Welcome to the nebulous edges of love, dating and relationships. Here we are at the brink of 2018, and with it love and dating has evolved into a process far beyond what any sort of evolutionary theories could have fathomed. In short, love, sex and dating is sooooooooo confusing, scary and frustrating that even when it all goes well and you’ve found an amazing person for yourself, somehow you have to face the fact that they are just not going to work out for you.
Sure, researchers can pin down the biological causes of “how we pick a mate” or psychologists can wax lyrical about “the five things that make a marriage work”. Bless them. It’s sugar, spice and everything nice.
Throw Tinder into the mix, and your perfect little soiree by the pool has suddenly been ripped apart by the world’s largest typhoon and you’re in the eye of the storm – you’re locked out, wet and stranded, everyone’s been ripped off the earth, you’ve got leaves and brambles in your hair, and you’re in extreme pain.
It’s a bloody old mess, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Generations of anthropologists are standing there, hands over their mouths and saying, “Sorry, we just couldn’t have predicted this.”
When you really think about it, for any sort of idea of love or relationship to come together takes an intricate matrix of factors to make two (?) people to fall in love, begin a relationship, and move on through the stages (and not necessarily in that order). This matrix is far more complicated than Facebook’s feed algorithm. It just doesn’t make any sense.
Thank you smart phone apps for just making it that much easier to connect us with mutually available people from anywhere in the world. Put aside the f***boys and the ones who are just DTF. Let’s say you’ve moved on from the murky quagmire of dating and finding a mate. You’ve survived those damn games and you’ve come up for air. You’ve made it!
You’re with a person, you’re both single (yes this is a HUGE FACTOR because way too many relationships don’t necessarily begin with both parties fully single. We are made painfully aware of this fact too). You get along. You share the same interests. Things are working. Your time together doesn’t feel forced. You have chemistry. The feelings are mutual. Things are moving in their own time. Everything feels fine.
- The both of you are humans (?)
- The both of you are capable of feelings
- You are both single (um, ideally)
- Everything is good
- You care for each other and love each other
- But you just can’t have a future together
As time goes on, things get in the way. Life. Questions. The future. And by technology bringing more and more anomalous types of couples together than ever before, situations, relationships and situationships have become more complex.
You may both be in the right place emotionally, but when reality hits you both real hard (at 100% full speed, really) you realise that you cannot realistically be together anymore. (You’re thinking, but why?! This is where those rose-tinted glasses come off, honey. Reality. SUCKS.)
It can be one thing, a whole lot of things, or everything or nothing. It could just feel so good right now and be the perfect storm — but you know it has no future. The both of you come from different worlds (well, err, Romeo and Juliet and Aladdin sort of covered that shiz already, huh?) and it’s never going to work moving in each other’s circles. You’re at different stages of your life where you’re set on a career trajectory and the other is still set on finding themselves by travelling, or finding their feet. You’re emotionally settled, but they’re still working through a major emotional/familial/past relationship/hurt/loss/something something.
Or it can just be a simple thing that your parents/friends/inner circle/whatever don’t approve. We’re not saying heed the advice of that outdated auntie (who thinks it’s still 1954 and lesbians are a societal construct). Not that. Yeah, there are so many times we defy our parents, right? But what if this one time you really just need them to be okay with your choice? Do they really know best? Can they see something beyond your heart-eyed-emojied lusty fog that’s clouded your own vision? Are there red flags that lusty fog obscured those few lusty months? Could they be right this time? Questions, questions, and more questions.
Maybe it was just a situationship that evolved into a relationship. A casual fling that suddenly involved lots of feels on both ends — so it’s healthy and all good — to the point you both felt committed and connected to each other. So you felt you were in love and it was real.
But there was nothing beyond it. There was no weight. It was just skinny love?
So, bless the world and bless this situation (ahem, sarcasm, ahem). You have love but it’s just way not enough. It sucks like f, big time, and there are not many other words to describe this situation. Out of the billion chances that you could ever find love or a person to be with or be happy — you suddenly need to face facts and the reality that you just can’t be together. And have that one thing ripped away from you for reasons beyond your control. You’re a woman in control so this sucks all the way up the shi**y scale.
So what do you do?
Somehow just making peace with or acknowledging it makes it hurt less. And perhaps, knowing that it’s not anyone’s fault, really (which it isn’t), makes it easier for the pain to subside, and for you to finally…