We’ve all suffered through an almost relationship or two, because we hesitate to use titles.
Once we call someone our boyfriend or girlfriend, once we change our relationship status on Facebook, everything changes. If we flirt with someone else, we’re a player. If we kiss someone else, we’re a cheater.
But, as long as we haven’t given a title to our relationship yet, we feel like we can do whatever we want. If we flirt with someone else or even kiss someone else, it’s okay because we’re technically single.
And if the person we’ve been casually seeing gets pissed at us, then they’re the one at fault. They’re the crazy one. The clingy one. The one that fucked up by loving too hard before a relationship officially started.
As long as we aren’t in a serious relationship, we feel like we have permission to do whatever we want, to hurt whoever we want, without taking responsibility for it.
We hold off on naming things, because names give meaning.
That’s why we don’t have exes anymore. We have guys that we hooked up with. Girls that we once had a thing with. People that we once had feelings for, once imagined a future with, but nothing actually came from it.
We shy away from the idea of commitment, because we’re surrounded by options. Even after we find someone that we want to keep around, we still have dating apps on our phone. We might not use them, but they’re there — even if we decide to delete them from our screens, they only take a second to download again and our account is still alive, ready to use.
We’re the generation of divorced parents. We know that love doesn’t always last, that even once-happy marriages can end, so we think before we commit. We don’t want to make the same mistakes as our family members. So we’re extra careful. A little too careful.
Whenever there’s the slightest problem, we leave. Whenever we get bored, we leave. Whenever the spark fades, we leave.
We only want those sparks. We want to feel the heat as we sit next to someone we find attractive and get butterflies from their texts. But we don’t want to put in effort to keep the heat high. We don’t want another task on our already long to-do lists. We’re already busy enough. We don’t have time to commit.
That’s why we settle for making out while Netflix plays in the background. Why we’re used to the idea of talking to someone for weeks and then never hearing from them again.
If we admit that we want something real, that we really like the person we’ve been texting, we’re the weird ones. Everyone else is playing it cool, acting emotionless.
We shouldn’t be ashamed of having feelings, but for some reason, that’s exactly what happens.
We’re surrounded by almost relationships, because there’s nothing intimidating about them. You could end them at any time. You could even be in multiple almosts at once.
But serious relationships? They take effort, passion, dedication. And some of us aren’t ready for that.
But some of us are. And eventually, we’ll find each other.