I have the same conversation with my friends over and over again. We talk about meeting somebody for the first time, investing time in getting to know them for a month or two, the conversations through text starting out long, us being impressed at the crazy amount of effort he uses in his text messages to type full sentences with the correct spelling and even proper grammar, us assuming it’s going to eventually turn into a relationship given how well things have been going – so we sleep with them… and then we end up stuck in a friend with benefits relationship.
The hell? I wasn’t looking for another friend.
Over the years I’ve developed a good relationship with my mother where we talk openly with each other. I’ve asked her about what it was like growing up in the 60s and 70s and if relationships are what they’re like now. Before I could even explain to her what I meant by “what they’re like now,” she stopped me and said, “your generation is afraid of intimacy. Of course not everyone I met wanted a serious relationship when I was dating, but the majority of people your age have normalized the idea of hooking up and staying away from commitments. From what I see, nobody really values them anymore.”
My mother is always right.
I can only speak from my personal experience, but what I’ve noticed is that women have started to suppress their emotions. Naturally we all have feelings, but we hide them in order to seem more appealing to men, who these days, run when we show them how we actually feel. It’s a vicious cycle. As women we’re wanted by men from time to time to be intimate, we’re expected to open up fully and be completely relaxed and embracing of his sexual needs – but there is a time limit. Once he leaves, you have to shut your feelings off and pretend they don’t exist until the next time you meet again. It just seems to be the most common way for women to keep a man in her life who doesn’t want to be in a serious relationship, because according to him, he’s just too busy.
Don’t let guys fool you. They have feelings too and they feel the same way we do. Whether or not he chooses to let you in might just be the whole downfall to the relationship. There are a million books out right now about how to get the guy and what to do. Feelings have turned into a game. To me it’s almost manipulative and I refuse to use my feelings and the feelings of another to get something I want. I prefer to be alone than to be with a person who refuses to tell me how he’s actually feeling. Just think of how many communication issues this will bring in the long run!
My generation is afraid of intimacy. We’re afraid of being vulnerable. I’M afraid of being vulnerable. So I too, pretend I don’t feel what I feel and I continue living day to day. Am I trying to play the game? Not really, but it seems to be inevitable. Does any of this benefit me? Of course not. Even without fully explaining the concept of a friend with benefits or why I feel this generation prides itself in having casual relationships, I know there are many readers reading this right now and nodding their head. That’s the thing… we ALL get it because we’re all experiencing the same thing.
I’ve also noticed we’ve started to internalize this lack of commitment as maybe there being something “wrong” with us, but there really isn’t. Someone’s inability to settle down with you should not be a measuring stick for your worth. You’re not allowed to play with my body, cause you’re also playing with my heart. We can’t pretend we won’t ever catch feelings, because there IS a reason you’re allowing the relationship to progress and continue even if we’re just having sex. As much as we would like casual relationships to work forever, there’s something about them that just doesn’t.
I’ve engaged in some and they don’t always turn out the way I would like. I’ll never be cold hearted towards relationships even if I build some walls because I’ve tried to remain emotionless but I will no longer condition myself to remain emotionless, and I hope you don’t either.