It’s 2016 and the dating game has been liberalized drastically. From Bumble to Tinder; there are apps on apps that allow us to meet our new potential fling with the swipe of a finger. Long gone are the days where going out with multiple people within the same week was frowned upon. It’s become less slutty and more common for people to date around. Nowadays, unless you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, the playing field is one big grey area. No longer is there a dating play book we must follow. We are now more free-spirited and willing; because where one match fails another swipe right succeeds.
Yet there comes a time where you stumble across someone and seemingly fall in perfect
harmony with each other. Sometimes, even if you weren’t looking for anything serious, you click and you can’t help but fall in the relationship pattern. The sparks between you two fly and the conversations extend for hours at a time. The vibe between the two of you is so comfortable that you bypass all the games and just fall into a euphoric state of realness. It’s all smooth until you start hitting life’s multiple speed bumps; work, school, family commitments, hobbies and friend obligations.
Soon you find that a weekend of hibernating from reality quickly turned into a week,
which quickly turned into a month. Late nights and early morning are only manageable for so long. Real life comes flooding in and sizzling out the initial intrigue you two held on to for so long. Slowly you find that the relationship is taking a backseat because maybe one of you has slowly backed away. It could be the realization that daily outings and weekend binges aren’t the most productive way to spend the few hours you have to unwind.
With the play book gone we diminished the idea of taking things slow. Now we go zero to one hundred and back in the snap of a finger. We jump from not seeing someone to communicating with them 24/7 and back to minimal interaction so fast. It is when we start to experience the cut back on communication that the insecurities emerge. Did something go wrong? Were we too aggressive too quickly? Are they seeing other people? Are they upset I’m still seeing other people? The thoughts rush in causing us to overthink and pump our imaginations to sights unseen before. These irrational thoughts do more harm to the relationship- or whatever status it may be- than good. You get so preoccupied by uncertainty you begin to over analyze every text, every reaction, every interaction you have with the other person. You begin to monitor your actions and edit your emotions to how you think you should act or feel. Your behavior becomes more stiff and unnatural. Low and behold the reason the relationship has taken a backseat is because you’ve taken a step back. By tweaking and editing your behavior you became less and less authentic. It is usually that authenticity that attracted someone towards you in the first place. Now the playing field has changed. Now the checking of the phone becomes more frequent as you’re desperately trying to figure out the grey area of dating that you’ve now entered. What is the next step? Are they busy or are they just too busy for you?
If you find you’ve trekked your way to these estranged grounds do not begin to overanalyze the situation. Simple clarification is all that you need. There is no need to get clingy or ask for constant reassurance. Acting like you’re fine when you’re not is only going to eat you inside. If you feel your gut is telling you things have changed then there is a high chance things have. It’s important to ask and make sure you’re on the same page. If you find you’re not, then deal with it accordingly. Open communication is essential in any relationship. You need to be realistic having that open communication where you can maturely address the other person. Otherwise, you run a risk of letting your assumptions and insecurities destroy every relationship- or whatever it is- you encounter.
If you feel you’re the one who is need of a breather and taking a step back you need to vocalize where you stand. Honesty will always be the best policy. If you were hot and heavy with someone, and you’ve met someone else or you just know that you don’t see yourself hanging with the person you were seeing again, let them know. This doesn’t require a whole ordeal. It doesn’t need to be an intense conversation or a dreadful phone conversation. Keep it simple, let them know you had a great time but you want to explore other options. Both of you can keep it civil and easily move forward, no harm done.
The dating game is now a big grey area and it really requires having that open communication to know where you stand with someone. The clearer both parties are the cleaner and easier the going is. Like I said with dating nowadays anything goes, so intentions need to be known. We all have a tendency of complicating things through silence, ghosting, over analyzing and misinterpreting. Dodging communication in fear of hurting someone or unknown rejection is unhealthy and tiring. There needs to be an established sense of respect where calling things off is not considered this big elephant in the room. If it’s over, make it known, even if you weren’t in an official relationship. Being the dragge or the dragger just makes your dating life way more complex. Keep it fun, keep it light, keep the open communication there.