We’re trapped in a weird age.
Technically, we’re adults. But we don’t feel like adults. We feel like we’re teenagers playing pretend. That’s why half of us are ready to settle down, to find a serious relationship and say goodbye to the games. And the other half are unprepared for love. They want to keep it casual. They want to keep dodging monogamy.
We’re afraid to admit what we want.
We don’t want to be the girl (or guy) that hates their life, just because they’re single. We want to appear independent. We want to seem like we’re perfectly fine going through life without a hand to hold. So we act like we don’t need anyone. Like we’re perfectly happy with just sex. Like we aren’t waiting for that text back.
It’s easier than ever to get led on.
It’s easy to be tricked into thinking that someone is a catch when they post attractive Instagram photos and send witty texts. But, the thing is, you can never tell if they’re sending the same texts to ten other people. If they’re only using you as an ego-boost and never plan on actually hanging out with you in person. If you’re not as special as you originally thought.
Other things get in the way.
It’s hard to make time for dates when most of our hours are spent studying for unfairly hard finals, writing ten-page essays, and struggling to get promoted. There’s so much to do and not nearly enough time to fit everything in. Creating a healthy work-life balance is pretty much impossible when you’re a college student (or a recent grad) trying to make a name for yourself.
Divorce rates are high. Cheating is on the rise. Most of us don’t believe in true love as strongly as our grandparents did, because we hear about another breakup every week. Sure, we want to find the type of love we used to daydream about when we were little. But we aren’t little anymore. We don’t believe in forever like we once did.
We don’t know enough about ourselves.
We don’t know exactly who we are yet. We get so distracted by the chaos of life that we don’t even think about setting aside “me time” to figure out who we are and what we want. The person in the mirror is practically a stranger — which is why we end up in unhealthy relationships. Again and again and again.
We have the illusion of too many options.
There’s that boy on Tinder that matched with you. And that girl that always likes your Instagram photos. And what about that kid that you flirted with back in high school that still pokes you on Facebook? Social media makes us feel like we have options. Like maybe we shouldn’t settle for one serious relationship when we can keep flirting with near-strangers on the internet.
We aren’t willing to settle.
We don’t want to date, just for the sake of saying we have a boyfriend or girlfriend. We want the real deal or nothing at all, which is why so many of us are still single. Still searching. Still sticking to our high standards.