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Desperate to recreate the high, I went home with a man who, after doing enough drugs with him, I came close to having sex with — before realizing I really had no desire at all. To absolutely no one’s surprise, it all came crashing down when I ran out of money and ran out of men.

Instead, we sat uncomfortably on the couch together watching “Apollo 13.” Before I got up to leave, I asked if he’d tell me his real name. After getting debased at a sex club party (okay, that part wasn’t subtle), I felt depressed and alienated that the guy who took me (just some random filmmaker who I met at a Page Six going-away party) seemingly blew me off. But, as anyone who’s ever experienced it in their own life knows, addiction is akin to one of those Whac-A-Mole games. Once substances were off the table as an option, I became even more addicted to sex.

By its very nature, addiction is a battle you can never win. Another night I considered taking “100 roses” from a sad little man who posted that he was “looking for a girl to show off.” (One rose is code on Craigslist for one dollar.) I didn’t take the money he had laid out. A friend of mine, the notorious and often shocking comedian Jim Norton, once listened to me patiently as I described a night of doing coke and fooling around with an S&M couple before later meeting and sleeping with another stranger at 5 in the morning who had responded to my incredibly subtle posting on Craigslist entitled: “Need to get f–ked right now.” Norton responded to my “wild and crazy” story with something I didn’t expect: concern. “You need to be more careful.” As much of a wake-up call as that should have been, it was something far subtler that led me to realize I needed to stop living like my life was one long hilarious prelude to a suicide. On June 28, 2010, I swore off drugs and alcohol once and for all.

The reality for most women who write any kind of dating or sex column is that there is no Aidan who tries to thrust the engagement ring upon you, but you in your freewheeling lifestyle of carefree fun and abandon can only bring yourself to wear the giant rock swinging around your neck fancy-free. Because I can’t wait to be wifed again, to be claimed.

And in constantly vocalizing how no-pressure I am to guys I date, I’m absolutely trying to appropriate a cool girl character like that—because I sure as f*ck don’t know who I actually am.

Growing up in San Diego, I had my first drink at 13. Self-care became a full-time job, and I went to 12-step meetings like my life depended on it. I was determined to find out why I kept degrading myself and hurting so many people.

Moving back home to live with my parents at the age of 36 with less than 0 in the bank, I knew it was time for me to finally look at myself — and every bad thing I’d ever done.

Full disclosure: Stadtmiller and I met four years ago when I was working as a matchmaker for a dating service, and she was briefly one of my clients; she later became a friend and mentor to me, and also set me up with a Ryan Gosling lookalike she had once been on a date with (who now — in the smallest of small worlds — happens to be in a relationship with an old friend of mine).

This feels like a classic Stadtmiller story: a satisfying twist on the rom-com you've already heard.Well, she was fictional, but three years after 's dating column "About Last Night," which ran for a year from 2007 to 2008.Stadtmiller, who moved to New York at 30 after leaving behind a safe job in public relations and her college sweetheart husband, captivated the city's readers with installments about her relationship with an anonymous, ultra-rich boyfriend known only as "Super Preppy." Also featured: her night with the country's first-ever legal male prostitute, and the friends and work wives in her life who helped cushion the blow of disappointing dates. I decided to embody the old adage that there is no greater disinfectant than sunlight. Right before Valentine’s Day in 2015, I was hired for ,000 by a dating website to go on a spree of romantic stunts (including walking around Times Square wearing a sign that I was single). Two short years later, while blackout drunk, I lost my virginity to rape at the hands of a distant relative while spending the summer in Portland, Ore. After several years, I grew to accept and forgive and even integrate what darkness lurked beneath the surface — so that it didn’t consume me. I returned to New York again (taking a job at xo Jane in August 2012) and was able to survive.But unlike Bradshaw, her column stirred up toxic drama in her relationship.