We’re always searching for a guilty party. We blame the media for creating stereotypes of ideal men and women. We say its technology’s fault for taking the human element out of interpersonal relationships. We hate the likes and the insinuations lying beneath our texts that mess up the conversations we thought were going so well. We’re grossed out at those who put their profiles on dating apps, not looking for anything other than a hook up. Then there are the usual subjects we can’t stop thinking about: society, our parents, ex-partners, work, boss, etc. And yet we never stop to think that we could be the ones at fault.
It’s easy to try and dodge responsibility, in order to allow others to make decisions regarding our lives. But then, when things don’t go as planned, we curse the heavens because that jerk wasn’t interested or wasn’t passionate about us.
Do we truly know what we’re looking for? Discussing the topic of interpersonal relationships is as challenging as ever. It seems like back when our parents were our age, the romantic process was simpler: I like you, you like me, we get together, fall in love, get married, boom!
While it’s true that everything evolves, and each generation modifies the way society functions, leading to relationships adjusting to these new forms, what we’re left with today can only be defined as pure torture.
Why? Because we wear so many masks when we first meet someone: we’re the coolest, the most guarded, or the one you can’t even tell is damaged. We don’t want to be seen as we are. Yet we dislike anyone who dares to be deceitful towards us, which is completely acceptable. But, are we not doing the same?
Fear becomes our shield through the line “It’s just not what I’m looking for right now.” We say that, even when we’re dying to be in love. At times it looks like we walk around with a sign that says “Please Love Me.” In truth maybe that’s our problem, we want to be loved but are not as willing to love someone.
The reason seems to lie in the fact that love has turned into an act of likes, shared photos, tags, and filters on social media. As if that’s what it takes to have a good relationship, a holy manual of love that states one of its commandments to be: “Though shall not leave a text as read.”
Love has become such an ordinary situation that we end up finding I love you’s spilled all over the floor next to thrift store sweaters. We use them at random moments, give them out to just about anyone, and don’t really worry about the fact they’ve turned into disposable products. We love the same way we breathe, involuntarily and unconsciously; it’s like eating or sending a text.
Yet we still whine about being unloved and not finding that special someone who will be completely open with us. A person who will present themselves as they truly are in order to build a balanced relationship to move forward.
But first, let’s not get confused. We don’t require someone to complete us. Ideally we should learn to be whole beings that can live with their faults, so that we can eventually give all of ourselves to someone who will reciprocate accordingly.
Perhaps all we need is an adventure buddy who grabs us by the hand and walks with us for a moment, or a longer time.
We might only need someone to walk with hand in hand, to laugh at our silly jokes, and make our path easier to cope with.
There’s a chance that behind every “Don’t fall in love, travel instead” there’s a hidden “I’d love for you to travel with me.”
If we know what we want, why can’t we find it? Because we are unwilling to be accountable for what we end up with, since we go through life looking at the ground, searching while hoping we don’t find it.
The images found on this article are by Giuseppe Palmisano. Check out his work here.