Despite What TV Tells Us, Love Is Not A Game

Despite What TV Tells Us, Love Is Not A Game

People’s emotions and sense of security are not toys to be played with.
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If you’re anything like me, you probably get very emotionally invested in the shows you watch. If you’re a lot like me, you have, at one point or another, found that you could strongly relate to a certain character, compared that character’s experiences and the events on the show to your real life (or vice versa), and used the important lessons they learned to navigate a similar situation of your own.

I’ll admit it: I’ve totally had those “if my life was a Netflix series, people would be so entertained by it” thoughts. I’ve always tried to tell myself that it’s not that weird—after all, the storyline is supposed to resemble real life, and well-written characters do start to feel like real people after a few seasons! And I think it’s fair to say that movies and TV shows definitely shape our expectations of reality to some extent. But one common television saga that should not be accepted in real life is that of the super-complicated relationship—the one that derives all its excitement and appeal from the drama, uncertainty, and never knowing what’s going to happen next. The idea that love is a game you’ve gotta play to win.

Buuuut…as you probably know even if you aren’t an avid Netflix-watcher, relationships like that exist, here and now in the real world, and are actually pretty common. I am able to write this article from a personal perspective because I, too, spent several years of my life involved with a “man” who treated our relationship—and my feelings—like a game.

He was hot and cold. We were on and off. It was a roller coaster. I knew he had many exes, and they were all “crazy.” There were arguments, usually bad ones, and then a breakup. And then the whole infamous “I still love you” thing. “The time just isn’t right. We can stay friends. Maybe one day we’ll be able to try again.” More talking, more texting. Then Facebook told me he was seeing someone new, someone he’d referred to as “just a friend.” He never mentioned it to me, though we continued to text pretty often. I may have been acting like I was cool with it, but my friends were not. They tried to get me to realize that he was lying by omission and it was totally not okay, and I pushed away the tiny little voice in my head telling me they were right. It must’ve meant something that we were still talking…

Well, apparently, it did, because no sooner had he changed his Facebook relationship status to “single” than he started to seem very interested in me again. When we got back together he told me he’d missed me. Then he had “too much going on in his life” to be in a relationship. Then I found out—unsurprisingly, not from him—that that same ex was back in his life. He told me some bullshit story that I, for whatever reason at the time, decided to believe. Then he loved me again. Then more fighting started and I called things off. I started seeing other people, and assumed he was too. That should’ve been the end of it, but for the sake of keeping this story short, let me just say this—it wasn’t.

I wish I could say that I stayed above the drama, but I can’t. As ashamed as I am to say it, I think that on some level, the unpredictability of it was what kept me hooked. But I now ask you this: can you really blame young girls for buying into the intrigue of those drama-filled relationships? It’s not like anybody wants to be hurt, pushed around, cheated on or lied to, or enter a situation that will inevitably cause a world of heartbreak, but in modern dating culture there is this deeply ingrained idea that predictability is boring, and any relationship that seems “too easy” will be unfulfilling.

It’s ridiculous. And the media definitely does not help. Movie and TV show plots that present love as a game do not help. People’s emotions and sense of security are not toys to be played with, and there should be no place for the roller-coaster drama that fuels entertainment in our real lives. If something’s telling you that you’re falling into this trap, trust your instincts. Love is an adventure, but don’t think you have to accept lies, games and constant second-guessing as just a normal part of the ride.

Cover Image Credit: counselinglongbeach.com

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Why Girls Love The Dad Bod

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In case you haven't noticed lately, girls are all about that dad bod. Girls have been dealing with body image issues since the beginning of time until recent (for those of you who consider yourselves to be "Thick thin") I hadn't heard about this body type until my roommate mentioned it. She used to be crazy over guys she claimed had the dad bod. After observing the guys she found attractive, I came to understand this body type well and was able to identify it. The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, "I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time." It's not an overweight guy, but it isn't one with washboard abs, either.

The dad bod is a new trend and fraternity boys everywhere seem to be rejoicing. Turns out skipping the gym for a few brews last Thursday after class turned out to be in their favor. While we all love a sculpted guy, there is just something about the dad bod that makes boys seem more human, natural, and attractive. Here are a few reasons that girls are crazy about the dad bod.

