Is Timing a Valid Excuse For Avoiding a Relationship?
“I really like you, but I just can’t date you right now, the timing is wrong.”
How many of you have heard this, or something similar, before? Being told that someone cares for you, but can’t be with you, is like being told that you have a new puppy that you’re not allowed to play with.
If you haven’t heard a variation of these words before, you’ve probably said a variation of these words before.
Our generation’s views on dating are completely chaotic when compared with our parent’s or our grandparent’s generation. And no, I’m not referring to Tinder, or “Hook-up culture,” or anal sex. I’m referring to the priorities that relationships hold in our minds.
Once upon a time, couples thrived on the fact that once they found someone they loved, they wouldn’t let them go. My grandfather sailed over to America alone and worked for a full year before he could save the money to bring my grandmother to America to join him. In the mean time, they sent love letters across the sea to each other, which my grandmother still has to this day. In 2015, if you find out the dude you’re crushing on lives in Queens and you live on the Lower East Side, it’s a no go.
Instead of “making things work” in our relationships, our ever so entitled generation expects relationships (or more specifically, our partners) to work for us. Instead of accepting a once in a lifetime job offer in London, a guy will stay local in Chicago to stay with his girlfriend who threatens to end the relationship if he leaves. When a girl finally meets a guy who could be the man of her dreams, she decides it’s best to cut all ties before things get too serious, because she’s leaving town in a couple months.
Nobody said long-distance relationships were easy, and even with all the technology available to us today, they’re still not. However, when did our ability to care for somebody have a mileage requirement or a time limit? Have we become so afraid of losing someone that we’ve chosen not to invest in relationships at all? Have we forgotten that no relationship is perfect?
I’m guilty of this, 100%. I’ve lived in three cities in the past year, and remained single the entire time. Did I meet guys who I had potential to fall for? Of course. So why did I never enter into a semi-serious relationship? Because I would make endless excuses for cutting ties with the men who I felt I could actually develop feelings for.
“Besides, I’m leaving in a couple months anyways, it’s not like he’s going to ever be my boyfriend.”
Those words were my mantra. Every time I dismissed a dude for his menu-choices, weird middle name, or taste in music, it was justifiable because “I wasn’t in the right place for a relationship anyways.” It made sense.
But did it really make sense? Could I have actually felt something for somebody if instead of running away from emotion, I confronted it regardless of where I’d be in the next couple months? Probably.
Maybe instead of listing the reasons why we shouldn’t be entering into a relationship, we should list one reason why we want to enter into one, because we actually care for that person. Our culture is so rife with horrible relationships, that we forget that it is actually possible to have a good one. Making yourself vulnerable to the person you feel for can be the scariest thing on the planet, but it could also be the best decision of your life. Instead of looking back on all the “what-ifs?” wouldn’t you rather look back on all of the lessons you learned?
There’s a whole different argument against jumping into relationships all the time, or staying in an unhealthy relationship because you think you can make things work. However, instead of planning for the future and avoiding all forms of dating in the mean time, why don’t you actually put yourself out there and live in the moment? Travel is important. Your career is important. But, if you find someone who really cares about you (or at least enjoys your company), they won’t mind that you’re hopping on a plane across the country next year and they’ll want to spend the time that you do have together cherishing every moment (rather than fearing what will happen when you do finally leave). Life is immeasurably precious, but so is love. Take a chance on it, and see what happens.