What We’re Too Afraid To Say About The Modern Relationship Game


I recently read an article about a Boston College professor who after seeing how twisted and casual relations are these days, made it a requirement for students to go on a date without alcohol and hooking up. Just a good old-fashioned date.

Seems pretty revolutionary to me. In fact, the thought of how “relationships” are conducted these days makes me want to claw my own eyes out. From what I’ve learned, the formula for relationships this generation is you go out there, guns blazing, and throw your emotions at someone. Then you strap yourself in, hold on tight, and endure a long road of the pretending-not-to-care-game, with hopes these feelings are reciprocated. How backwards is it that we have to pretend we don’t care in order to begin a relationship?What? From my experience it goes a lil something like this: you hook up with someone randomly (or not so randomly), then end up wondering if you’re worth round two, or worth getting to know. Let the games begin.

In a rare case, you’re lucky, and are in the beginning stages of a fresh, possible relationship starting out with the lovely texting charade our generation has come to know and loathe. Do I wait ten minutes to text him back? How bout an emoji? I better not make my messages too long or reply instantly – I don’t want to seem needy. This is a load of bullshit.

Now you have to be cautious. You have to make sure your walls come crumbling down because he sends you smiley faces, long texts, or cuddles with you. And from what I unfortunately learned a few months ago after inhaling numerous pints of Ben & Jerry’s while crying to Taylor Swift songs – Just because he says he likes you does not mean it’s true.

In these early stages of the relationship, you have to balance the emotional see-saw of being too forward vs being too hard to get. It’s such a tough little game – timing your text messages, painfully refraining from texting him first even though you have been thinking about him all.damn.day, and waiting before making any physical advances. Again, bullshit.
And let’s not forget about being ruthlessly tossed into the “undefined” territory: you text 24/7, hook up, AND cuddle, but he will kill his own mother before ever calling you his“girlfriend”. As if I haven’t already said it, bullshit.

Unfortunately, this is a generation-wide dating epidemic. As much as I sometimes wish I could time-travel to the 60’s where a boy would come to my door to pick me up and go to a sock hop or whatever shit they did back then, it isn’t gonna happen. Instead, I’ve learned to deal with it and try to make the experience a little better and more enjoyable. Here’s the key thing that I learned:

If you’re not okay with it, speak up.

Whether it is your relationship or “texting/hooking up/modern day relationship bullshit”, you must realize communication truly is key. Cut the shit and ask what’s going on here. It can either open a door into what you want, or you’ll find out you’re both searching for two different things. If you’re not getting what you want, you’re only making the inevitable worse, so take the scraps of your pride and walk out now. Don’t let this person control you or your happiness.

Another common flaw that comes up is being treated as an option, rather than a priority. Again, speak the hell up. He’s never going to know he’s making you feel like shit unless you tell him. If he still makes you feel that way after you tell him then leave. If someone is not going to appreciate you, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much “progress” you think you’re making, you can’t force them to. And chances are – they never will.

Have enough respect for yourself to earn the appreciation and the love (yeah, I said the “L word” post 2000.) that you deserve or respect yourself enough to get up and walk away. And as much as I doubt it myself, eventually, you will find someone who sees how amazing you really are and will not only reply to all your texts on time, but go to great lengths to make you happy. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Read this. Your new guide for finding, friending, hooking up, breaking up, and falling in love in the 21st Century.


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Elle Seejay

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