I wanted to talk to you all about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Singleness and its implications in the world of online dating.
Online dating has created a strange culture surrounding dating and relationships. We’ve formed a very transactional view regarding our connections with others. This has led to a number of cultural phenomenons such as the slow fade, ghosting, and even gaslighting (Side note: it’s an excellent movie. I encourage you to check it out. Ingrid Bergman is phenomenal). One thing that the tangled web of online dating has shown is that we crave genuine human connection, but many of us are afraid of the implications. We have created a world in which relationships can be formed and broken by matching and just disappearing. We’ve learned not to value human connection and yet we crave it. How may times must me encounter a just casual to come to this realization? What even is a just casual? What is the point of having a relationship without the commitment or the emotional engagement? At the end of the day, no one wants to be alone and online dating has given individuals a way of taking numerous short-cuts to having someone. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to find genuine connection, but it is certainly quite difficult particularly in certain age groups. I’m also not judging anyone for taking this route. It’s just not necessarily for me. All of this has come to light in the midst of me forming what many would lovingly call a “situationship”.
Unlike most situationships, mine lacks all physicality, but it involves a lot of emotional intimacy. I find myself in a friendship with the emotional intimacy typically associated with a romantic relationship. To start, yes I did meet this individual on a dating app. I’m not even sure how we matched to be honest. He told his sister that it’s due to the fact that I didn’t see how short he is…he’s probably right. Sue me! What started as casual conversation slowly turned into daily calls for hours. Suddenly, something clicked in me. Perhaps it’s the avoidant in me, but as the emotional intimacy grew I found myself pushing him away. Not necessarily as a friend, but as a potential romantic interest. I hate the word “friend zone”, but it’s exactly what I’ve done. I must admit that I do have feelings for him, but as soon as I was faced with the prospect of true intimacy I turned away from it– potentially robbing myself of something that could be good for me. I’m waiting in vain for us to reach that dreaded impasse where we must confront the obvious mess that we’ve created. I’m not certain how I’ve found myself in this position yet again. It seems to be becoming a trend. Perhaps, I’m the secondary component of casual. There’s the individual with which someone might share physical intimacy and there’s another individual with which they share emotional intimacy. It is easy for romantic relationships to dissipate especially since there is always another option that is just a swipe away. I suppose that some part of myself can acknowledge that I find solace in not having to lose the potential emotional intimacy that comes with the dissolving of a romantic relationship. I’m beginning to question whether or not my current perspective is the symptom of the disease or a cause of it. Perhaps, deep down we’ve all come to fear vulnerability and the fear of loss that can come with it. We’ve created a world in which we never have to feel it. In the age of connectedness, we’re more hidden than ever before.
In all honesty, there are only three things that you should be giving yourself this year. I’ve seen a lot of fashion bloggers out there attempting to shill what I like to call “pre-pandemic wear” AKA things that do not involve elastic. Let’s be honest though…those have no place in our lives at the present moment.
In honor of realism, I’d like to share with you the three things to add to your holiday wishlist and no, they are not from Nordstrom lol.
Sweatpants (less than $25; on average about $10 for most colors): I shamelessly own them in every color. I always buy means sweatpants because I’m tall, but for some reason they also just feel more comfy. The only downside is that they lack pockets, so no storage place for your tater tots Napoleon. Believe it or not…they perform the same function as those $50 dollar ones that you see everywhere 👀
Sweatshirts (less than $20; on average about $15 for most colors): I also own these sweatshirts in many colors. Comfort Colors sweatshirt are notoriously comfortable and these do not fail to disappoint.
Socks (less than $20 for a pack of five; some color ways are cheaper): I own these as well. They are so freaking warm. They are the perfect socks for the cold snap that we’ve been enduring at the present moment.
I wanted to share with you one of the important lessons that I learned from therapy…the importance of discomfort. I think it goes hand in hand with the heaping dose of patience that therapy teaches you.
Discomfort is necessary for change to happen. This fact of life has yet to fail me. Whether it be a waistband that’s too tight or a relationship that doesn’t feel quit right, discomfort holds a mirror to your current situation and gives you the insight that leads you to change. When we ignore what our inner voice is telling us, we not only allow ourselves to be trapped in unsavory situations but we also limit ourselves from reaching our full potential. The next time that you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation lean into it. Listen to what the frame of mind is telling you. Oftentimes, we limit ourselves by failing to acknowledge the truth that is right in front of us.
One of the things that I am working on in therapy is my fear of failure. Unfortunately, by some cruel twist fate you cannot work through lifelong issues without failing every now and then. This is probably one of the most frustrating things about consciously working on yourself. There is no such thing as being perfect. There is only better and sometimes better is “worse” than where you started. It’s the non-linear pathway that growth often takes. Growth, the albatross that it is, breeds an immense amount of discomfort. For every step forward, there is a potential for a backslide that will leave you reeling. In conclusion, there is no growth without discomfort.
I hope you all find peace and enlightenment in your discomfort.
I don’t know about y’all, but this holiday season has been ROUGH. Nothing about it seems to make sense. On this rainy Sunday afternoon as I cuddle up with Wentworth, I’ve begun what has become my favorite holiday tradition. A form of self-care amidst the craziness of holiday season. Thankfully this tradition is very much doable and perhaps needed in the times in which we are living. The one tradition that I’ve decided to carry on this year is my mid- December gratitude list.
Unlike most people, I like to postpone my Thanksgiving meditations until after the holiday has passed. There are several reasons why I do this. After a few years, the gratitude starts to all sound the same. Another reason why I postpone it, is due fact that we immediately roll from the season of Thanksgiving into the season of abundant consumerism. That fact has always seemed incredibly ironic to me. In order to combat this sudden paradigm shift that we undergo each and every year, I started the tradition of saving my gratitude for December — in the midst of endless Christmas lists, the feeling of not having enough, or not doing enough. This always grounds and me positions me to start the new year off without feeling as if I am lacking.
I encourage you to actually take time to do this. Take a break from the stress, the endless new cycles, and the Monday scaries. Truly take the time to compose this list and pin it somewhere where you will see it. This can carry you through and can serve as a nice reminder as you make your new year’s list, if you make one at all.
The two thing that I am most grateful for this year are time and love. Time has been one of my greatest gifts. It has given me the space to grieve, lent me moments of deep reflection, and blessed me with my last moments with my mother. Love has given me strength. Amidst this season of uncertainty and loss, I have learned to never underestimate the power of love. To my friends, I love you dearly. More than you will ever know. Thank you for bringing light to my darkness and joy to my sorrow. I am grateful for each and every one of you. Being loved by you is one of the most beautiful gifts that I have ever been given.
That’s all folks! I hope that you have a happy Monday and that you take some time to show yourself some love.