Life is different for us now. It’s different than it was when our grandparents were our age, already having children by age twenty-one, and making wedding vows at eighteen. We’ve progressed in so many ways. But when it comes to love? I don’t think we have a single clue. I don’t think we even know what we want.
We are the generation that views instant gratification as love. We are the generation that is constantly on the hunt for the next best thing, the next best chase, the next big heart to break.
We don’t know what we want so we play games. We want to be casual, but exclusive, but not serious. We want someone one day and then ghost them out a week later. We think we found our soulmate and then we hookup with a stranger in a bar bathroom. We are always longing to be touched and wanted. But we fear commitment. We fear forever. We fear ‘love’.
Because all we have seen that comes out of love is divorce. It’s heartache and pain and grief. It’s being ‘stuck’ with someone for the first of our lives. It’s feeling suffocated and claustrophobic.
So we run around, breaking hearts and getting our own hearts shattered. We fall for people who we shouldn’t. We sleep with people who we shouldn’t. We kiss strangers every weekend night, wanting so much to feel something.
And we just feel nothing over and over again.
So we keep running. Running away from past lovers and mistakes. Running away from the boy who makes your heart flutter. Running from the girl who makes your stomach drop. We are always on the run. So scared that we will feel something greater than this numbness. So terrified that we will fall in love, and get hurt in the end.
I get it. I get why we’re scared. I understand why we’re so afraid of this feeling. Why we’re so afraid of being alone, but also being stuck with one person for the rest of our lives. I get why we want to feel so much and so little all at once. I understand when sometimes? We just want to feel nothing at all. To stop the loneliness from sinking in. To stop our lonely from rising up in our chests.
But isn’t feeling something, better than feeling numb for the rest of our lives?
We need to put down the bottles of wine and shots of whiskey and start to feel again. We need to feel those butterflies and the touch of someone’s hand on our shoulders. We need to stop sprinting away from anyone who gives you a damn. And we need to stop pretending to not care. We need to stop pretending to be so damn heartless.
Because at the end of the day, I know we all want it. Eventually. I know we at least want to feel it for a night. To feel the warmth of someone else’s skin on yours. To listen to the rising and fall of a lovers chest as they fall asleep. To feel safe in someone else’s arms that wouldn’t hurt you.
It’s just the fear that we need to get over. This fear of falling and getting broken. This fear of rejection.
Because if we keep doing what we are doing now? We will surely end up alone. And if we keep pretending not to give a damn? One day we will only have ourselves to look at in the mirror. And no one will be standing beside us to wipe our tears away.