We might claim we are ready for a serious relationship. We might swear we are finished with the games. We might desperately want to settle down and give up the single life for good. But we have trouble with commitment.
We admire cute guys from afar without bothering to walk over and introduce ourselves. We swipe through dating apps without bothering to answer our messages. We tell our friends about someone we’re somewhat interested in dating without filling him in on our feelings as well.
We spend our free time skimming bios, swiping through photographs, trying our hardest to imagine ourselves dating the person on the other side of the screen — but when it’s time to talk to that person, we put off replying. We put off meeting in person. We put off forming a genuine connection that goes beyond a screen.
We sit back and let potential relationships die because we are not enthusiastic enough about any specific person to put in the effort.
We like the idea of settling into a serious relationship, but in practice, we don’t want to bother with the stress of dating. We aren’t necessarily skeptics, but we have been disappointed by every other relationship we’ve taken a chance on in the past, so we have little hope things are going to be different this time around. We assume history is going to repeat itself.
Besides, we have been the one who cared more in the past, and quite frankly, we are exhausted. We don’t want to bother putting in effort that will not be returned. We don’t want to bother to send texts that are going to be ignored. We don’t want to bother to get attached to someone who is only temporary.
We have grown to think of relationships as a waste of our time. They never work out, so we have stopped trying — but we don’t realize we have stopped trying.
We still sign up for dating apps, even though we rarely exchange numbers with a match. We still keep an eye out for cute guys, even though we rarely start a conversation with them. We still flirt whenever we get the chance, even though the flirting never evolves into anything more serious.
We have stopped taking active steps to form a relationship because we are used to being single. Whether or not we are entirely happy about being on our own, at least we are comfortable. At least we are in a space we find familiar.
We have been burned before, so we don’t bother to take relationships seriously anymore. We don’t bother to answer texts from guys who show interest. We don’t bother to pick a time and a place to meet up for drinks.
We don’t bother to make an effort because we assume we are going to get hurt. We assume caring would be a mistake. We assume trying would be a waste of our time, another one of our mistakes made in the name of love.