John Ohno
2 min readApr 12, 2022


Whenever I complain about dating, there’s a certain kind of guy who sees it, fails to process what I’m actually saying, and criticizes me for insufficient alpha posturing bullshit.

And they all feel entitled to flood my notifications with it, too. Fucking jerks.

i know intellectually that my ability to have a persistently active love life is not a good measure of my value as a person, but i grew up on 80s teen comedies so it’s really hard to get rid of this internalized judgement

80s teen comedies take place in a horrifying dystopian reality where God (in the form of the screenwriter) shows men that they are on the right path by getting them laid and shows them they are on the wrong path by embarrassing them in public through elaborate accidents

i was not raised with any religion, so the horny, wrathful god of 80s teen movies has had a deeper effect upon my psyche than the horny, wrathful god of the old testament

at least i weaned myself off the 90s rom-com god, who rewards stalking and only stalking

every day i meet people who learned how to live from the same movies i did, but who never figured out that they were wrong about how to live in the real world. they tend to call me a cuck for, like, not stalking people

I’ve been telling myself for years that the appropriate thing to do is to stop caring that I’m single. I probably wouldn’t be made happier by a relationship (or at least, it’d take a very special relationship to make me happy), so it’s not a sensible goal to have (and certainly not worth the kind of effort I put into it). It’s literally just my toddler brain going “God isn’t rewarding you with sex and therefore you are the comic relief character of this 80s teen comedy”.

Actually knowing girls well enough to hear their horror stories changed my attitudes dramatically, and it changed my behaviour a lot too. Basically, unless I know it’s reciprocated, I keep any indications of sexual interest to myself. It makes my love life a lot less active, but it’s worth the sacrifice, because I know that in retrospect for every girl I hit on who was into it there were probably 10 who felt vaguely threatened and didn’t say anything. I don’t think I connected to a new mythology particularly, though.

Maybe this whole thing is bothering me more because I’m adrift in other ways. I chose my hopes & dreams poorly — I was too practical — and so by my late 20s I had done everything that I had been gunning for as of my late teens, with nothing to replace it with & no time to work on branching out into new skills. With no inspiring goals to mark my progress toward, I fell back on inherited metrics.



John Ohno

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software.