Growing up, I was always a dreamer. When I played with Barbies, she would always have her Ken. Playing games with my sister I always had an imaginary boyfriend called Brad. After watching all the Disney classics one too many times I thought about the day my own Prince Charming would turn up – How old would I be? Where will we meet? What will he look like?
This dreamer is now approaching 21 years of age. 21 – probably the number of times us girls have had our heartbroken by the same person over and over. 21 – the number of times we are probably yet to be ‘almost’ in a relationship. 21 – the number of times I have probably drunk text people who I really shouldn’t have this year.
My dad always told me I have to kiss many frogs before I find my prince, but where is he? Is he trapped in a Disney movie or the generation before us? I was always the girl who believed in true love, movie love… I still do. Even though I don’t play with Barbies anymore and know that the Disney Princesses are just figures that have been drawn into an ideal world, I still see examples of real love every single day and I still dream of the day that someone will walk into my life with nothing but complete love for me.
Although, I have to admit, how can a 20-year-old woman keep dreaming of love when so many 20-year-old men are shutting the possibility out of their lives already? I’m not even necessarily looking for my Prince Charming yet, but where is my Brad? It would be nice to have a companion to share a 4-in-1 with, but at this rate it seems like only 4 in 1 million girls get that comfort without the extra hassle where you’re close to flinging the curry at his head.
Deep down I believe there is someone for everybody, but what I’m wondering is, has the meaning of love been lost in our generation?
Unfortunately, I firmly believe that we are living in the generation of relationship no man’s land. Many people in my age group float around the word ‘relationship’ but never give it a chance. For some reason it has a negative stigma around it, the idea that if you’re committed to someone else then your freedom has disappeared.
However, I think this is completely false because I can’t imagine anything more freeing than waking up beside someone who loves you. Relationships at a young age don’t mean the end of your youth, the end of your fun, or the end of your freedom. It doesn’t mean your future is set in stone or you have to marry this person in the morning, it means giving a person a chance to love, respect and make memories with you.
What are we all waiting for? Or more importantly, what are we all afraid of? Why is falling in love in 2016 a bad thing? People run from their feelings and emotions everyday, but shutting them out doesn’t mean they’re not there. The heart wants what it wants, you can’t choose the aim of cupids arrow and you can’t ignore it when it strikes you. This won’t cause the wound to heal, it will get worse and just continue to bleed more and more.
I understand that you may not be looking for the one at this age, and that is fair enough, but why has the fear become so strong that even things as simple as dates are crossing the line? People can say dates cause too many feelings and confuse things, but I would much rather decide how I feel about you over popcorn and a good film than my iPhone. Since when did dates become a lifelong commitment? Why are dates the big deal and sex just the usual? Why am I expected to shave my legs for a man who is planning on ghosting me by the time the stubble has grown back? Until you get to know someone you can’t say whether they are for you or not.
I honestly think the fun has been taken out of relationships. I watch Sex and the City all the time, but I know my friends and I can’t relate to the topics they talk about over lunch. Instead of talking about how our date went horribly wrong or about a guy we are seeing, we talk about the time he opened our last Snapchat, possible (often dodgy) Tinder dates and Saturday’s drunken shift. There are no great memories to be made and no stories to laugh about in years to come.
To be honest, I would give anything to go on a real date, even if it was the most horrible, mortifying experience of my life, at least it happened, at least there is still spark left in romance and fun left in dating. Wouldn’t it be lovely to just meet a man, converse with him and go on a date with him without being accompanied by the Valencia Insta filter and the constant checking of when he was last active? You can’t appear offline now hun, I’m literally staring at you across the table.
