“You’re the one I want to want.”
“I’m not ready for a relationship, but we can be friends.”
“You’re great, really… I’m just not feeling a connection.”
These are all very tactful ways of saying, “I’m just not that into you.”
Books have been written about it. There is even a major motion picture. So, why don’t we listen? The answer is pretty simple: We don’t want to. We want to believe we are the exception and that with the right amount of kindness and patience, we can convince this person we are the unconditional love of their life that they’ve been searching for.
It’s excruciating. It is a real, staggering pain inside our chests. We long for a touch that’s more than platonic without the cynicism of “friends with benefits.” We long for… honestly, someone who gives a fuck about us. We want someone to watch ‘80s movies with, argue about antiques with, make breakfast for, hold hands with and have a non-ironic Valentine’s Day date with.
As a society, we’ve been conditioned to believe that it’s normal to “not care” or to be the “cool girl.” We’re taught not to demand anything from people or have high standards, because if we do, we are viewed as needy. So, how exactly did we create a dating culture where we don’t value connections, but we swipe right? One in which we ghost each other because consideration is too difficult. One in which we think it’s perfectly acceptable to download apps in favor of human contact.
While the change has been coming since the evolution of the Internet, the paradigm has shifted at a rapid pace with the invention of the smartphone. No longer was it necessary to have uncomfortable conversations—a quick text did the job for you. No longer did we need to buy books when we could download them to our iPhones or Androids. We got lazy and insolent in our communications. While inarguably one of the biggest advances in centuries, smartphones have stunted us in some ways.
With a flick of your finger, you can download Tinder, Ashley Madison, Grindr, Bumble, or any plethora of ways to find a match. Swipe right, meet for drinks, scratch your itch… THANK U, NEXT.
We are the last generation that remembers dial-up internet and passing notes in class. We are the last generation that remembers filling out college applications by hand and having to call to talk to your friends. We are the last generation that had to ask their crush out, make plans, and take them on a date.
Now, we Netflix & Chill.
We hook up.
We hang out.
We do everything but talk about the elephant in the room, which brings me back to my original point.
Technology has changed the game and we no longer know the rules. We play and lose. We become heartbroken, and rather than heal, we want to immediately move on and ignore what is wrong. Fuck that noise.
We are never the exception to the rule. If a crush is into you, you will know. People who want to see someone, are excited by their presence, and want to know them more will make it happen. You will never question your place in their life. You will not cry yourself to sleep, asking why you are not enough.
Queen, I am here to tell you that you are more than enough. Spend time with the ones who want you. Don’t backburner someone and string them along. It’s cruel and juvenile, and the karma will come back in the form of you crying over a margarita, asking your bestie why someone did it to you. While yeah, it sucks to be told we aren’t the one, we need to listen to the context and accept it. There is someone out there fantasizing about you. Not someone like you. You. So, live your life, and one day, you’ll wake up to your person.