Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Someday you'll wish you were a better man.

The thing about relationships is this: it's a thousand times easier to act like you give a damn, than it is to pretend like you don't care.

In friendships, it's almost obligatory to act like you care-- regardless of the fact that a girlfriend has had the same dilemma with a boyfriend 400 times, if we care at all about that relationship, as a friend, we force ourselves to care. Doesn't matter if you're regurgitating the same advice for the 401st time; if they're really important, their problem is your problem. The closer the friend, the closer to home the problem hits: indirectly pulling you into the drama. But at the end of the day, if we're lucky enough to have a few trustworthy chums, we make it through. After all, knowing that someone empathizes and understands (or at least pretends to) us is the reason that we're able to function-- if we had nowhere to unload, how could we possibly ever feel better?

Significant other relationships are slightly different. If you're lucky enough to have someone that outwardly acknowledges that you are their better half, it's a requirement to care. Which, if I remember correctly is the reason why I used to ask such trivial questions: "How was your day?" or "What did you eat for dinner?". I feel like it's those everyday exchanges that make a couple, a couple. The mutual love and affection for each other is what makes such mundane answers strangely captivating. You don't act like you care in these relationships-- you actively, genuinely care, sometimes so much so that it's explicable even to yourself. At the end of the day though, if you're fortunate enough to have someone who asks you what you had for lunch and actually cares about your answer; you know that they really do give a damn, even if it's because they're required too.

For the rest of us single, bitter, lost, lonely, heartbroken souls-- it's a constant struggle to pretend like we don't care. We're constantly battling each other, fighting to be together-- struggling not to be alone. Then, we battle with ourselves-- trying so hard to look happy, and whole; that we're all perfectly fine without a significant other (pretending like we don't care that we're alone). And it's this constant fight that makes us "single" individuals lost and bitter, lonely and heartbroken.

"Single" is not synonymous to available. For the past six months or so I cared too much. That, in and of itself is wearying. If you can, just imagine how much more exhausting it is when you're pretending like you don't care.

He didn't text me today? I don't care.
He hasn't said anything about wanting to see me in two weeks? I don't care.
He's too tired to drive all the way over here to see me? I don't care.
And so on, and so forth.

But really, I care.
I feel like I would be a lot less emotionally fatigued (now, after a year and a half) if I had simply let my repressed emotions be what they were. I was so concerned about his well being and the thought that if I was difficult or angry with him that...
I guess by trying to repress my real emotions, the question that I was trying to avoid was,
"He doesn't want me?"
I don't not care.

I have spent these past seven or eight months trying to convince myself and everyone around me that I don't care if he cares. When, in fact, the only thing I've ever wanted to know was that he cared. So for him, it's easy to turn it on every once in a while to appease me-- it's much easier for him to pretend to care about me when he needs me, then it is for me to stop caring for him all the stinking time, even when I don't need him.