…ut our institutions, cities, and technology have taught us to fear commitment and put choice first. We’re trapped in a self perpetuating cycle of emotional distance with each other. Most of us really want love at some point, but our actions are at war with this desire. We maintain emotional distance because we fear commitment and rejection, not because that is our true self. We replace the feeling of true intimacy with short term flings, long term noncommittal hookups, and sex. We comfort ourselves knowing at least we’re not feeling the stinging pain of a broken heart, at least we don’t have to deal with real emotions. We’ve trapped ourselves in a cycle that we’re all complicit in.
The result was and is a dating culture that is unfulfilling at best and bordering on toxic at worst. We stumble through hookups to fill the space until we “find the person we’re looking for”; amorphous conglomerations of physical traits and interests as effervescent in our minds as the answers to questions about music taste and future career. Choice is paramount, intimacy and connection are afterthoughts. Thus one night, two night, and three night stands are no big deal, we’re just having fun with no strings attached. But we never give the other person a chance to express themselves long enough to get to know their true selves. We think we know who they are, but how can we know them if we don’t even know ourselves?