Lesson 31: Abandon your safety reserves.
Safety Reserves – we all have them. Perhaps you know them by a different name – backups, the one you love to drunk dial/text, the one who never really makes it to the top of your list and is always the first to fall to the back of the line, the one you wish you could like a little more but since you don’t not get along, can’t completely block out. These people, while probably a priority in someone else’s mind, rarely wash up on our dating preference shores.
If you hold a lackluster view toward someone, what exactly makes you feel that keeping them on the back burner is going to make you eventually like them? It’s like we convince ourselves we’ll fall for them, which isn’t fair to the other person of course, but it also isn’t fair to yourself.
Are we that afraid to be alone that we’d rather be with someone we get along with but were never crazy enough about to be our first pick? And how is it supposed to make your backup feel? Should they be informed that they were just a backup choice but then again, how could they not already know? So to counter the question that explores our reluctance to be alone, there’s the question that asks, “Are we so afraid to be alone that we’ll be with someone who has had a pattern of rejecting us in the past when someone better (or rather, more compatible) comes along?” For most people, whether they admit it or not, I think the answer is “yes”…sadly enough for both questions.
The thing about compatibility is that everyone has it and since there’s no such thing as “no compatibility,” just different levels of compatibility, naturally we order our love interests by how well they rank. So, when you get a text from the same guy every two weeks or so, it’s safe to say, you’re probably not at the top of his list. Not to say that he’s at the top of your list, but why take on the “something out of nothing” attitude and cave to a date that you’ll probably regret anyway with someone who falls short on your list if you fall short on theirs, too? If he was into you, he’d be texting you regularly, not just when he’s realized that it’s been a while since he’s had a fruitful date in a while and that he dated you a while back and the date wasn’t half-bad, but what we not-so-cleverly forget is that it wasn’t half-good either. For a culture that puts so much emphasis on “the spark,” we sure are quick to forget it when loneliness rolls around.
What’s the point? So you can put on your date clothes and hope that this date (after five of the same) will be different, that you’ll magically be more into them this time? Guess what? Not happening. And here’s why – Once you’ve put someone on the back burner, they stay there. No matter how many dinners you go on, no matter how many of their jokes you try convince yourself are funny, no matter how many times you walk home from a date with them thinking, “That wasn’t so bad,” you’re never going to fall head over heels for them simply because you haven’t already. Side note – If you have to tell yourself something wasn’t that bad, that doesn’t make it good.
It’s time we abandoned our safety reserves and lead a life that embraces being single, even if that means there’s no love interest on the horizon. It’s unfair to the person you fall back on and it’s unfair to yourself. Why waste the effort on a mediocre relationship with someone toward the lowest quartile of your list, and in turn waste their time too? Go your separate ways, be “just friends” and spend the time and effort instead on yourselves on finding actual happiness alone than spending yet another Friday night hearing the same hunting story for the fourth time.
Got it? Feel empowered? Good. Now get the first 30 rules of the Single Girl Society.