“You’re the one I want to want.”
“I’m not ready for a relationship, but we can be friends.”
“You’re great, really… I’m just not feeling a connection…”
All very tactful ways of saying, “he/she is just not that into you…” They wrote books and there’s even a movie about it. So, why don’t we listen? It seems simple: we don’t want to. We want to believe we are the exception and with the right amount of kindness and patience, we can convince this person we are the unconditional love in their life they’ve searched for?
It’s excruciating. It is a real, staggering pain inside our chest. We long for a touch that’s more than platonic without the cynicism of “friends with benefits.” We long for … honestly, we want someone who gives a fuck about us. We want someone to watch 80s movies, argue about antiques, make breakfast for, hold hands with, have a non-ironic Valentine’s Day date. As a culture, we have convinced ourselves that it’s normal to “not care” or to be the “cool girl” who doesn’t require higher standards so we aren’t viewed as needy or demanding. How did we talk ourselves into a dating culture where we don’t value connections, but we swipe right? One in which we ghost each other because consideration is too difficult. One in which we think it’s perfectly acceptable to download apps in favor of human contact.
While the change has been coming since the beginning of the internet, the paradigm has shifted at a rapid pace with the invention of the smartphone. No longer was it necessary to have uncomfortable conversations; a quick text did the job for you. No longer did we need to buy books when we could download them to our iPhones or Androids. We got lazy and insolent in our communications. While inarguably one of the biggest advances in centuries, smartphones have stunted us in some ways.
With a flick of your finger, you can download Tinder, Ashley Madison, Grindr, Bumble or any plethora of ways to find a match. Swipe right, meet for drinks, scratch your itch… THANK U, NEXT.
We are the last generation that remembers dial-up internet and passing notes in class. We are the last generation that remembers filling out college applications by hand and having to call to talk to your friends. We are the last generation that had to ask their crush out, make plans and take them on a date.
Now, we Netflix & Chill.
We hook up.
We hang out.
We do everything but talk about the elephant in the room, which brings me back to my original point.
Technology has changed the game and we don’t know the rules. We play it and lose. We become heartbroken and rather than heal, we want to immediately move on and not process what is wrong. Fuck that noise.
We are never the exception to the rule. If a crush is into you, you will know. People who want to see someone, are excited by their presence and want to know them more will make it happen. You will never question your place in their life. You will not cry yourself to sleep, asking why you are not enough. Queen, I am here to tell you that you are more than enough. Spend time with the ones who want you. Don’t backburner someone and string them along. It’s cruel, juvenile and the karma will come back in the form of your crying over a margarita asking your bestie why someone did it to you. While yeah, it sucks to be told we aren’t the one, we need to listen to the context and accept it. There is someone out there, fantasizing about you. Not someone like you. YOU. So, live your life and one day, you’ll wake up to your person.