Joe Willis: Must Love Dogs

An on-line dating questionnaire prompts Joe Willis into thoughts on relationships, openness, and love.  Warning: Strong language

Joe Willis photo

Gender: Male

Age: 25

Interested in: Men/Women

The Key to my Heart is…Food

I love a …Good G&T

My Perfect Weekend would be…erm…

I would describe myself as…erm…

My mantra is…Fuck.

I dunno…erm…maybe Cool, Fun, Happy?

No, that’s stupid. That sounds stupid.

Erm…Sweet, Cute, Helpful. No, that sounds like I’m a job opportunity. Sweet, Cute, Helpful, Worry Merchant looking for someone to stroke their back after too much rum and tell them they look fit in that shirt. 40+ Hours a Week. Previous experience helpful but not required. Role unpaid. Extremely unpaid…

Still that’s better than what I’ve actually put. The key to my heart is…food? Well done Joe, really insightful there. You may as well have put oxygen. At least that would have been more scientifically accurate. And when in the world have we had a G&T? Except for that Christmas incident, which we definitely do not talk about. But then what do we put? Because it’s either that vague stuff that everyone else puts that seems to work or the truth and fuck that.

“Hey, I’m Joe and I’d like to meet someone but am unsure whether I’ll be able to tell you I love you. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m worried that if I say it to you then I won’t be able to take it back. Not that I’d want to take it back but that if you didn’t want to say it then I’d feel I kind of forced you into it, because who’s not gonna say it back to someone when they say it to them, that would just be awkward. But then I’m kind of ignoring your agency aren’t I and then that just makes me a worse person and it’s not even about those three words anymore and-” BREATHE JOE BREATHE.

It’s just…it’s just I wonder whether I’m even capable of love anymore? Because when I think of love it seems to me more like paying the bills or taking out the rubbish. It’s something for you to do, something you have to do just because society says you should, and it’ll only pile up and cause you problems if you ignore it. But then I also know that I’m just saying that because deep down I’ve been hurt and I’ve hurt others and it’s just a defence mechanism, but at the same time what if I’ve been using that mechanism for so long that that’s just my reality now? That if I ever met someone even a tad interested in me, I wouldn’t even be able to reciprocate it back. That I’ve gone so far down the rabbit hole that maybe that bit of my brain is now switched off and unable to ever be switched back on again and what if…what if…what if…


I stopped thinking about all this. Stopped wondering, thinking, dissecting. What if I stopped caring? Not in a negative ‘everything’s crap’ sorta way but in a just stopped trying to second guess everything and just be in the moment kinda way?

Because…because…because… it’s hard. It’s Fucking Hard.

But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying…

There’s that song by Daniel Johnston. That one you love, ‘True Love Will Find You in the End’. And in it he says, “This, this is a Promise with a Catch…only if you’re looking can it find you’ because ‘true love is searching too…but how can it recognise you until you step out into the light, the light, the light’.

And to be honest he’s right, he’s right, he’s right.

Because that man would hand his music tapes out to people for free whilst he was having a nervous breakdown, no matter how bad things got. Not because he wanted reciprocation, not because he wanted to make money, but because he just wanted people to listen to his music. And feel better. That little bit less alone in the world.

And if that’s not true love then I don’t know what is.

Because it doesn’t have to be romantic or even involve those three words, it’s just about putting yourself out there, opening yourself up to the world and others.

And it starts with a step, a dive…and other obvious metaphors.

Because there will be some weirdo, or weirdos who like it. There’s over 8 billion people, there’s got to be one or two.

You see, that switch isn’t shut off, it’s just a bit dusty.

You just need to remember that it’s there, ready for when you most need it.

And yes, you did sound like a greeting card just then.

But at least it’s a start…

…Must love dogs.

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