Ask Annie



How do you navigate the fuckery of modern dating without losing your soul?


Great question! I think about this all the time. When I was younger and still thought I was straight, I thought a cool art boy was gonna save me. You know? The one singing to me in pop punk songs. This man who was going to be so stellar and out of this world- who it would be easy with. Who’d take me on these epic dates. Just this joyful, art-filled love. Let’s be real- I jumped into some garbage relationships with these stellar expectations. I chased unavailable men because subconsciously I was guarding my sweet poet heart from heartbreak. Your heart's not as broken if you don't date someone who it could actually work with. In fact, I thought I deserved partners who were projects, who I could heal and teach how to love me and be what I wanted. All that garbage. If I could just be so dang wonderful, give them everything, they would want to commit to me- they would be what I wanted them to be- DECENT- THE COOL ART BOY. MY RADIO DJ DREAM BOY. WE’D GO ON THE RAD DATES. LISTEN TO RECORDS. KISS AND DRINK COFFEE IN THE MORNING. HE'D SAVE ME FROM MY PERPETUAL LONESOMENESS. I've come to see this as totally codependent and it's no longer exactly what I want because let's be real- over the years, I've become the cool art girl and I saved myself. Thank you very much!

In my dating profile, I write my vision of a perfect day with a partner as the following...

“So get this, we wake up slowly in a city we love. I make french press coffee for us and we drink it by the sunny window in our favorite pajamas. My apartment is covered in plants and vases of roses.  I sit cross-legged on a big comfy chair on the balcony in my over-sized thrift store flannel that I'm sure was once worn by a good dad. And I feel beautiful and radiant because I'm waking up ready for another day of everything I love. You make breakfast for us if that's your thing while I write poems or read zines. We kiss if it's like that + eat a ton of fresh fruit and food that energizes us for a kickass day. Maybe we kiss some more if it's like that while listening to records. Maybe we go to the beach or we spend the day making music and creating art. Maybe you paint while I write music and improvise. We go out to a movie or a show in the evening. Maybe it's a showcase I'm playing in. You hype me up beforehand while I'm taking a bath and doing my makeup all big and sparkly. We hold hands on the drive to the venue if it's like that. I dedicate a love song to you. Then later we go out to a goth club like Neo (r.i.p.) or beauty bar and we dance our asses off. Then, we head back to your place and crash for the night, completely exhilarated by living our dreams + supporting each other's growth + happiness.” 

This is still totally what I want unapologetically from love without a doubt. I want love that supports my bigness and my wildness and GROWTH and happiness. I want someone I can support in their bigness and growth too! I think we all want this but we are swimming in this ocean of plenty of fish who are EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE AND HEARTBROKEN AF. Raise your hand if you're that kind of fish! I still as hell am but I'm healing! So are you I'm sure!

In my experience, millennial dating seems to be like this: I’LL GHOST YOU BEFORE YOU CAN GHOST ME. We go into superficial relationships with our hearts guarded because we've been hurt before. Of course, we have trust issues. Society has SHAMED US FOR THE WAY WE ARE NAVIGATING OUR UNIQUE CHALLENGES AS A GENERATION--- Currently as millennials we are RUINING THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY, APPLEBEE’S- (thank god because a date at applebee’s is a date with food poisoning). WE ARE RUINING THE WORLD PAST GENERATIONS EXPECTED WOULD BE SUSTAINABLE. Who could blame them? But the times they are a changin'. No doubt about it.  

We grew up in our own climate of anxiety with 9/11 and school shootings. We grew up as the internet did. Most of us were pushed to go succeed in college and we got the debt to prove it and this disgustingly high cost of living with the traditional jobs no longer cutting it. We grew up with unpaid internships and I think our generation has become so hyper focused on just surviving that dating freely, openly, comfortably, and honestly is so hard. All of us are so preoccupied with our own shit. We try to project that we have it all together on the internet but we’re all totally emotionally unavailable & spread too thin. We are overachievers but we are also such creative thinkers whether we admit it or not. We want to do things differently because we have to in order to survive climate change and a trump america and what the world becomes based on what we do now. We have no choice but to be wildly untraditional & not blindly follow the old ways that just don't work anymore.

