This Is How We Find Love In The (Bullshit) Age Of Modern Dating

sad girl resting head on table
God & Man

We find love by being authentically ourselves, by admitting our wants and needs from the start instead of hiding them, instead of going along with our potential partner’s aloof ‘laid back’-ness thinking maybe one day that will change, maybe one day they will change, and their opinion of us will change. Maybe one day they’ll wake up and casual sex will be something that they’ve suddenly gotten bored of. Maybe one day they’ll wake up and say to themselves, “Suddenly I want to have a real relationship.” And maybe, hopefully, we’re the person to suddenly make them feel this way.

Maybe one day they’ll wake up and we’ll be the first thing to pop into their head. Maybe one day they’ll stop seeing us as just someone to sleep with. Maybe they’ll look to us for more than sex; maybe they’ll look to us for love. Maybe in this bullshit age of modern dating we’ll look back at them for the same exact thing. Maybe all any of us really want is to be loved, to feel it, to have it, to know that it’s around. Maybe all of us just want to hope it still exists.

And it does. But the way to find it isn’t to play along. The way to find it is to break the rules, to have no rules at all. Don’t listen to your friend when she tells you to wait 4 hours to text him back just because he did the same to you, because his friend was probably telling him to do the exact same thing. Because we’re scared to show others how we really feel, let alone tell them, so we play these games and follow these rules and quite frankly completely mind fuck each other’s heads to the point where love is hopeless. We mind fuck love to death.

That’s why modern dating is bullshit because it literally kills everything that redeems us from the one thing love overcomes, fear. Love has the power to break through the bullshit, it has the power to make you tell him how you feel even if you’re god damn terrified of A) what he’ll say back, if he’ll say anything at all, and B) if he feels the same way. Love makes you do it regardless. Love makes you walk out onto that ledge and not listen to any of the bullshit telling you to stop, to hold back, to wait. Love makes you move forward, it pushes you forward regardless of fear telling you you’ll fail if you take that last step. Love, the real kind, doesn’t listen to fear, it shuts it up.

Modern dating attempts to convince you that love has rules, that if you follow them, you’ll be closer to finding it, to having it. I’ve only found love once, the romantic kind at least, so safe to say I can’t speak for everyone, but the love I have in my life was not found by listening to everyone else. It wasn’t found at all, and it didn’t just happen either, it grew. Love grew when I finally made my own decision to be myself, and to share myself without the fear of being hurt in return. When I stopped trying so hard to be what I thought people wanted me to be simply because I didn’t want to be alone, to be left, to be heartbroken again.

Love grew when I was so sick and tired of heartbreak that I had nothing left to do but say, “Fuck it.” Love grew when I became the judge, no one else, when I listened to my instincts, and just went with it. When I let people’s actions show me whether or not they cared, and when I decided to recognize the kind of caring I deserve, the kind of love I should let into my life, and the kind of love I should walk away from. Love grew in this age of bullshit modern dating when the combination of self acceptance, respect, and vulnerability aligned. That’s how love happened. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Writer based in the Philadelphia area. Person who really loves her dog and watching cooking shows. Check out my writing on Thought Catalog and follow me on Facebook! Connect with me and submit your work on Collective World.

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