So many people in my life are under the impression that getting into a relationship is going to save them. Save them from the bitterness that can come from being left alone, or from their own dissatisfaction with themselves, I don’t know, I’m not particularly omnipresent. All I know is that we are obsessed with finding other people to fill the empty spaces, to confirm that we are, in fact, beautiful and to fulfill our basic desires to fix what we recognise is broken in ourselves and other people. As soon as we find that person, we put our lives on hold, we choose them over our friends, we stop socialising and spend Saturdays huddled in a two-man love bubble of pyjamas and movies. It seems like we are species who wish to explore the world and extract all we can get out of our lives, but only as a temporary distraction from our own perpetual loneliness.
I have such a problem with that though. Out of all of the potential things in the world that could possibly irk me, co-dependent relationships take one of the top spots, right next to self-righteous bigotry, but that’s a rant for another day.
Why does it upset me? I seem to be perfectly happy curled up in bed, eating Chinese food, listening to obscure indie playlists and blogging furiously. I’ve got this whole independence thing down ya’ll. I don’t have to teach someone that I hate too much icing on my cupcakes (not a euphemism) or that they don’t have to ask which kind of tea I’d prefer because I honestly can’t tell the difference, or that drinking coffee makes me anxious. I like disappearing for a few hours without telling someone where I am and I love not feeling obligated to tell that someone what they mean to me every 2 god damn minutes. I like not being smothered (things that irk me number 3).
It upsets me because I’ve done it. I spent quite a chunk of last year being completely suffocated under the weight of someone who needed my external validation, who hated it when I did anything without him and who felt threatened by how many friends I had because he had none besides for me and his dog. I let it happen because I thought the fact that he was trying so hard was a good thing and I’m stubborn and competitive so proving everyone wrong makes me really happy. Now I’ve been cursed with the gift of foresight and experience. I have to stand by and watch while most of my friends go through the same thing I did, and I can’t do anything because they have to decide for themselves that they’re worth more than persistent phone calls and constant tears.
They need to be able to walk away at any time. They need to have the strength to delete their number, erase their messages and walk away intact. They need to reserve some attachment, they need to know that if they leave that they carry enough self-respect to be able to patch themselves up without falling apart.
I feel like society keeps telling us to love and be ourselves while at the same time pushing the point that we can only love ourselves fully when someone else is loving us too. It’s this sick vicious cycle of falling into a less-than-ideal partnership all in the name of loving ourselves and then not loving ourselves enough to be able to crawl out of the toxic hole we’ve gotten sucked into.
I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t let the presence of 2 blue ticks and no reply define me, that I’ll never let someone tell me I can’t do something and that I’m not going to die alone just because I prefer sitting on the floor of libraries and reading poetry anthologies instead of going on coffee dates with some guy who doesn’t read and who I feel obligated to like because society says I’m not a complete person without him.
The thing is, Society, we’re essentially, perpetually, alone. We’re born alone, die alone and despite the fleeting company we keep, we are, in all finality, alone.
We need to figure out how to gain back the love we keep losing before we can give anymore of it away. Co-dependency is a temporary madness in which most people never recover, because hardly anyone can fully except that we are just an advanced breed of monkeys, on a minor planet of a very average star, and we’re alone.