We live in a world that’s catered for two. So naturally, you search for the one.
I like to imagine there was a time where you could go out, lock eyes with somebody from across the room, and feel everyone else around you disappear. Perhaps I’m naive for wanting this to be true, because the odds are truly against me.
Society has normalized the art of juggling multiple hearts. How ironic that I would call something that leaves destruction in its path an “art.”
I believe it’s a skill to pick someone up and put them down with little thought or remorse for their feelings. But it’s not their fault, and it’s not yours either. Dating culture has evolved into a playing field that allows you to connect with multiple people on various platforms. I think we’ve all accepted the fact that someone smarter, funnier, or better looking than us could come along. The problem we face now is that it’s right there in front of you—in the palm of your hands lies a world full of people waiting to be seen. For some, it’s validation; for others it’s boredom; and for a handful, commitment just isn’t what they signed up for. There is always an idea of somebody else; infatuation is a sickness infecting our generation.
I was once told that expecting a person to focus solely on you is unfair. They asked me, “How can you expect someone to put all their energy into one person without knowing the outcome? How can you expect someone to let go of everyone else in the chance that you might do the same to them?”
How could you possibly put that much trust into a stranger?
So you’re left with dozens of unread messages while you stare at your phone, waiting for the one person you want to come across that screen. Yet, you collect yourself and respond to the handful of people you don’t actually care about. You have a short list of reasons why you keep them around and a longer list of why they would never make the cut. But it’s safe. We all want to feel wanted, and if it can’t come from the one person you so desperately desire, then the rest will have to do, right?
Without even realizing it, your expectations have lowered.
You meet someone new; things are fun and exciting, it feels like it could be something real. Then, without even trying, you question it. You couldn’t possibly be the only one. Do you dare ask or remind yourself that you’re doing the exact same thing? Still, you don’t stop. We put ourselves through this over and over again because it makes us feel less alone, if even for an instant.
You’re afraid to be vulnerable, and for good reason. You have given pieces of your heart away over the years and worry there will be little left for the person who deserves it. So you focus on yourself; you don’t get attached. Brush it off if they do. All the while someone is doing it right back to you.
It’s a vicious cycle, so why not take the chance and be open about how you feel? If you’re going to get hurt either way, wouldn’t you rather be in control of it?