What's it like trying to navigate love in Hollywood? In her new memoir, “The Day I Shot Cupid,” TV star Jennifer Love Hewitt — who once dated John Mayer and Jamie Kennedy — shares her candid experiences and advice on modern romance. “The Ghost Whisperer” actress explores everything from the dos and don’ts of text flirting to how to mend a broken heart. An excerpt:
PrefaceOkay, so why did I, an actress in her thirties, decide to write a book on dating? Well, leave it to Cabo Wabo! I had a massive broken heart, so I hopped on the plane with my mom, aunt, and a bunch of friends. We found ourselves at this beautiful home overlooking the ocean and like most meetings of the female brain, talking about men. I was so intrigued, the age groups, types of women, lifestyles were all so different, but the message was the same. Dating is hilarious and awkward as hell. Relationships are difficult, beautiful, and confusing. And love is somehow worth it all. It was like pen and paper had to be used at that moment, so I took all the things we were talking about and started writing. Of course, I added my own funny comments to them, because if you can’t laugh you won’t make it.
At dinner that night I presented my romance thought pages on the table, hoping to ease any past pain, laugh about the hours of life lost on bad dates, and show that we are all the same. They loved it (the tequila helped)! As I wrote them, healing began for me as well.
At the end of our great trip, I went home with a new thought. What if this is why I went through all my dating crap? Maybe I’m supposed to be the kindred spirit of millions of women out there who are just like me. And there it was, the new relationship that I would begin would be with me, my past, my present, my laughter, my pain, and most important, all of you.
This, for me, is the perfect place to start. Although I was actually born on February 21, there was a chance that I would come a week earlier, on February 14. That’s right, Valentine’s Day. I refused to believe until I was ten or eleven years old that Valentine’s Day was not actually created for me. Why? Because my name is Love! My mom named me Love and almost gave birth to me on Valentine’s Day. Hello? I was born to be a hopeless romantic. It’s worked well for me so far, or so I thought. And that brings us to now. This is the most eye-opening and slightly depressing part of the book, so let’s get it over with. What I am about to tell you will include shocking details, lies, and murder. Continue to read at your own risk.
Okay, here it goes. On a cold day, with a little rain falling on the windows (who am I, Agatha Christie?), in the most gorgeous light of the afternoon, I sat at my computer, wondering what I could say today that would have some real value to those of you kind enough to read this book. I decided to turn to my faithful friend Cupid for some help. You know, Cupid (said with little kid voice) — cute little guy, kind of like a baby and a man all in one. The little man in a diaper who finds us true love, shoots our dream man with an arrow, bring him to us, plays the violin, and helps us live happily ever after. That Cupid. (Back to my own voice.) What I found next would forever change me. What the hell to my Googling Cupid eyes should appear, but the TRUTH!
Cupid was actually a scorned lover. A person so hurt that he made poison arrows to shoot at people that would hopefully destroy their chance for love, because misery loves the company of a tiny man in diapers. He was an evil little s**t, not a cute baby with magic arrows waiting to point at our perfect companion and bring up love’s every happiness. Lock your doors. Cupid is not a good guy! Suddenly my love life flashed before my eyes: all the Valentine’s Days, the arrows I shot in my mind toward the dream guy in front of me, the hours I spent thinking Cupid would make it better. And for what? He was just as depressed and hurt as I was. And P.S. — he didn’t want to use his powers for good. It begs the thought — we saw a little man in a diaper shooting arrows and thought that meant true love?
After an hour of seriously doubting my stock in Hallmark, I knew exactly what I had to do. I HAD TO SHOOT CUPID! I had to believe in my mind that there could be romance without him. Maybe not the kind with symphonies and floating hearts (although that kind stabbed me in the back more than a few times), but something I could create with another person that could be all our own. Romantic comedies are there to give us dreams and butterflies, but what we can create in our own lives could be not only better but real.
So I did it! I SHOT HIM! This would always be ... THE DAY I SHOT CUPID. I let my mind kill all its previous romantic ideas and believe what would come next would be greater.
As I write this, I am only two weeks into this “transformation.” I’m not gonna lie, I have had a few “everything is changing” panic attacks, but I also feel like I’m on the brink of real growth. I ask myself now what romance really is to me. What a man needs to do and what I would want to do for him. I am learning, and not depressed by the way, how to create my own fireworks and rapid heartbeat. I’m suddenly not as let down by everyday romantic screwups because the only thing to live up to is organic, from within, not a list of dos and don’ts given to me by romantic icons who aren’t real.
At first glance you may be thinking ... Jaded? Bitter? Hurt too much? But let’s change those thoughts to something more productive, like Strong, Realistic, and Grown-Up. Let’s never again rely on someone or some myth to bring us happiness or love. Let’s try it ourselves. Let’s make our own paths and believe that what the universe has for us is perfect. Let’s go out and find the love we always wanted but this time with our feet planted on the ground, our inner sparkle as the arrows, and the belief that love does happen for all of us. By the way, if you see a man in diapers, keep walking!
From “The Day I Shot Cupid” by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Copyright © 2010 Love Songs, Inc. Published by Voice. All Rights Reserved.