Dating and Other Bad Habits: Bob Dylan is my Best Girlfriend

When Bob Dylan tells you it’s time to let go of a relationship it’s serious. Bob said! That means I have to do it—Bob said!

I know I’m in trouble when pop songs start speaking to me. Which is to say I’m in trouble a lot…

But specifically, Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” might be the greatest song when trying to figure out how to get over a guy. Clearly Bob and I are good buddies. So when he opens with, “It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe. It don’t matter, anyhow,” I know he means it.

It’s the kind of advice my best friends would give. Except by the time I get to Bob I’ve usually stopped talking to my gals about whatever guy has taken over my brain. If I have nothing new to say my friends aren’t going to be able to provide any new advice or insight.

Yes I know it’s silly that I can’t get past it (whatever it is).

I know he wasn’t that great.

I’m aware I’ll meet someone better.

These things are true, and when our friends tell us these things over and over they’re just trying to help. But when no amount of rational thought will allow me to move on it’s time to put down the ice cream (or in my case, the bacon) and pull out the big guns. I go to my music collection. Sometimes it’s to be with my fellow brokenhearted and emote all over the place. Other times it’s the loudest, angriest, rockinest thing I can find.

I know music is an important part of the process for a lot of folks but I decide to consult the experts.

Ryan Stubbs is the guitarist/bassist/violinist for Denver-based band Everything Absent Or Distorted. They’re a band full of boys who sing songs about girls. He and Bob aren’t good friends but he’s got his own tunes to kick him out of break-up funk.

“Soon Enough” by The Constantines has helped me,” this rocker explains. “The lyrics are great.”

I check into the song and find out quickly what Stubbs is referencing. When the Canadian band wails, “Soon enough, work and love will make a man out of you,” it reminds that heartbreak is key to growing and moving on.

I call Sam Hill while she’s on the air at radio station Alice 105.9FM. I figure she’s an expert since she listens to pop songs all day for a living. When I tell her about my conversations with Bob she seems to understand. I ask if she and Bob have had conversations too?

“Well, “Purple Rain” makes me cry. So when I listen to “Purple Rain” and I don’t cry anymore then I know I’m okay,” she confides.

I try to have a conversation with Prince, but he’s just not as good a listener. So back to Bob I go.

Just when I think about calling what’s-his-name and seeking out answers or further punishment, Bob chides, “We never did too much talking anyway. So don’t think twice, it’s all right.”

Yeah, Bob. You know what? You’re right.

-by Leah M. Charney
Charney is a sassy yet classy music lover who still believes in mix-tapes.

Appeared in Women’s Magazine, August 2009.

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