Recently I saw an article from Thought Catalog pop up on my timeline titled “Why Modern Dating Makes Me Want To Punch Myself In The Throat”. As much as I resonated with a lot of it, It isn’t something that I presently fight with internally. I wanted to give a bit of an insight of how I break away from our modern dating culture and act a little more true to myself. While I agree, we are living in quite an interesting era of hookup and dating culture. Technology has made it damn impossible for feelings to happen without finite mathematic calculations first. There certainly IS an art in crafting responses, finding the ‘right’ guy, spending the perfect amount of time pretending to care. But I cant swallow the idea of that being my only option. You have a choice on what wavelength you want to operate from and it all stems from confidence.
I have been single for about a year now and it’s been a crazy experience because everything has completely changed from what things were like before I was in a relationship. Apps like Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, etc. never existed and although I remember thinking then that technology was poisoning modern dating and creating unneeded social anxieties, it was a much simpler time compared to now. After my lover and I made the decision to break up I was left to explore this insane world from a newly single 22 year old woman’s perspective. Through my own experiences and listening to those of my peers I quickly learned and adapted. I think the hardest part was realizing literally everything is an attention game but with a sick modern twist to it filled with insane double tapping double texting rules and regulations. I have a sick mind with a competitive side so I enjoyed the games. After all, following a long-term relationship you’re supposed to have some fun and get to know yourself again and that’s exactly what I did. I was the best at when to text back, what to say, how to play it. I also fell victim to calculations and anxieties one too many times. It’s hard to be single in this world as it is, Los Angeles is a hell of a place to do so. After frustrating conversations and scary lack of substance in my dates, I quickly took on a different perspective. I thought to myself-men and women both are extreme over thinkers who love to play games and try to make you seem crazy for it. They stop themselves from experiencing something unique by adding too many variables when there should only be two. Lets get one thing straight, human’s are shady people with huge commitment issues, period. Technology is just a tool used to fuel the egotistical fire of mass desire. Before there was Snapchat and Instagram there was a Myspace top 8. An equally detrimental status obsessed feature. We are and have been living in a time where everyone has an obsession not only with profiles and aesthetic but with likes and comments and validation from strangers. Real-time relevant content is always generating on our time lines that is visually stimulating to the eye. It’s got us all hooked up to what the idea of a person is versus getting to know them and facing who they really are in fear of having to compromise a shitty part of ourselves.
The way I saw it was, I could be just another person stuck on the wheel of confusion or gain some clarity by declaring my confidence in myself and my emotional stability. I refused to be another person playing constant games with people and their hearts. Don’t get me wrong a little game-playing is fun and it’s exciting but only if it’s harmless and not humiliating to the other person. I wanted to have fun, keep it casual but if I felt a certain type of way I wasn’t going to hold myself back. I’m the person who will double text you, call you or face time you randomly, doesn’t count how many times we’ve spoken in the last few days or if I texted first last time. I don’t give a fuck- if I like you, I wanna spend time with you. What are you doing right now? I will express what I feel and what I want and if the feels are not reciprocated then I am a much stronger person for it. But I know what you’re thinking, how are you not an emotional wreck? There’s a very important lesson that expressing your feelings teaches you, and that is that bottling your feelings or repressing them only leads to feeling worse than you would have letting them out. Think of it this way, if you express the genuine interest you may have in someone the minute you feel it then the level of emotions are just starting to develop. This is the time to be level headed and pay close attention to how the person reacts. The minute he/she steps out of line in a way you don’t like-cut them off. Of course it will hurt because you are being vulnerable in the first place. But it won’t hurt as much as going weeks “hanging out” with someone, building deep rooted emotions and bottling them only to release them and have them thrown in your face. Not only will you have a feeling of regret emotionally but you also wasted your time and time is something no one has extra of. Don’t be prone to emotional masochism by sticking around in bullshit hopes to change the way someone feels about you because it won’t happen. We need to stop giving hope to surface level relationships and actually get to know the people you’re spending quality time with. Open up but learn to draw the line and protect your energies.
It’s easy to play into all the status quo and background noise but next time someone plays with your emotions call them out and let them know exactly what it is you want and what you don’t appreciate. Just remember, there are 7 billion people on this earth and 125 major cities, you can always move on and take a swim in the ocean……