Museling 16 – Dream Date #4

Museling 16 – April 12th, 2018

The fourth Dream Date is about relationships.

A transcript of this episode is below.

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Episode transcript:

This is Dream Date number 4.


My friend, who is sitting next to me on the couch, gets up and goes… to talk to someone else, I suppose… and I’m left there with you. But I don’t remember your name and when I tell you that, you say that you don’t think we were ever introduced. And then you say: Why don’t we keep it like that because it’s so much more fun this way. Maybe we’ll never find out who the other person is and there’ll be no way of finding them on Facebook or of asking mutual friends for phone numbers or email addresses or whatever and this will be the only time we get to talk to one another. We just have this moment to share something. And what’s it going to be?

And I suppose I think I probably wasted the opportunity because, very soon, you tell me that you’re a relationship counsellor – which, for some reason, I think is very funny – and that you think that all of us have one relationship that we carry around with us. A relationship that marked us in a way that we can’t get rid of, and we’ll never get over it, and it flavours all of the relationships that we try have now. I tell you that I think I have a relationship that fits the bill – it led to a break-up that I’m still angry about, that still makes my heart hurt to think about, and it’s more than ten years ago now. And the more I tell you about it, the more I start to think that it’s not about the relationship but about the break-up, and it’s the break-up that I can’t get rid of, it’s the emotions that were triggered by that break-up that are flavouring all of my other relationships. And you say that, no, the break-up was a part of the relationship from the beginning. It was latent in the first meeting I had with this person and that that is the whole reason the relationship happened in the first place and that, really, if we dig right down to the bottom of this, what I was doing by getting into this relationship at all was looking for a way to have this break-up. You think that something about this person almost certainly triggered abandonment issues in me that I hadn’t been aware of, perhaps, but which would have had much deeper roots than this one relationship and, in fact, the relationship that you’re talking about – the ur-relationship, if you like – is a much, much earlier relationship. And, although the one that I’ve been talking about is the relationship that seems most obviously to fit this pattern, in fact, if I looked at all of my other relationships, I’d probably find elements of this ur-relationship inside all of them and I’m either trying to recreate the conditions of this ur-relationship in order to, kind of, fix it after the fact, or I’m trying to build a relationship that will keep me safe from whatever it was that hurt me so badly in this relationship, in this ur-relationship.

So, I stick to our agreement and I don’t ask for your number but, later, it occurs to me that you might not have been a relationship counsellor at all. You might just have made that up. I wonder if ‘relationship counsellor’ is even the right term.

Thank you for listening. This has been the 16th Museling. My name is Charles Adrian. I’m on twitter as @charldrian and more information about the podcast is at

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