negativity sadly ended up becoming a strong influence on both Mr. Madison and myself, which lead to my telling Mr. Madison that we shouldn’t talk anymore or even be friends. She persuaded us both to not follow our own past experiences and reason that we had learned in our lives. After all, everyone has a different capacity for what they can and can’t do in a relationship. To this day, I would still say that she was the catalyst for the fall of that relationship.

Life is about failing; great philosophers realized this early on. We fall so we can pick ourselves up and learn from the mistakes we’ve made in the past. Prime example is the fashion mishaps of the ‘80s. Take a look at old photos, I know you look back at those pictures and think the same thing I do. “What was I thinking when I did or wore that?” You learned from then and now, that some things just should never have been made, worn, or even thought of.

That realization is proof that giving up is useless. You never stopped wearing those clothes, they were enjoyed during that time, and then you moved on to a new style. But you tried something new, a new outfit, a new life, a new man. Even if you don’t realize it, you do the same thing when dating, a person can be right for you at one point in your life and completely wrong in another.

Realization comes with time, so does love and experience. You teach yourself through experience and reason that life will always go on, and that man you wore last year clearly wouldn’t fit the you of today’s world. So you try something new, don’t give up, learn from your mistakes and you move on.

These great philosophers had it right when they said that the truth can be found through the experiences we share and the reasoning we learn from these experiences. The know-how we gain from this world, like the unexpected turns we take that lead us down a path to something new and unknown, are the things we should never fear, but rather learn from in the hopes that it will bring us to someone new, and just maybe the person we have been looking for this entire time.