The Real Reasons We Push People Away Before We Give Them A Chance

by Lauren Martin

There’s a new dating technique Millennials have picked up on. It’s called the “let’s end this before it gets started” method, and it’s really catching on.

Most likely generated from a dating culture bathed in social media and Tinder, it’s become as popular and widely used as the equally popular no-text-back response.

We’re meeting at a rapid rate and dropping at each other accordingly. We’re giving out our numbers and taking them back just as fast. We’re constantly connecting and then disconnecting.

Seriously, it’s totally different than anything we ever expected from the adult relationships we envisioned. In all our preconceived notions, it went logically: Exchange numbers, set up a date, have that date and then go home, have another date, have a few more dates... and then either get together or break up.

Pretty simple. Now, however, it goes something a little less narrow and a little more cyclical: Exchange numbers, set up a date, cancel date -- or maybe: Don't exchange numbers, meet on Tinder, have sex, exchange numbers, never call.

Because what's a canceled date (or a never-planned one) when you have plenty of others in the future?

But do you? What's the rate of exchange on these things? I'm starting to believe that just because we're giving our numbers out at an unprecedented rate, the number of us backing away before anything gets remotely close to looking like a date, or any type of scenario where one person could get hurt, is even larger.

But why? Where did all of this backing away come from? When did we become a generation without any follow-through?

When did we start giving up midway through solely because we'd rather go back home than see what could be waiting for us on the other side? When did we stop wanting to play and start becoming those kids standing on the sidelines?

I think somewhere between high school and real life, we were hurt a few times -- somewhere along the way we became less bold, less confident and less ballsy.

Somewhere along the way we decided it's easier to push people away than giving them a chance is.

Because we’re scared

It's easier to sleep at night knowing you drove them away instead of the other way around. It's easier to say that you were the one who ended it. It's easier to hurt someone before that person gets a chance to hurt you.

But is it better to be alone and miss out on opportunities, or is it better to risk a little pain? Being alone is only one possible result of being with someone, yet pushing that person away ensures that it will happen every time.

So why are you jumping the gun?

Because it’s never the right time

When is the right time to get to close with someone? When is the ideal time to begin a relationship? Newsflash: There is no right time to fall for someone.

It happens or it doesn't. It doesn't happen when you're financially ready or when you're emotionally stable. It doesn't happen when you've decided it's time or when everything is in order. It happens when you're not ready. It happens when your life is in chaos and you're a mess.

It happens at just the right time, even if you can't see that.

Because we think they’re too good for us

Assuming someone is too good for you is like taking your heart out of your chest and giving it away on a silver platter. Why the hell are you doing that? Why are you giving away all the power?

Everyone is equal, especially in love. Just because she might be the best-looking girl you've been with or he's the hottest guy you know doesn't mean anyone deserves your fear.

Pushing people away because you're scared they're going to trample all over you is like retreating before the war has even begun.

Because we think we’re too good for them

The opinion of friends and strangers has become a valid one in the new dating culture we've created. We have secret sex, secret relationships and secret breakups because we think we're better off that way.

When it comes to love, however, there is no such thing. If that person makes you happy, or could make you happy, then how is he or she not the best person you know?

You're never better than anyone, yet acting like you are definitely puts you in a category all alone.

Because we saw that one thing (and we can’t get over it)

Whether it was that small twitch in his eye or that less than perfect laugh she has, it may as well be a tendency to murder or a very obvious and disturbing obsession with clowns, because we're out of there.

Whether it's something insignificant or something less-than-insignificant, we like to find something that gives us reason to back away.

Because we're all looking for perfection... and that's totally unfeasible.