We live in a world where people are afraid to feel anything genuine, or at the very least, are afraid to show it. When someone is angry with you, there’s no phone calls asking to talk about it. Instead you get a passive aggressive response to a text message or a suspiciosly relevant subtweet, quietly calling you out in 140 characters or less.
If you like someone, you don’t tell them how you feel; rather you act interested enough for them to pick up on it, but not enough to freak them out. Don’t like it? Too bad. It’s all a big game and if you don’t play by the rules then you lose, and if you lose you end up alone and drowning in a pile of your own insecurity, wondering what you did wrong.
You can’t ask to hangout two nights in a row. If you texted first last time, you have to wait for him to text you first this time. Don’t double text. You can’t assume anything anymore than casual, even if you’re having sex. And you can’t talk about it either.
If you’re wondering where a relationship is going and you decide to bring it up, every word you say has to be carefully chosen so as to seem okay with any response you’re given. Everything is done through texting. It’s weird to call someone in the modern world just to have a conversation or try to make plans, so we’re forced to wait anxiously for a response that might not ever come.
Everything is calculated to appear thoughtless, and it is one of the most exhausting games I’ve ever had to play. I could earn my masters degree with the amount of time and energy it takes to determine whether or not my casual hookup actually has feelings for me.
If I like someone, I want to hang out with him. It’s as simple as that. Or at least it should be. But in the dating culture to which we are enslaved, it had to be more complicated than that.
If I talk too much, I’m needy. If I’m always free when he asks me to hangout, I’m clingy and have no life of my own. If he takes three hours to respond to my text, and my phone is in my hand when I get his reply, I have to wait to answer so I don’t seem too eager. And I am constantly wondering why I play these stupid games.
Why can’t I call someone because I like talking to him? Why does showing I care make me needy? If I act angry when a guy blows me off, I’m crazy bitch, so my only other option is to complain to my friends and wait in anxiety until he finally texts me back. And let me tell you something; I don’t want to be that girl. I don’t want anyone to have that power over me. No one should have that kind of power over anyone. I am tired of living in a world where apathy is more effective in getting someone’s attention than honesty. I’m tired of the manipulative games that men and women play with one another in an effort to maintain control in a relationship that we’re not allowed to define.
So let’s stop being little fucks. Respect other people enough to tell them the truth. If someone makes you happy, tell them. If someone inspires you, tell them. if you’re not interested in someone, please fucking tell them. Don’t ignore people until they disappear.
It’s time we grow up and stop leaving, hanging with unanswered tests and cryptic social media posts. Everyone is human. We’re all just trying to understand one another in this messy dating world, so stop treating a relationship of any kind like it’s a challenge to complete. Be honest with other people about how you feel, and don’t get so lost in playing the game that you forget to extend that same courtesy to yourself.