You meet them. You fall in love, you live happily ever after. Wasn’t that the old story of how our parents fell in love? Wasn’t that the fairy tale that you grew up believing? As you get older, you realize that there is so much more to love than you thought, and that it is much more complicated than it looks. But you still want to believe in it. You still want to believe that you can meet someone, fall in love and live happily ever after, even through struggle, conflict, and issues with each other. You want to believe that the power of a relationship can help two people grow.
But it’s all different now, isn’t it?
Instead of growing a relationship, instead of seeing where your attraction — both physically and intellectually — takes you with this person, we don’t commit to the idea. Instead, we are stuck in these so-called “relationships” that drag on for months and months at a time with no assurance that the other person isn’t sleeping with someone else. Instead, we’re subjecting ourselves to 6-9 months of anxiety, hoping that maybe one day that person will actually allow us to call them “ours.” Instead, we are stuck trying to explain our relationship to friends and family and praying to GOD that someone doesn’t shout out, “So is that you boyfriend/girlfriend?!” Instead, we sit there with no right to get upset when we see them out with another person or ignoring our text messages.
So why are we stuck waiting all this time for something that is so unsure? If someone really wanted to be with you, wouldn’t they just do it already? If you wanted to be with someone, wouldn’t you think you actually had a say in what you can define the relationship as?
It’s the notion that we must hang on to every moment we have with someone because they have the power to just toss us away like last week’s newspaper. But what good is that? What good is a relationship that you have no power in whatsoever?
So, friends, why do we wait so long to commit when we’ve found something good?
In my life observations, if a person doesn’t know after a decent period of time if they want to be with your or not, they more than likely just don’t want to be with you. They delay cutting you off because there are some other factors in your relationship that are a benefit to them. They are either too scared to throw down the hammer, or are using you for some ulterior motive. Nonetheless, who wants to be with a coward, anyhow? It’s not fair for you to hang in at a hundred percent (or even just eighty), while the other person is only halfway in.
Sometimes you need to light the fire under someone’s ass to make them realize that you can leave any time you want. You can walk away. You can leave with your head held high, confidently declaring, “Yeah, it hurts, but this is better for me. I am better, and I deserve more.” But that’s a lot easier said than done, isn’t it? It’s a lot easier to say you are better and worth more than you are being treated as, but it’s harder to actually call someone out on that. It’s harder to tell someone that you are not a noncommittal option that can be ditched into a corner at any given moment after months and months of spending time together. No, you at least deserve a conversation. You deserve the same kind of hope that you have had for this person to be more than just your designated wedding date or Friday night activity. But I get it, it’s hard to call people out on their shit, especially if they are skilled in manipulating you into thinking you are the one who is “wrong” or “crazy.”
Okay, okay, we know people don’t commit. So why not?
After reading Aziz Ansari’s book, Modern Romance, I thought about all he had to say about settling, finding love, and how our society has millions of options at our disposal. He talked about how all of these options don’t necessarily make you happier or better at finding love. It fact, it can mean the opposite.
And I would have to absolutely agree with Aziz’s proclamation. As a generation, we have too many options. You can’t even go to the grocery store without having six kinds of apples to choose from. SIX KINDS OF APPLES. Apples – one the simplest forms of food, dating back to biblical times, and we have six options to choose from. I could stand in front of the display for easily fifteen minutes at a time trying to decide which apple would be perfect for me. Which apple would I deem good enough to eat?
And while I don’t want to compare people to inanimate objects, the option is just too easy. You go on just about any dating app at any time and you have hundreds of people to choose from. You don’t just pick the first one you see! That would be foolish! Because you never know when a better “option” might just come along.
But get this — you and I are not “options.” We are people. We are people worthy of anyone’s love. The fact that you can get rejected by some noncommittal douche canoe on any given day is just pathetic.
So I challenge you to have a say in your love life. Don’t be too picky, but don’t settle. See what kind of people you have in your life and what kind of love they can bring you. Don’t let yourself be strung along. Have a voice, damn it. Be upfront with yourself and others. Let love into your life and don’t lose yourself in the thick of it. And just remember that real love won’t allow you to feel lost in it.