They say that in every relationship there is always a person that cares less.
The less invested you seem in a person, the more likely you are to “win” – whatever that means. If you adopt this attitude, your first problem is viewing relationships as a form of competition, but, as a product of society, sometimes that can’t be helped. Regardless, I’m digressing. Caring less is appealing because it allows you to be the one who never gets hurt while simultaneously maintaining a warped upper hand. It allows you to derive satisfaction in knowing that someone needs/wants you more than you need/want them. I mean, you know, if that’s the sort of thing that gives you satisfaction.
Let’s face it – life is a power struggle. We all want to be the best of the best while having the best of the best. If we aren’t, there’s a tiny sense of failure involved. Relationships are no different. No one wants to be on the receiving end of unrequited love (read: unanswered texts) or cancelled plans. No one wants to feel that they are not equally loved. Isn’t that the end game? To find someone who loves you willingly and makes you believe that the fairy tales aren’t complete bulls*t?
Thanks to the internet, I’ve discovered many things. Most are mainly useless – like countless GIFs that probably aren’t as funny as I think they are. But once in a while, amidst the noise and the memes, you come across a gem. I discovered a quote that essentially reads, “People say ‘I love you’ in a million different ways. You just have to listen”. While I can’t reference the author, I agree with the gist of it. No one loves equally or in the same way because everyone is unique. Some people are more demonstrative – I see you, PDA couple. Other people may not be. So what? Don’t judge your relationship based on the example set by those around you. That’s only a scratch on the surface. Everyone has baggage and everyone has their sh*t. Instead, do what you want, love how you want, and, most importantly, be really, really unapologetic for it.
Don’t be the person that cares less out of fear. Don’t be the one who waits fifteen minutes to answer a text message because the other person waited ten. Don’t be the one who misses out on something fantastic because acting aloof was more important than letting your guard down. Not everyone will be up to the task of breaking down your walls. Not everyone will understand that there’s a reason you may be defensive, or distant, or whatever it is you are. If you’re good enough at pretending that people don’t matter, eventually they’ll start to believe you.
Be the person that dives heart first into everything. If you’re excited, show it. If you’re sad, show it. When did society decide that emotions should be banished? We’ve reduced language to emoticons and communication to little blue bubbles. What will life be like when we stop embracing everything that makes us human? It may seem like I’m being dramatic, but hey, at least I’m being something.
Sure, not everyone is a fan of my open book approach. At times, it seemed like perhaps I was the problem. Maybe I had some innate defect that caused my “relationships” to evaporate before they really began. I thought that once or twice, until I met someone who made me realize that there was nothing wrong with me at all. It took the right person to reciprocate the feelings I had and teach me that my frequent word-vomit, while at times aggravating, by no means made me unappealing. The fact that I mumbled ‘I love you’ in my sleep was seen as endearing rather than terrifying. Lucky me.
I think the problem lies in the fact that we’ve been taught to believe that caring more is linked to desperation. Replying too quickly to a text insinuates that you’re not busy or that you have no other priorities. In reality, it’s 2015 and people have their phones in their hand 24/7. There’s nothing desperate about owning your emotions. Stop wasting time trying to act aloof and just the right amount of distant. If it doesn’t work out, he or she wasn’t meant for you anyway. There’s someone out there who will love your refreshing, unabashed attitude. A rarity among the masses.
So do more. Care more. You’ll seed out the ones who don’t appreciate you for the kind of person that you are. When two people are constantly competing, nobody wins. And doesn’t that defeat the purpose?