My insecurity has always been something like this. I’m TOO MUCH. TOO LOUD. TOO WOMAN. TOO BIG. TOO WILD. TOO UNTAMED AND UNDOMESTICATED. TOO AMBITIOUS- WILDLY VALUING FREEDOM ABOVE ALL ELSE. I have never felt “good” at love because I struggle to pick the "right" person. The available one I mean. If you constantly date unavailable folks, it’s likely you’re ultra scared of going “all in” in love because you’re afraid of getting your heart shattered so you’ve learned to not jump into anything substantial. I think millennials are guarded and under so much pressure. Please, sweet millennial as you read this: unclench your jaw, take a breath, & relax your shoulders.

And keep in mind, you don't have to be a millennial to relate to this all. I'm purely just speaking from experience here and making some blanket statements so definitely get a personal love reading from me to go deeper and gain more specific insight and guidance in what you need from love right now! And also, my mom says I need a disclaimer here that I'm not a doctor or medical profession- (duh!) my advice is just for entertainment purposes & I hope it inspires you. Don't go crazy and like SUE ME, KAREN for following what I say as I interpret the cards below... I'm not god and I certainly don't know better than you do! Just let what I have to say just inspire you & use your best judgement and personal agency to do what's best for you! Alright, so here we go... my thoughts!

So what do my cards have to say about navigating the fuckery of modern dating in a pandemic? 

From my Soulful Woman Guidance Deck, I pulled the affirmation card of SERVICE AS CO-CREATION. The card reads: “My service, no matter how great or small, is a conscious act of co-creation with the world.” This theme came up in a client’s reading earlier this week. It was talking about how the next partner they should pick should be a revolutionary- a visionary. An “exorcist” or someone who isn’t afraid of your demons or their own. It’s the most magnificent thing when you can let your trauma out of the jewelry box you hide it away in... When you can be naked and unashamed with a lover because they are just as messed up as you are. They have healing to do within themselves and this world too and they make the brave choice to actually heal. Post-pandemic relationships or the ones you form during this pandemic should be very based in service.

What can you and your next partner CO-CREATE to move the world from this apocalyptic, end times feeling doom to the revolutionary world that you ACTUALLY want to live in? As the creative, freethinking, change the world millennial that I'm sure you are, what do you want to co-create? This is how I’m picking my next partner: Who can I collaborate with? How will we lift each other up and push each other into following our passions & into doing what we came here to do? How can we use our gifts and talents to co-create that pretty happy world we CAN make and move into?

I don’t know a millennial without depression or anxiety. I don’t know a millennial who isn’t overworked and stressed beyond belief. I mean maybe millennials with rich parents but I don’t have a lot of those in my close circle and even if you have rich parents, we all still have a whole lot of pressure on us to perform- even that unspoken pressure to live that formulaic life. Go to college, get a job, get married, and have kids. Meanwhile our generation is rebelling constantly and doing the most untraditional shit- going the opposite direction- getting tiny houses, living in vans, and I mean don't fact check me on this but I think we are getting traditionally married and having kids less because the fear of global warming or even having an actual world for kids to grow up in is real! But we still desire connection and closeness in all the different ways that feel good to us. We have a lot of intimacy issues that come attached with the constant pressure to work, perform, do, make, be productive, achieve, and overall just adult! That doesn't leave a lot of space and time for dreaming and dreamy dates.

This is why I think service must be at the root of every relationship. I think romantic relationships should be steeped in healing and personal growth. When you have a partner who supports your goals and dreams, this is how I think we live and build a more fulfilled life and a better world TOGETHER and collaboratively. 

If you’re used to abusive or toxic relationships- I think that person you’re supposed to be with or who is actually good for you is going to feel A LOT different than what you’re used to. Typically in relationships, I’m waiting for the blowout- the other shoe to drop. The shock of the new card from my Sacred Rebels Oracle Deck asks, “what unconventional voice is calling to you?” I think this is a great time to explore your sexuality and your relational needs. I’d write about it. What do you really want in a partnership right now? Post pandemic partnerships and careers and purposes are not going to look the same! I think everyone is being propelled into their passions and into doing the things that ACTUALLY light them up. I think we are all forced to reevaluate what our own service to the world right now should look like going forward. I think we all need revolutionary partners who can support the untraditional paths we'll have to create as we navigate new norms in this pandemic. I think loneliness is a growing disease in the digital era. When you’ve been single so long, you start to feel like you’re not HOT SHIT. Which you are! You are a beautiful stunning gorgeous human. A total babe! You’re just trying to find that partner that wants to grow with you rather than just indulge in a superficial, mostly sexual situationship that is really just a bandaid and a distraction from our pain and loneliness. I mean a strictly sexual relationship can be fulfilling but ask yourself if it is for you and if you actually DO want more from love! Something deeper! There is no shame in catching feelings and wanting them reciprocated!

