Digital & Online - RELATIONSHIPS


Written by Gabe Jenkinson / Art by Alexander Antonioni

It always seems to come at the moment I least expect it. Everything is going great and things only seem to be getting better. Our dates go on for far longer than we plan for them to, yet they seem all too brief. Our embraces are passionate and intense, yet intimate and meaningful. And we talk about everything, spending hours recounting our pasts, detailing our presents, planning our futures – and sharing our brightest hopes and our darkest secrets. Sometimes all day, sometimes all night.

And then, one day, silence. Where hardly a minute would go by without a notification containing their name popping up on my phone, the screen would go dark for hours. Not a word for days.

They must be busy with something. They’re studying for exams! They’re tied up at work! They’re dealing with some personal issues! I’ll hear from them soon. Why would I not? There’s no need to worry.

And yet they retweeted a meme last night. They were active on WhatsApp an hour ago. They just posted a story to Instagram. I prepare myself for the bad news, but somehow I’m still never ready for the words that inevitably follow:

‘Hey, can we talk?’

They always say it has nothing to do with me and that I’m a great guy who they loved spending time with. They say they’re just not ready for something serious right now, or just too busy to give me the attention I deserve, or still not over their ex. ‘We should just be friends.’ They mean acquaintances, at best. ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ I’m never convinced.

It must be something I did. It has to be something I said. Maybe that one meme I sent them was a little too edgy? Or maybe that story I told them was a little too long? Maybe they’ve found somebody else, somebody better. Maybe they never liked me at all?

Or maybe there really is no reason. Using the mind to understand matters of the heart is an exercise in futility. People are complex and confusing, even to themselves. Sometimes there really is no explanation for why people feel the way they do, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Me, them, or even you. We could ask all the questions in the world, and still never get an explanation that makes sense.

In the end, the only question that truly matters is whether or not any of that matters in the first place. Why waste time with someone who won’t give you the time of day? Why torture yourself with questions that are impossible to answer? And most importantly, why worry about what went wrong with this person, regardless of how special they are, when there will always be someone else out there?  Someone who is probably asking themselves the exact same things right now.

Someone with whom even the longest dates will pass like seconds. Someone with whom even the steamiest nights will be full of the most tender moments. Someone with whom even the most difficult conversations will flow endlessly. Someone with whom, considering our pasts and understanding our presents, we’ll start to see a future—

And everything will make sense.

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