We don't know how to properly connect anymore.
There’s no question that dating in today’s day and age is an exhausting and sometimes infuriating process, especially when you’re someone who is looking for something lasting and meaningful. Over the past decade, online dating and social media has been an extreme game-changer in the way we view and seek love, if you can find love at all.
Everyone seems to be completely petrified of feeling real feelings in such a way that, when real connection stares us in the face, our first instinct is to run or f*ck it up somehow. Why? WHY the heck are we like this?
I’ll tell you why. It’s pretty simple, really: We don’t know how to properly connect on an emotional level anymore, and there are a few things to blame:
1. Social media paints an ideal that’s not really real.
Everything we see online is a glorified version of reality. When you see a couple in a perfectly timed kissing picture with the caption "This is love," it’s natural to feel like you won’t accept anything less than something so seemingly pure.
Little do you know, that same couple has been battling like crazy, and the same woman who posted that picture was just crying about how awful he is that same morning.
Our first problem is that we think love is shinier and prettier than it actually is, so we throw away reality and keep chasing a fantasy. Feeling things and being in love is hard f*cking work — it’s not a cake walk.
2. We’re too busy watching people live than actually living.
We endlessly scroll through a world that is merely a glimpse of the highlights and grand moments. And yet we feel satisfied like we’re part of it, when it reality, we’re just sitting in our own solitude looking at a life that we’re not willing to go out and get for ourselves.
Forging forward and creating those moments means that you need to feel things, but why bother when you can catch glimpses of it on command in the palm of your hands? We live vicariously through others instead of living for ourselves and taking those same risks.
3. Fear of commitment stems from things we’ve heard or experienced.
We’ve been jaded either by our own bitter experiences or by some haunting story that someone we know has gone through. It prevents us from actually taking that leap of faith and trusting that another human could be different from those that we fear. We live in a state of denial and fear rather than a state of hopeful optimism.
4. The older we get, the more set in our ways we are — we don’t want to lose ourselves.
At times, the thought of welcoming someone into our worlds and compromising our set ways just to have a love that could potentially be amazing is a risk too grand for a lot of us to take — so we remain in our solitude and sabotage any potential we may come across. It’s pathetic.
5. We’re incredibly entitled and self-absorbed.
We’re so used to thinking for only ourselves. Because of our sole-minded mentalities, we have a hard time allowing someone else’s wants and needs come into play. Being in love and being in a relationship means you have to change your lone warrior habits, and most of us are too damn lazy to make that effort anymore.
6. We find ways to be offended instead of finding ways to hear a difference of opinion.
If we don’t like a minor difference in someone, we feel entitled and willing to move right along to seek perfection, instead of realizing that having differences in a relationship can actually be a really healthy component to real and lasting love. Loving someone despite the differences is the purest form of love of all.
7. Sex and hookup culture has ruined the sentiment of real love.
It’s easy to avoid real feelings when you can have selective and temporary moments of affections almost on command. We chat with people just enough to make a comfortable connection, and then we rush the intimacy only to be found fleeing the bed sheets as fast as we can.
Heaven forbid the person you shared those moments with could be an actual decent human being. We aren’t even willing to test the waters deeper, and so, we remain close to shore.
8. We’ve become so independent that we don’t truly need feelings to survive.
When we become comfortable on our own, we realize that we truly don’t need anyone to be happy. And if the sexual urges strike, we have the means to conquer them until our next craving.
Just remember, eventually the road of temporary fulfillment will come to an ugly dead end, and if we continue to avoid taking a risk with our hearts and our feelings, we’re going to have a haunting realization that time has run out.
9. We’re afraid of getting hurt to the point that we’re not willing to gamble.
Getting hurt is truly f*cking terrifying. We feel nauseated by the idea because we’ve all been there, and avoiding the drama has become easier than ever with ghosting, vague texts, the un-friend feature, and blocking features across all communication platforms.
Here’s the thing, though: in avoiding feelings and allowing the fear and scapegoats of technology rule our emotions, we’re not doing ourselves any favors.
Bed hopping will get tiring. Ghosting someone will become deflating and will rob you of the ability to deal with the tough sh*t like a normal adult should. Not feeling things will lead you to isolating yourself even further as the years go on.
Our generation is terrified of actually feeling things, and it’s time we woke the f*ck up and started taking chances again.