It doesn't intimidate us.
Few things are worse than taking a picture in a bathing suit, one being taking a picture in a bathing suit with a guy who is crazy fit. We don't want a guy that makes us feel insecure about our body. We are insecure enough as it is. We don't need a perfectly sculpted guy standing next to us to make us feel worse.

SEE ALSO: Slim Thick Is The New Thin

We like being the pretty one.

We love people saying "they look cute together." But we still like being the center of attention. We want to look skinny and the bigger the guy, the smaller we feel and the better we look next to you in a picture.

Better cuddling.
No one wants to cuddle with a rock. Or Edward Cullen. The end.

Good eats.
The dad bod says he doesn't meal prep every Sunday night so if you want to go to Taco Tuesday or $4 pitcher Wednesday, he'd be totally down. He's not scared of a cheat meal because he eats just about anything and everything.

You know what you're getting.
Girls tend to picture their future together with their guys early on. Therefore, if he already has the dad bod going on, we can get used to it before we date him, marry him, have three kids. We know what we are getting into when he's got the same exact body type at the age of 22 that he's going to have at 45.


So there you go. A simple break down of why girls everywhere are going nuts over this body type on males. We like it. We love it. We want some more of it. So here's to you dad bods, keep it up. Men, confidently strut that gut on the beach because while you stare at us in our bikinis we will be staring just as hard.

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Falling In Love Is Easy But Staying In Love Is Harder

You never see it coming and then unexpectedly, it all catches up, and you eventually realize that there is no turning back.
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Over the years that I have dated, I have fallen in love twice and stayed in love once.

The first time it happened, I was naive, emotional, and idealistic. However, in the end, I was left extraordinarily broken and unaware. For the most part, I spent a lot of time thinking about why things did not work out how we intended. It was easy until it was not.

The second time I fell in love was quite the opposite experience I went through the first time I fell in love. I was very cautious, skeptical, and built an emotional fortress for protection. Eventually, it all came crumbling down, brick by brick, until I was back to a familiar place. All that mattered was that he and I were happy and that everything felt right.

That is what falling in love is. It is a natural high, a rush of intense emotions -- anticipation, warmth, euphoria, and fear -- that takes you by force.

You never see it coming and then unexpectedly, it all catches up, and you eventually realize that there is no turning back. When you find yourself at that sweet spot, you think to yourself, "This is where I want to be. I want to stay right here forever."

As we fall in love, our affections effortlessly motivate us.

These feelings propel us to make some of the most irrational decisions or perform unexpected romantic tasks, like staying up all night talking on the phone despite having exams or an important task you have to do the next day or doing anything to spend a day with him or her.

Emotions, especially love, passion, and happiness are our strongest motivators because we will do anything to maintain them.

However, we often fail to realize that it never lasts. What goes up must come down and sometimes, it can last for a couple of months, and sometimes it can last for a couple of years.

We are often blinded by the illusion that everything good is infinite and invincible. Once you come down and reality sinks, it gets a little tricky.

When the feelings subside, we must work twice as hard to maintain and deepen the relationships.

The emotions become less intense until they stabilize into something that is just part of your everyday life. Without the intensity, the motivation eventually fades, and that is when things start to get comfortable.

Once you are in the comfort zone, the relationship either becomes stale and unappealing, or it evolves into a two-player team depending on what you do next. If you genuinely want to stay in love, choose love -- a choice build on the foundations of communication, acceptance, and selflessness.

It means being honest with your significant other while being true to yourself and understanding that compromises are the key to all healthy relationships. It means connecting and sometimes disconnecting, but always discussing your feelings without blame, assumptions, and insults so that you will never have to go to bed sad or angry.

It means knowing that your partner will make mistakes but always speaking before reacting so that the two of you can learn and grow from the experience. It means that even when you do not feel the love at any given moment, you do not give in to the short-term emotions and will instead behave and communicate with tenderness and patience. Share your vulnerabilities and consciously decide to forgive and move on.

In the end, the effort is in the decisions you make.

Deciding on anything is not easy because it requires consciousness and careful thought, whereas emotions can master you without your consent.

Choosing love is choosing selflessness and taking a much higher road -- a task that is not easily done as we are inherently in it for ourselves.

However, if we realize that temporary is easy but forever is hard, we will consistently work for the things and people who are worth fighting for while enjoying the magic and enhancement of all the is finite.

Cover Image Credit: Elizabeth Zamudio

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