Finding love is hard. Hell, dating, meeting new people, and even just amping yourself up to land in the correct mental space to entertain seeing a new person in a romantic setting can be incredibly arduous.
Yet everyday, many of us put ourselves out there and attempt to find love in a broken space. Some of us step cautiously through the minefield of courting, anxiously awaiting a great outcome, yet solemnly preparing ourselves for the worst. Others just dive in head first, with everything that comprises their intrinsic selves on the line, desperately hoping to make an eternal love connection.
While their approaches are vastly different, their goal of finding love are one in the same. This means they both face a very common enemy: the emotionally detached dater.
Before we delve into the “douch baggery” that is the emotionally detached dater, we first need to understand that there are two distinct realms of being affectionately inaccessible — the first being emotionally unavailable and the second being emotionally detached. While many people prefer to use both terms interchangeably, they are actually very different due to one major element: emotional detachment is a cognizant choice, while emotional unavailability is an uncontrollable development.
To be emotionally unavailable is to be genuinely unable to invest your heart and soul into another person, even if you want to. The inaccessibility that lies deep within these types of individuals is often caused by past trauma, present circumstances, and/or suppressed, unresolved issues that are making their way back to the forefront of that individual’s mind. These folks just don’t have the capacity to give themselves to another in a meaningful, passionate, and reciprocal manner, whether it be a short-term struggle, a long-term battle or a lifelong constriction.
Emotionally detached people should never be confused for those suffering with emotional unavailability.
Emotionally detached people choose not to invest their hearts into another person with the full realization that their actions are solely predicated on self preservation. These are the people who may suffer a heartbreaking split or divorce, and end up saying stuff like, “I’m never giving all my love to anyone ever again.” This is the person who has the faculties to stifle their emotions from developing into anything substantive and consciously decides to put their affections on the self until they decide it’s OK to unleash them.
The thing is, I actually have zero problem with people who are emotionally detached. Hell, I was once in that same very boat. But while there is nothing wrong with being aggressively self-interested in protecting your heart, there’s a hell of a lot wrong with taking that mentality out into the dating scene.
Being emotionally detached is cool. Being an emotionally detached dater makes you a terrible human being. If you are definitively unwilling to share any form of real adoration with another person, there are two choices you can make as a decent person. The first is to find another emotionally detached person and enter into whatever situation works for you two. The second is to remove your ass from the dating scene altogether. To go out and pursue a relationship with someone who probably is entering into that scenario with the full spectrum of compassionate vulnerability and honesty is disgusting.
The most basic, unspoken agreement of dating — actual dating and not just a “friends with benefits” situation — is that you’re both entering into this arrangement with the purpose of curating a deeper bond if things work out that way. Obviously, we don’t know what the future holds, but you are effectively agreeing to mutually cultivate a relationship until you’re straddled with irreconcilable differences, or until death do you part. That is the only hope that single people have on the dating scene today; the specious hope that a like-minded life partner is laying in wait.
And it’s these people who are mercilessly crushed by emotionally detached daters who are so damn selfish they’re unwilling to be completely honest about their disinterest in love, and even more cowardly to simply take themselves off the dating scene altogether.
If you are going to decide to wall your heart off, take your ass off the dating scene. If you want to flourish in the cut-buddy lane, go right ahead. If you want to pick up toys, blow-up dolls or virtual reality headsets, go right ahead. But if you are going to court someone or allow yourself to be courted, knowing damn well the person you’re seeing isn’t emotionally detached like you, just stop. The world is filled with so many close-hearted people, that literally the least you can do is not contribute to the growing sea of folks who are like that.
Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.