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Modern Dating Pitfalls or Playing Victim?

While crawling through the mudpit that is Facebook, I came upon a link to a blog post titled, “18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating That You Have To Deal With.” from Thought Catalog, and written by Christopher Hudspeth. I’m not sure if I’m just not sympathizing with the dating pool these days because I’m not in it, or if the people who follow these nuggets of advice are dooming themselves to the single life if they are actively trying to find a significant other. I’ll admit, I got quite lucky with finding my boyfriend, but I’d also been single long enough that I didn’t beat around the bush. I didn’t overanalyze everything, I was myself. But I also don’t discount the fact that I found someone who I really connected with, and judging by all my friends now who are unable to find someone who isn’t crazy, those chances were really slim. I won the lottery.

Moving on, reading that article, I couldn’t help but think to myself, the people who take this advice and act on it are only making themselves seem like the crazy ones. Maybe if they lived in the moment and actually tried to find someone they enjoy hanging out with — someone compatible — they’d see that not everyone is trying to screw you over. Maybe try to determine if you can be someone’s friend first — enjoy spending time with them without overthinking everything — before jumping into labels.

The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested.

I’m not going to lie. I used to think like this too, but really, who wants to be in a relationship where both people are afraid to love fully. Both are trying to show the other how little they care. Isn’t that the opposite of a fulfilling relationship?

The only reason people repeat this mantra to themselves is that they’re afraid to unveil themselves, and fully invest themselves into a relationship. This one hit me closest to home because when I was following this “rule”, it was because I had been hurt in relationships before and I was trying my best to not be hurt again. However, in trying not to get hurt, I also didn’t let the other person in enough to make us both as happy as possible. Sometimes it’s hard to take the leap, but once you do, you’ll find that everything gets easier. You live with the belief that your significant other is there to make you happy and you are there to make them happy. If you’re too scared of getting hurt and you’re holding yourself back, the other person isn’t getting to know the real you anyway. And who wants to spend the rest of their lives behind a facade?

Of course this can go the other way, and you can misjudge them, and it will hurt so much. We’ve all been hurt before, but we all know that with time, hurt will heal. However, when they hurt you, do you want to think back to the weeks/months/years that you were together shielding yourself and not having the most possible fun and feeling the most love? Either way, you’d get hurt. One way, you’ll at least loved fully and felt love. The other way, you’ve spent the whole relationship being bitter and paranoid, not really enjoying the relationship because you’re afraid that they’ll turn at any second. And for what reason? To say “I knew it” at the end?

  • The only difference between your actions being romantic and creepy is how attractive the other person finds you. That’s it, that’s all.
  • The text message you sent went through. If they didn’t respond, it wasn’t because of malfunctioning phone carrier services.
  • Social media creates new temptations and opportunities to cheat. The private messaging and options for subtle flirtation (e.g. liking of pictures) aren’t an excuse or validation for cheating, but they certainly increase the chances of it happening.

Many of the “modern dating truths” represented really are just about how shitty some people are. I used to overthink it if a guy didn’t like me back, but then I got to thinking. Why would I want to be with someone who doesn’t want me? And that has become my mantra for nearly everything. You don’t want to be the only person putting forth an effort in any relationship. If that person doesn’t want to be with you, your relationship would be superficial. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you. Someone who wants to make you happy. Sometimes it feels like that person is impossible to find, but there are so many people out there, and I’m sure, so many decent people.

One quote I came across online that really aided in me cutting out toxic relationships is, “Don’t treat someone like a priority when they treat you like an option.” Don’t ignore the signs. Often times, courtships fail because people aren’t clear about what they’re looking for. You’re not going to be able to dig a serious relationship out of someone who’s just looking for a fling.

All the advice given in the article are about people playing games. They blame the other person for how hard it is to find a significant other. However if you’re following these “rules” and thinking the worst of the other person right off the bat, aren’t you adding to the problem? Maybe you’re unconsciously pushing them away. By thinking they’re playing games, you obviously try to counteract that by playing games right back. Bringing a bitter mentality just brings people down and wards them all away. Would you want to date a negative Nancy?

If you’re looking for a serious relationship. Don’t play games. It’s exhausting, it gets you nowhere, and it’s basically starting a relationship based on lies. Ignore the people who do play games. They aren’t worth your time. There’s just so many ways to break a relationship through modern technology and not enough ways to keep them together. How do we avoid playing games with people? I think the problem is people jumping into getting to know someone as a boyfriend before getting to know them as a person and a friend. It just doesn’t work. It makes it too awkward, and too much pressure. I try to get to know someone as a friend before seeing if there’s a romantic link. To see if the conversation flows smoothly and if you have the same outward views on the world.

Over the years, I’ve listened to countless friends’ dating horror stories. People who have looked online for love, who’ve exhausted their supply of friends’ friends, to no avail. My advice has always been the same.

  • Don’t overthink it.
  • Be yourself.
  • If you like them, put yourself out there. Be forward (but not aggressive). If they don’t respond to it, fuck it, your relationship wouldn’t be that great anyway. Find someone who loves you for you (however cheesy that sounds, it’s true.)

My friend S put the last few points better than I could. People need to get over themselves. You’re not a princess that deserves to be spoiled. You’re not any better than anyone else. It’s not about one person spoiling the other, it’s about finding a partnership that works. You’re not going to find the person that’s 100% perfect. You’re going to find someone who’s 70%-80%-90% compatible with you, and you work at the other percentages with compromise and communication. Because relationships are not rainbows and fairy dust, they are work, but it’s so worth it.

Good luck out there, all you brave brave people of the single world. Don’t be bitter, and I hope you find the person who’s willing to work at being happy with you.

3 Comments

  1. Very wise words indeed. I have, years ago, been guilty of treating someone as a priority when I was clearly an option so this really hit home! I am going to email this to my son…

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  3. I think everyone’s been in that boat before we learn! Few succeed in relationships right off the bat, but it’s experiences that better us.

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