It’s brave to jump into love head first. To be a romantic poet type in a chaotic world like this. In the throws of the fuckery of modern dating. I think we are all going to have to take a deep look at our wounds. At what still hurts. At where we need to grow. And what we truly need from love. And we’re gonna have to choose the partners that can propel us into our true passions and purposes- none of which are going to look “normal” or the same because post pandemic- we’ll all be operating if we aren’t already- in this new economy where we are going to have to take all our passions and experiences and talents and gifts and form very new grassroots and mutual aid projects that bring revolution personally, in our communities and the world at large. 

We aren’t going to be able to rely on the luxury of bandaids on problems. If we want the world to survive- we have to do the real work. THE REAL REVOLUTIONARY SHIT! So think, who can you partner with? Who can you truly heal and grow with? It may be uncomfortable at first because we are all being pulled in new directions- forced to prioritize what truly matters. If anything, this pandemic feels like it’s shouting to me, “YOUR CREATIVE PURPOSE-FILLED WORK CANNOT WAIT OR BE PUT ON HOLD OR PUT ON THE BACK BURNER ANY LONGER.” So what’s that big revolutionary work you want to do? It’s a huge time of reevaluating what you need from a relationship and what you need support / funding wise to do that BIG thing you’re on earth to do.

And then it’s interesting that for this question I pulled THE HERMIT REVERSED from my Aquarian Tarot Deck. He represents alienation, loneliness, perfectionism, and isolation. How spot on is this when it comes to how so many of us feel perpetually stuck in situationships? In unlabeled, almost relationships? I think dating in the pandemic is going to be all about resisting the urge to try and find the perfect person... you know, the perfect “cool art boy” who the movies brainwashed you to think is out there. He's not exactly. At least not in the perfect package you expected him to come in. I think it’s about remembering that we’re all fucked up emotionally by the societal trauma we all grew up with. Old ways just aren’t working anymore and I couldn’t tell you a millennial I know who isn’t lonely or longing in some way. We’re all shackled by different things. And sure, yeah, there are “the lucky ones” who found that person miraculously and married them from tinder- but even they are still working on their relationships & expressing their true needs every day.

So I think it’s about spending this pandemic bravely coming into who you are- thinking about how we can heal our collective loneliness especially in isolation. What are things you can do to foster more connection in quarantine and even digitally? The hermit reversed can represent that you are either taking too much time reflecting alone or that you aren’t taking enough - maybe even distracting yourself as to put off dealing with your emotional trauma! Understandable. I totally get it. But compassionately take a look at what hurts right now. Be soft with yourself. Now is the time for personal reflection and a hell of a lot of self soothing.

Invest in a weighted blanket- post a personal ad on the queer dating app Lex- get so fiercely clear about what it is you want and need as you scan over all your past relationships and learn from them. Don’t work in extremes. We all need connection right now especially- collaboration is everything when it comes to creating partnerships that will lead to creating and sustaining the world we want to live in.

What can you make together? What can you heal together? How do your partnerships lead to the world you want to live in? Maybe your partnerships are bravely, more radically honest. Instead of ghosting your lover, maybe you open up about what you really need- maybe they should too. Think why are you running from certain partnerships- why and how are they triggering you? And if one isn’t right for you- why isn’t it? How can you lovingly shift from what is wrong and unhealthy for you to partnerships that can elevate you and fulfill you? Relationships right now need to be supportive AF because this pandemic is collective TRAUMA- so I would challenge you to think about the following:  

How can you show up in all your relationships more radically? 

How can you express what you need more openly? 

How can you love and forgive yourself for being in relationships that hurt you in the past?

How can you learn from those as you bravely go for something brand new? 

Everyone’s emotional availability may be shit through and after this- but I think as we really focus on crafting lives with balanced amounts of support and giving between one another- things will get more sustainable- more LIVEABLE- more joyful. Safer. So to navigate the fuckery of modern dating, my love, reflect on what you truly need and what you came here to do- go for folks who are going to support your purpose and passion enthusiastically- who you can co-create with. Revolutionary times call for revolutionary approaches to relationships, so BABE- GO & GET IT.

My apothecary is here for you in the meantime, my love. May I recommend a pep talk poetry gram, my queer in quarantine protection spell, my summon a text back spell, a love potion, or a custom love spell and reading care package! I am here for you with all my magic my beautiful sweetheart friends.


Annie Hex