I keep coming across articles about our current dating scene. About how “chill has become one of the most desirable qualities in a romantic prospect,” (Against Chill) and I can’t help thinking how true they are and how ridiculous it is. See we’ve been told feelings are fine now. It’s supposed to be safe to have feelings, but that’s actually a massive lie.
“Don’t take it personally.”
“I just wanted to keep it casual.”
All common mantras. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s heard those things — had them directed their way usually while trying to process a barrage of emotions.
One Republic’s song “Feel Again” says, “I’ve been everywhere and back trying to replace everything I had…Heart’s still beating, but it’s not working.” When the singer found the person he loved again things changed: “With you, I feel again…I’m feeling better since you know me. I was a lonely soul, but that’s the old me.”
Odd that people are allowed to love unreservedly and even ridiculously in songs, books, and movies, but in real life we’re told things like,
“Don’t invest in them.”
Maybe its because we’re a generation of badly damaged, hurt people and we’re trying to avoid anymore of that. We’re trying to maintain some level of control over our pain.
So we make love a complicated game and play and defend it with all the certainty of a scientist with a successful experiment. The funny part is it doesn’t even seem like love anymore. In fact, the definition of that word is fairly blurred for most of us. It’s become mostly about sex. Because that’s way less complicated than feelings and emotional turmoil.
However asJordan Narin points out in “No Labels, No Drama, Right?” this casual attitude doesn’t actually avoid or help anything. It just shuts out the honesty and ends in a feeling of lostness and pain.
But you have to wonder how many people pretend to feel little to nothing and keep things casual in the name of social acceptability. In fear of the rejection that may follow if they actually say, “I love you.” or “I think I love you.” or “I really like you.”
As Adam Lambert sings in “Ghost Town,” “Love is a satire.” And he’s right. That’s what it seems to be now. A joke. Something we could have if we wanted but actually can’t. A ghost of something that was.
And it’s not just love. It’s everything else everywhere. In our daily lives. Someone says something hurtful, but we don’t take it personally because we’re not supposed to.
You’re hurting because someone died; you had a breakup; a divorce; or life’s just hard and painful; you’re depressed. But you’ll shrug it off.
“It’ll get better.”
“I didn’t need him anyway.
Do we even know how to properly grieve anymore?
There’s an almost obsessive level of pretense of emotional wellness and happiness in order to hide from the stigmas attached to being too emotional.
“I’m happy! I’m healthy! Look at how together I have it!” we scream from our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
But we’re not really, are we?
Or are we lying to ourselves intentionally because we like it better. It’s safer. Maybe if we push it long enough and hard enough we’ll stop feeling things — stop hurting.
But if that is supposed to work, why do I know so many people who suffer from depression? Why do I know lots of people who are deeply confused about what to do with their love lives? How to deal with what they do? People asking how to process a death, stress, or their difficult family members?
We’re supposed to be able to juggle everything and look nice and be nice and never feel the pressure or be upset.
It seems like a problem, but maybe no one wants to fix it. And if that’s the case maybe it’s better not to. Let’s keep the trend going. Let it go until we literally have no idea how to process anything any more. Maybe we’ll get it.
After we’ve drowned all our feelings.
After we’ve killed them all.