In the world of modern dating, our generation is so intrinsically focused on personal gratification that we fail to recognize the value of true companionship. The lust for experience, the need for options, and the overall desire to be available to all has caused a total distortion of what it means to genuinely care about another person. Everyone’s terrified of getting emotionally destroyed, so we invariably end up destroying each other.
Looking back on my romantic history, beginning from the playground years, I came to the innate realization that as we get older, we increasingly gravitate towards the pressure to be casual and drift away from the acknowledgment of ourselves as emotional beings. People everywhere, myself included, have in many instances attempted to numb emotional harm under the impression that life is easier when feelings aren’t dealt with and emotions are kept under control. When we trade emotional power for emotional detachment, we inevitably wind up oppressed by the feelings we convince ourselves we shouldn’t have.
One of my favorite movies is 500 Days of Summer. For those who haven’t seen it: it’s an unconventional love story that doesn’t exactly end with a “happily ever after.” Tom, a seemingly normal, put-together guy is totally taken aback by his new co-worker, Summer, who is full of spontaneity and life. Throughout their relationship Tom is more in love with Summer than Summer is with Tom. She completely captivates him, colors his world, and ultimately, breaks his heart. When she finds someone with the spark she was never sure of with Tom, she gets engaged and lets Tom go.
The underlying flaw with so much of our generation is that we all want to be Summer. We all want people to love us, want us, desire us, but in reality, sometimes we’re the Tom. We get so scared of letting go, of not feeling important, when the truth is: it’s irrelevant. Some ex’s will remember you, some won’t. You have a right to move on as well. The Summer-Tom scenario demonstrates how sometimes the only thing two people have in common is their assumed fascination for one another, no matter how dysfunctional. And sometimes people think that’s enough, without realizing it’s okay to let go of people who aren’t right for us, regardless of how we feel about them, or vice versa. “Right timing” isn’t total B.S., but that’s still only half of the equation. I think people should stop focusing on being the Summer, and embrace being the Tom. It’s okay to be let down, to be heartbroken, to be the one who doesn’t realize things won’t work. Life still moves on. People will come and go, but you will always stay constant and sometimes, that’s enough to move forward.