How The Hook-Up Culture Made Showing Love A Sign Of Weakness

by Dylan Noel

I recently read somewhere, "The one who cares less never gets what he/she wants." This short quote resonated alarmingly close to home for me.

This statement is blunt and true, and in this twisted and confusing time of dating, I think we can all relate. Why is it we are all so afraid of caring? When did this trend become so prevalent? When was this habit of keeping ourselves so closed off deemed the "social norm" among youths?

For so many people, from the very beginning of a relationship, we are afraid of showing another person how much we care. We are ultimately taught to hide any and all feelings because we have a huge fear of vulnerability.

All human beings fear rejection, or being deemed the "weaker" one, so we do virtually anything to avoid it.

But, since when did showing love or affection start meaning you are weak? We need to take this way of thinking and stomp it out. We need to begin to express ourselves without fear of judgment or embarrassment.

I have noticed that throughout my life, as soon as I start to develop feelings for someone, I automatically shut them down. I feel more than full of anxiety in thinking the feelings are not going to be reciprocated.

What’s worse is I will NEVER find out if the feelings are reciprocated. Most of us will never find out. Why? We refuse to address the subject.

We totally ignore the fact that we care for this person in front of us. We convince ourselves he or she does not feel the same way. Over and over in our heads, we say, “He or she would let me know if he or she wanted to be serious with me.”

The ironic thing is the other person is probably thinking the same exact thing.

The both of you are too prideful to let the other know your exact feelings, so you stay in this weird lull of not knowing where you stand. We automatically assume by showing how much we care about someone, we are going to come off as clingy or obsessive, and ultimately push away the person we want closest to us.

We don’t realize that by avoiding the potential heartbreak of unreciprocated feelings, we are also blocking out so much love from our lives.

I am letting you know loud and clear: There is nothing cowardly about being honest and open about how you feel. Opening up and becoming vulnerable despite the heartbreak that might come next is exactly the opposite of weak. This behavior is a sign of bravery and strength. It is honest, and it is real.

And, for anyone who is now thinking, “But I don’t want to ruin what I have now by complicating it,” stomp out that notion also. Don’t minimize your feelings or needs for the convenience of anyone else.

There is nothing more detrimental than investing time in someone who does not value your time.

You will absolutely never know how someone feels about you if you do everything in your power to keep him or her from knowing how you feel. So, show love with no remorse. If the love is reciprocated, bask in it and let it continue.

If the love is shut down or looked down upon, gently let that person go. Either way, your respect for love will be anything but weak.