A Self-Worth Guide to 21st Century Relationships

Now, more than ever, the line between what’s expected from two people that are “talking” is jagged and fraught with inconsistencies. One friend may tell you to wait ten minutes before opening that Snapchat or else you’ll look too available. On the other hand, another might say that games only serve to prolong the inevitable break. However, if this person you’re pursuing was emotionally available in the same way, they wouldn’t care how quickly you replied or watched their story. What’s worse, is that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy, the romantic turmoil in your life spurs into interesting conversations over coffee… and dinner… and at parties, until it’s one of the only things on your mind. It’s almost as if you spoke it into existence. Shockingly, there’s a completely logical explanation as to why we seem to chase after unfulfilling relationships.


Fear not, this person you’re fixated on hasn’t utterly dismantled your inner independent woman from the inside out. There’s a reason you continue to go back to someone that’s giving you mixed signals and inconsistent affection. It has nothing to do with whether or not you left them on “read.” According to Shahram Heshmat from Psychology Today, games are all about control. Who is winning, who is losing, and who essentially has the upper-hand? As evidenced by gambling, we are reward-driven creatures, no matter how many times you lose at the slot machine if you have that last quarter, you’re more inclined to throw caution to the wind in favor of the riches that lie beyond. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201707/why-do-we-love-chase) Toxic relationships operate under the same set of principles as the slot machine when we justify the actions of someone that we want to return our affection. Heshmat further explains that the inconsistent reward keeps you running back to the same person that ignored your text for the last 3 hours, in hopes that they’ll act right this time. You’re not wrong for wanting to see the best in people and rationalize their bad behavior. In fact, they’ve probably got a cornucopia of lovely traits to combat the sketchy way they’re treating you that you use as evidence to make excuses for them. Just as likely, they don’t treat you poorly 24/7, otherwise, you wouldn’t be interested. They give you just enough attention and reward to keep you hooked.  

Perhaps, you’ve even treated someone this way yourself, it’s important to acknowledge the involvement you may have in some of these toxic relationships. Especially in today’s society when commitment issues seem to go hand in hand with our ever-shortening attention spans.

Put down your quarters, love and lust aren’t a slot machine. If you’re getting mixed signals, it’s because they aren’t interested in you in the same way; as people, we tend to go after what we want. People tell you who they are, just as well, it is your duty to yourself to listen to your own opinion and cut your losses, no matter how addicting these interactions are. You deserve someone who shows up for you consistently and cares about your emotions.  


Credit: Cover ,1 , 2,  3