He says he tells his sister he’s dating someone. And I guess that’s what it is. And I’ve always been a firm believer in calling things what they are and I don’t know why I’m suddenly so afraid of labels trying to minimize this. Something about a title, exclusivity, losing freedom but gaining someone’s loyalty makes me wonder if I can and want that for myself and if I can even be a good partner. Overcome with fear because the last person who called me his girlfriend left and couldn’t explain why.
And I used to judge this generation for the way we date. The phases and hoops and levels one has to go through like it is some arcade game and we are down to our final life.
Courting is replaced with talking. And dates are replaced with meeting up for drinks. Barry Swartz wrote about the ‘paradox of choice’, how we have so many options we never end up picking anything at all let alone the right thing. And I stare at phone full of matches I haven’t answered and it has nothing to do with what they said but I’m paralyzed with fear of anything at all.
And we lie to each other because we don’t know how to be honest with ourselves. And we make a point to try and get someone’s attention by ignoring them. Wired to become more interested in those that aren’t. And writing off people who are clingy. But shouldn’t we like people who like us? But we don’t know how to like anyone because some of us are struggling to like ourselves. And love letters are replaced with tagging each other in things. And if you are officially in a relationship suddenly it matters if people can see that and how many likes we get on pictures and statuses.
And endings never end because we keep ghosting each other without an explanation as to why and we get away with it because if you were never something, to begin with, you don’t owe anyone anything. And we are all looking and focusing on the next best thing without realizing if you invest in a person and give them enough time and attention they can become it. But we are used to getting things with a push of a button and immediate gratification leaves us feeling empty when we approach relationships that way.
The irony is we date the way we do because we’re terrified of getting hurt but it’s become a generation that has normalized pain and heartbreak we expect it. so much Then we end up only hurting ourselves and each other more. We use people up until there is nothing left for them to give and wonder why we still feel empty. We are a generation that’s broken when it comes to love.
The truth is we are all afraid to let someone that close and watch them leave with the best things we had to offer realizing it wasn’t enough.