When it comes to the idea of dating, everywhere I read, hear, see: “We Are The Generation Who Doesn’t Want Relationships.” The truth is we are that. I am not one for placing labels or generalizing a specific population, however, there is an undeniable truth that we as a society choose to not talk about.
It isn’t cool to talk about how you feel. It is more about how you are perceived. Almost unattainable. The truth is we all want to be wanted. Want to feel loved. Want to feel important to someone. Want that attention. Why do we want? It is genetically embedded in who we are. As humans, we need that feeling. Whether you are willing to admit it or not.
Let’s talk about a theory I have developed for these type of relationships we have created: String Theory. (Not that super intellectual concept also called String Theory.) Imagine your relationships on a string. Let’s say a rope. You sit in the middle of the rope equidistant from each side. (Big word of the day: equidistant, you are welcome.)
On the left of the rope is the person you want. The right is the opposite: the person that wants you. Why is it that we always want what we cannot have? We text the right side when we are lonely.
Need that boost of confidence or to have that 2 AM late night “hangout”. We know that they will be there and will answer. Because it is easy. Do we want them? No, not particularly. Yet, this warm body is present so let me latch on to that real quick.
After my emotional episode aka neediness aka horny feeling subsides, we won’t talk for another 3 weeks. That’s cool, right? Let’s make our way over to the other side of the rope that we desperately hope is pulling us in that direction, but rarely is. This person captures your attention in a way where you sit staring at your phone waiting for them to text you back. Hoping that they are thinking about you.
You are trying so hard to not seem needy or weird. The truth is you could on the right on THEIR rope. This is how we function now. On this string. Trying to balance wanting and being wanted. Acting like we don’t care, when we secretly do. Not communicating how we truly feel. And that is where our relationships stem from; the reason why we are the way we are when it comes to this complex universe of feelings.
A theory is defined as a “an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action.” So, yes, this is how I am justifying why our millennial generation is seen as anti-relationship. This theory is mostly from past experience along with observation. It is easy to take off each other’s clothes and then not talk until the next time you need help undressing. Personally, trusting someone else with who you really are is probably why I created this idea. I have felt not good enough more times than I can count, so it is hard to just let someone into your world. Our generation has a heavy influence as well as focus on social media that have innately made us this way. Comparing yourself to others is enough work; a relationship can only complicate things further. You’ve been doing just fine on your own. Why do I need someone to come in and cause my practicality to become spontaneity? Real emotions…yikes. How do I let someone in just enough to get close, but still keep at an arm’s length?
I am on this “string”. Our strings all have rips or tears in them along the way, which gives us this “not wanting relationships” stigma. Using sarcastic comments & a labyrinth of confusion when someone tries to get to close. Connecting, but not actually creating something of substance. Avoiding any chance of feeling. Answering a question with another question. A relationship? What is that? No, thank you.
The problem is that we are this way, like I said, for a reason. Everyone is a way for a reason. Remember that. We are scared. I’m scared. I will admit it: I am scared. I am scared of putting myself out there only to be let down. Vulnerability is like this evil villain to all of us. That transparency is hard to find in a relationship.
All because we are scared. Afraid of being hurt. Afraid of the fact that we may care for someone more than we care about ourselves. Terrified to give someone our heart, only for them to crush it in the process. Feelings are the enemy here in this war we call love.
A relationship is something we all want in the end; just too afraid to admit that we might need someone else. In a world where independence and self-sufficiency is the new “thing”. Don’t get me wrong, it is awesome. But, don’t forget, you need someone to share that with. Okay, maybe not need, but you most definitely want it.
We just need to understand ourselves first.
1. What do you want? Seriously think about that. When you are alone tonight, right before you go to bed & are staring at the ceiling in darkness. Believe me or not, the answer is or will eventually be someone. You want someone. Someone to share your life with. How your day was. How you got annoyed in your drive to school this morning. How you aced your exam. Our version of this has developed into this “talking” stage of a relationship & being with someone, but not actually with someone.
2. Understand others. We are not some multiple-choice question on an exam. Not something you can bubble in with your pencil as a definitive, objective answer. We are an open-ended response with a variety of answers being correct. If you both want the same thing, then just communicate that and be happy together or whatever you want to call it. If you are happy, then what does it matter to anyone else?
Now, the question is how to stop that stigma?
You can’t & that is okay. This post is not to tell you change your current relationship status this very moment. If you are not ready, really focus on yourself. Become who you want before wanting someone else like that. (How can someone else love you if you cannot even love you first?) If you are, put yourself out there. Go out of your comfort zone. Send that text you’ve been wanting to send. Let them know how you feel. Double text and look like an “idiot”.
Move past that superficial swipe right on Tinder. You won’t get anywhere being closed off. Be straight up with your emotions and communication. You could really find something special. Even if you want to stay in the talking stage, what is so wrong with that? Embrace the stigma. Let nature take its course and enjoy the ride. However, it exists; I know it exists because I have been in love. The scariest, best thing ever. But you will never know that unless you do it.
Stop playing the game of love where there are winners & losers. Simply be. Live how you want. Be conscious of this string you may be walking on. Be yourself & I can promise you, someone will love every color, shade, and aspect of your being. Get off that “string” & start to create something worthwhile, meaningful, & what you’ve ultimately been secretly searching for: to eventually find another string to make a knot with.