For those of you who haven’t gotten a chance to see my show Oasis Love, what are you doing? Nah, I kid. There’s a scene in Oasis Love that breaks down my relationship with online dating and explores the neurotic person that I can be.
I don’t know where it stems from, or if everyone really goes through it, but I really need to know where I stand with other people. I absolutely don’t need everyone to like me (trust me, that part of me died a long time ago), but I do get very anxious when it comes to knowing what’s going on in a relationship. This obviously extends to friendships. I’m that weirdo who checks every so often to see if you’ve read a message and if you haven’t responded to said read message (even though you read it a few days ago), I I start to worry that I’ve done something to annoy you or piss you off. (So I guess… I do care about certain people liking me… still not a brick wall… yet 😉 ) Now, this does stem from personal experiences of being ghosted and of ghosting myself. (Yes, I’ve done it. No, I’m not proud of it… but as I grow older I tend to tell people where I stand with them.)
Now this is isn’t always true, because sometimes you tell someone off and you think they get the point, but months later they come back and you can’t really get more explicit than: I’m really not interested in this friendship, I don’t feel like we have a connection and it’s not really going anywhere. Yup, I’ve said that. To multiple people actually. Sometimes people find it hard, but that’s the thing… I would much rather you tell me that, then have me chasing after you asking how things are, only to have you disappear a few messages later.
Recently, for my mental health, I’ve had to cut a number of old friends from my life. This isn’t because I hate them, but because I realised how crazy our friendships made me feel. There are a number of friendships in my life that involve me reaching out and checking in on people making sure that they are in a good place, but a lot of it isn’t reciprocated. That’s fine. I’m not going to complain about it, and also know that I’m not a “victim” of anything. I just don’t well in these friendships. Again, I need to know that you’re putting in the effort, you actually give a shit and this friendship is helping both of us grow.
Social Media and advertising is something I do as a profession, so I find myself on Facebook a lot, or Instagram or Twitter, you know.. everything. And I noticed how sad I was getting when I’d see photos of friends I haven’t talked to in a long time, or friends I’d constantly reach out to who would say “yeah, let’s hang out soon” or friends who say they’re going to make time for you, but never do. And yeah, I get it… I’m a millennial, we are the flakiest generation there has ever been (probably, I mean I haven’t lived in any other generation), but shit Netflix… HUUUUUUUUUGEEEE distraction from hanging out with people. And I get it, I really hate leaving the house too. But there are definitely some damn good friends of mine who I would drop everything for and chill.
Back to the social media thing though, I don’t know why it is that seeing other people’s photos (especially the ones who I know don’t care about our friendship as much as I do) bothers me so much. It’s such a simple thing. And everyone keeps saying things like, “Well don’t let it get you down…” But how do you train yourself not to let it bug you?
I know K and I talk about it a lot. He says he doesn’t understand a lot of my friendships. Says, “You’re friends are the biggest flakes on earth, so why do you care anymore? Don’t get your hopes up, still, make plans, but know that there’s a 95% chance that they will get cancelled.” I tried really hard to think that way, but it just made me want to end my friendships more. Because again, it’s not about seeing someone all the time, but it’s about them being there when you need them most because you’re there when they need you most.
For a while, I would message people whenever I got that gut feeling of, “I don’t know where we stand anymore… why won’t you answer me? Are we okay? etc, etc.” But more recently, I’ve decided to let that go. I’ve started to unfollow people and try not to care. It’s an odd thing to think about and sounds pretty damn petty, but it’s crazy how much the online world helps influence emotions. I’m not really afraid to tell people how I feel about them, because why should you be? If you don’t like someone, why not just say it to get them off your backs? I mean that’s the thing… if you don’t like me, lemme know… I’ll leave ya alone.
The scene from Oasis Love is one of my favourite scenes because we think we’re helping other people by not telling them we’re not interested. And again, I’m not saying I’ve never done it before, I’m just saying it’s a really shitty thing we do to others. Think about it like this… If I’m asking you how you feel about me, I’m probably already assuming the worst.
Two year ago I went out with this guy a few times. He used to ignore me quite a bit but then would pop back out of nowhere saying he wanted to hang. The last time we went out on a date he kissed me, walked me to the bus stop and said he’d like to see me again. (If you’ve seen Oasis Love you know this story already.) He ghosted me for weeks after. I try not to be that person who texts “hi”, “hi”, “how’s it going?”, “long time no talk” and I wasn’t with him. But I was so hurt because I liked him so fucking much. And we actually hit it off. And I remember sending him a really long message after his not responding to for maybe a month basically telling him how much I liked him and how I had a feeling he didn’t like me back even though he initiated a kiss, he initiated “I’d like to see you again” and yet ignored me… And he didn’t respond till another month later, which started with… “I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think we would be better as friends.” Bro. I made it so fucking easy for you. I told you I had that feeling. You don’t need to spare my feelings at that point. You’ve literally stomped on them. (And that happens a lot with me surprisingly.) ‘Cause I let you know that I have a crush on you. Trust me. I will absolutely tell you I like you, but I will also let you know that it’s okay if you don’t like me back. Again. Not everyone has to like me, I just need to know that you don’t so I don’t waste my time chasing you for no reason.
I get not everyone’s okay with being shut down. And I know that it can make things awkward. But when someone gives you an out and tells you they’re going to be fine, just let them know. Don’t feel like you have to spare their feelings. They’ve probably been trying to process it that whole time. Even if they haven’t, why would you let them sit on it until they go crazy.
I feel like that was kind of raw for me and something that I don’t really want to post, but it’s for that reason that I made the blog, right? About healing open wounds or talking through shit that’s running through my mind and bothering me. I don’t know, anyone else feel like they’ve been in this boat? Sometimes I feel like I’m re-living my 13-year old “emo phase”, but I’m trying to understand the fact that every emotion is valid. That you shouldn’t have to feel sorry for feeling. You just need to process it and see why, and hopefully fix it.
Goodnight everyone. Hope you’re well.