I think many of us have been through it, I have been through it myself numerous times, developing a crush, waiting it out, hoping and then… nothing. Zilch. Another day, another man who has become ingrained into my past with no desire to make it to the next phase of my life. If you try to follow this up it is often followed by the ‘I just wanted it to be casual’ or ‘I had a feeling you were looking for a relationship.’ Mate, I’ve honestly been texting you for about four days and have spoken to you in person once at the bar, how could I want a relationship with you? What if you snore really loudly? What if you don’t laugh at my jokes? What if you don’t find kittens cute?! Am I reeeally the one who is moving too quickly here? Please take a step down from your pedestal…
I’ve also seen plenty of my friends go through it, the excitement of them finding a potential partner for a few weeks, few months, forever, BUT SUDDENLY, forever becomes whenever, so hot becomes so not and planning becomes plotting. You’re no longer his biggest fan because he let your friend down, he let you down, he let the team down. You’re left telling your girlfriends they ‘deserve so much better’ while you’re going through the exact same thing yourself.
Don’t we all deserve so much better? Shouldn’t we draw the line between not wanting a relationship and using our hearts and feelings as toys? As he is slowly killing our ego, we are transferring the dead pieces into his. The bigger the ego, the bigger the problems.
The thing is these days, people often want someone to confide in, one-sided loyalty, someone to share their bed with at night but with the string connecting their hearts to be kept completely invisible. I don’t even know the meanings of words anymore – what is dating? When do we become exclusive? What counts as being just casual? Could somebody please make me inclusive to these definitions? It appears that so many people have fears these days – a fear of commitment, fear of attachment and fear of the word ‘relationship.’ The r word gets completely swept under the carpet to try to prevent unnecessary hurt and drama, but in reality, it just leads to more of this because the lump under the carpet is still visible because it is still lurking in the back of peoples minds. Can you really say you don’t want a relationship when you never know who may walk into your life in the morning?
Yes, I am living proof of one of today’s girls who are stuck in the wrong generation. No, I don’t want your soul and no, I don’t want you to marry me. All I want is someone to prove to me that our whole generation isn’t suffering, I want someone to grow a pair of balls, take the bull by the horns, and face life head on by giving passion a chance and a nice deserving girl a three course meal or a trip to the cinema. I promise not to throw my 4-in-1 at you if we’re opting for a Netflix and chill situation (the real kind though, calm down) and I promise not to set fire to any of your belongings…
2016 is an amazing year – a time where the internet and social media is constantly surprising us, a year where you can chat to people over the other side of the world and meet new people within a few clicks, a year where people travel all over the globe delving into new cultures and taking these experiences home with them, if they decide to return home, that is.
However, as amazing as 2016 is with it’s freedom and endless experiences… has love suffered? Why is love scarier than loneliness? Has everything become so accessible that people’s hearts no longer are? Are people putting off great things because they’re afraid something better could be just around the corner? Put off these experiences as much as you want but don’t forget that your journey could end at any time and things can change in an instant, so what if there is nothing around the corner? The perfect person for you at this moment in time could pass you by just as life is as you are reading this.
Take a chance, and if it fails, what happens? You fall and you get back up again. Simple. Don’t make the rest of us wait for a chance because you’re too scared of your own feelings. Your heart knows you more than anyone and if you keep shutting off your feelings you could wake up one day with a very strong sense of regret and half empty bed.
So many of us want to test the water, go on dates, enjoy our youth, get to know people, form real relationships, make experiences, and end up where we’re supposed to be with who we’re supposed to be with by taking risks… and so many other people are ignoring their emotions because of bad experiences, fear and the idea that the words ‘I like you’ mean you’ve signed your soul over to another person. Neither of these outlooks are right or wrong, but I do think when these outlooks meet they could result in complete relationship disaster. Are we or aren’t we? Will we or won’t we?
Time shall tell, but time is also ticking and I won’t be twenty, fearless and full of love forever. I still believe that someday my love will be given to one other heart only, but until that real love comes along I need to learn from and appreciate others. Liking someone and loving someone are worlds apart, trust me, I’ve experienced both.
Give a romantic spark a chance and you’ll eventually know if you’ve landed your frog or your prince.