North Texas Daily

It’s time to stop giving up and start believing in love again

It’s time to stop giving up and start believing in love again

It’s time to stop giving up and start believing in love again
June 24
13:00 2022

Dating has become harder in the last 10 years, according to the Pew Research Center, but it’s also become more accessible than it’s ever been.

With a simple tap of a finger, nearly every single person in a mile radius of your choosing is at your discretion. Some apps even have preferences that can be set, diluting the dating pool down to a subset of potential partners. If it’s not opportunity that is weighing on those not coupled up, what is?

Contemporary dating culture is tough, and because of the overwhelming number of options available, people often feel disposable in the face of a better choice. While the process by which two people become one item is never simple, modern social rituals have stretched the exercise out significantly. First, you have to find someone you are interested in, then choose to either open with a friendship and mask your true intentions or enter the “talking phase,” where every letter of every text feels weighed down by the fear of saying the wrong thing.

From there, many roads open up. Perhaps you throw yourself into a non-committal “situationship” to test the waters or let the tension build further for weeks or months. Simultaneously you might be thinking endlessly about the others that may have slipped into your DMs. All this while steering clear of being ghosted, or perhaps resisting the urge to ghost them yourself — for fear of losing the race between others.

Some would claim it is only a lack of confidence that holds people back from breaking through the barriers of these rituals and declaring our true feelings for those we are interested in. This assertion may have been true years ago, but in a world that encourages moving — or swiping — onto the next best thing, it can be easy to simply look for a “better” option. One wrong move, and whoever you may be courting can just move on to the next one. This tightrope walking is exhausting and many choose to just not do it.

Even when we finally settle down into a relationship, the “what-ifs” can drift in the backs of our minds.

What if my soulmate was just before their profile? What if I had missed the bus to our first date? What if things had worked out with the person before them?

The list grows like moss and clings to every thought, itching at the idea that the best is yet to come. This feeling is one instilled by the current dating culture and one that hurts more than it helps.

Of course, the heart is a fickle thing, and there are times when we really aren’t where we need or want to be. Jumping ship out of fear or simple hypotheticals is a different story. Relationships are never objectively perfect — it just doesn’t happen — but that doesn’t devalue true love, and it doesn’t deny its existence.

Love is accepting that whoever you’re with is going to stick with you through the things no one else will. Love smothers those whispering musings of missed potential and hones your attention on those who care about you. Love is flawed, like people, and it will always be okay to hesitate and feel the subconscious want to pull away. Giving up is not a part of love. It takes work before and during a relationship.

Whether you believe in soulmates, fate or true love, all of those take self-awareness. The feeling can come to you at any moment, but it won’t if you are worried about options.

Rather than simply slipping from person to person passively, be conscious of your presence. If you’re talking with someone in a potentially romantic setting, be fully present in the moment. If it doesn’t work out, that’s okay — what is most important is that you’re putting faith in love, and love comes from putting faith in yourself.

Featured Illustration By Erika Sevilla

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Ayden Runnels

Ayden Runnels

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