There’s no denying that love is the one thing no one fully understands, because it’s not directed by logic. For that reason, there’s never been a time where romance was “perfect” by any means.
Still, it feels as though we deal with it in the worst way today. It’s like we dismiss it because we’re afraid of it. It feels like it’s harder than ever to find a meaningful and stable relationship.
The Options Are Never-Ending
You would think this would mean that I have better odds than ever of finding someone to make me happy. Yet instead, I’m stuck in a sea of people who are terrified by the word “commitment” because they could be missing out on the next person.
Instead, they want to leave their options open just in case someone better comes along.
I’m Afraid Of Coming On “Too Strong”
Somewhere along the way, my simple desire to show affection, be myself, and actually tell someone how I feel about them turned into “coming on too strong.”
Instead, I’m encouraged to hold back and wait for them to come to me so I don’t scare them off with my genuine feelings.
Everyone Seems So Afraid Of Feeling Anything
The idea of being vulnerable is the last resort for most people because it’s the one that comes with the highest risk. Instead, “casual” relationships are growing in numbers and I’m supposed to agree to it and then take responsibility if I accidentally want more.
Or they’ll seem like they want more, but the minute the relationship gets serious, they’re running for the hills.
Confrontation Is Avoided Like The Plague
When they’re angry at me, rather than simply communicate with me, they’ll engage in a series of passive-aggressive behaviors until I hopefully can figure it out for myself.
Then if I don’t, one day they’ll just blow up on me and all I can say is “why didn’t you say something before?!”
It’s Nearly Impossible To Meet Someone In Person
Good luck ever getting a date with the cute regular at your local coffee shop because it’s unlikely he’ll ever look away from his phone long enough to even notice you.
On the off chance he does, he still won’t do anything about it unless you happen to match with him on Tinder.
The Whole Texting Game
The texting game alone needs its own article. There so many unwritten rules such as if you texted first last time, you have to wait for him to text you first this time.
Don’t double-text, don’t reply right away, but don’t take too long to answer either. Where does it end?
Seeing Each Other Every Day Does NOT Mean You’re Dating
I can’t just assume anything. Even if we’ve been together every minute of every day, have met each other friends and family, and have plans for two months from now, I can’t assume that means we’re dating.
It has to be an agreed-upon conversation which often doesn’t end at all how you expected it.
It’s So Easy To Build A Persona Behind A Screen
With so much of dating being centered around meeting someone online or building a relationship over text, you never know who you’re talking to anymore.
I can only get a sense of who they are through the screen, but often when I spend enough time in person, I find out they’re not at all who I thought they were.
No One Seems To Actually Know What They Want
It’s sad, but the majority of us seem to be dating around aimlessly. No one knows what they actually want out of the person but are just “going with the flow” and “seeing where it goes” only for one of the two to find out this isn’t it.
I’ve learned the hard way that most people aren’t taking the time to address why they’re the way they are and how that plays out in their relationships.
The Dreaded “Talk”
If I’m wondering where a relationship is going and you decide to bring it up, I have to think about it for five business days and get all my friends’ opinions.
Then, I have to choose every word so carefully as to seem okay with any response you give, even if I’m not.
The Waiting Game
I spend so much of my dating time waiting. I’m waiting to meet someone, then I’m waiting for them to ask me out. The date goes well, so I wait to hear from them, then I anxiously wait by the phone to hear back. Then I wait for them to be ready to be with me.
Then even when I’m dating, I wait for them to be sure about me. Then suddenly I’m 50 and have wasted all my youth.
My Exes Sent Me To Therapy
Somehow, part of dating someone now means I have to take on their baggage because they didn’t take the time to figure out how to unload it themselves. Instead, they projected it onto me and it damaged me too.
Once enough exes project their own insecurities on you, you end up needing some help yourself.
It’s So Easy To Classify Someone As “Needy” And “Clingy”
My worst fear in a relationship isn’t that they’ll leave me, but they’ll leave me and blame me for it because I was too “needy” and “clingy.”
Yet at the same time, what constitutes “needy” can be as little as asking to hang out, or calling them instead of texting, or, you know, simply wanting to make sure they’re still alive.
Social Media Is Flooded With “Ideal” Relationships
If I browse my Instagram feed, I’ll see countless professional pictures of couples seemingly living their perfect love stories. Yet from the ones I know personally and my own experiences, I know that’s never the case.
It’s like we’re all trying to prove something to each other instead of being realistic that relationships are hard work.
Rom-Coms Are Nothing But A Fantasy
I used to love romantic movies and fantasize about how someday that would be me. Then I grew up and realized that I hope it actually never is.
Nothing about them is realistic. In fact, most of their plots are stalkerish, creepy, and even toxic. I don’t understand why that’s what we’ve set as the ideal.
It Costs A Fortune To Get Married
Even if I find someone who compliments me and we decide we want to have a traditional fairy-tale ending, the cost of a wedding and everything that comes with it costs thousands of dollars that could be better spent on a house and a car.
That’s not something everyone can afford even if they wanted to.
We Are Surrounded By Distractions
It’s actually so difficult to give a relationship the attention it deserves because both parties spend 80% of their waking days working a full-time job, then take the stress from it home, where they have to find the time to cook, clean, work out, socialize, and then still find time for one another.
By the end of it, you’re both exhausted and just want to go to bed to do it all over again.
It Always Feels Like A Competition
I don’t even know who or what exactly I’m competing against. Part of me is competing against time because I feel like the older I get, the smaller the window of opportunity becomes.
Another part of me is competing for his attention. A part is competing against myself. I can’t pinpoint what conditioned me to be this way other than it’s what’s expected of me.
The Expectations Are So Low
The expectations for chivalry and romance have become so low that I celebrate when a man does the bare minimum for me without realizing it.
Relationships are often unbalanced, and it’s like we feel like we don’t deserve to ask for the things we need, even it’s as simple as needing to be appreciated.
Long Gone Is A Time Of Simplicity
I’m not saying dating back in the day was all rainbows and butterflies. There’s just something about chivalry, having to rely on face-to-face interaction because it was the only way, and making the most of quality time without the distractions of media.
Not to mention not being afraid of commitment—we definitely need to bring that back into modern dating somehow.