We’ve all been there. We’re fresh out of a relationship and hunting for a rebound, wounded over something else, or fed up with being single, or a magical combination of all of the above. We can’t stand being alone, and our standards sink so low that we’re willing to lie next to anyone at night as long as they’re warm.
“Desperation is a stinky cologne.” – from the movie Super Troopers
I bet desperation smells like overripe bananas, more like alcohol than sugar. People know whenever you’ve got it. They give you the side eye. They say things like, “I was pretty clear…” and “I’m sorry. I don’t understand why you feel that way… ”They avoid you or outright run. Sometimes, though, they know you’re so game for whatever that they’ll chase you.
Desperation doesn’t look (or smell) good on anyone. If you exhibit any of the following behaviors, time to embrace being single for a while and / or maybe see a therapist.
- You swipe obsessively.
You open your dating apps whenever you have a spare moment, and then you’re just searching. You change the age range, the match radius – older, younger, closer, farther. You swipe right on everyone, or you swipe left on everyone. You’re either too discerning or not too discerning at all. Doesn’t matter you are always looking.
- You settle immediately.
They’re clear with you from the beginning that they want a no-strings-attached kind of thing, and that’s not usually your style, but you say you’re cool with it. Once they get into your bed, you’re certain they’ll fall in love with you anyway. Hearts are in people’s genitals, right?
It doesn’t matter that they ride a bike everywhere because their license was suspended after their last DUI. Doesn’t matter that they don’t shower enough or that they talk about the most boring bullshit for hours. As long as they’re down, so are you. “Convenient” is the only quality you’re looking for.
- You bend over backwards.
You compliment them and buy them gifts. You’re super generous in bed. You give up doing something you want to do for something they want to. You actually give up everything for whatever they want to do.
You pretend you’re cool with no labels. Your instagram is full of pictures of them; you’re not anywhere on theirs. You let them curl up in your arms and talk to you about other people they’re interested in.
- You move way too fast.
It’s been like one date, and you’re already talking about the future. You aren’t talking about these things generally, like “I hope to get married someday.” You’re talking specifically, like, “I could see myself marrying you.”
You tell them your deepest darkest awfuls without even knowing whether they’re trustworthy. You make up excuses to stay more and more nights at their place. You try to leave things there: clothing, a toothbrush, your favorite book. There are some obvious dealbreakers, but who cares? Once they meet your parents, they’ll really love you!
You tell them you love them before you’re even sure you feel that way. You think, briefly, that it might just be the lust and infatuation carrying you away, but no matter. You try to ignore how much it smarts when they say “Thank you” instead of “I love you too.”
- You’re blowing them up.
Text message, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail. You watch all their stories. You leave posts and comments. You like or heart every picture, tweet, or status update.
They say they’ll call you, but when they don’t, you call or text them ten times in a row. Maybe they forgot, right? You’re helping them out!
When they say they were busy or that you should really lay off contacting them so much, you brush it off… until they block or ghost you. No matter though! You text their phone from your e-mail, you create new social media accounts. You try to slide into their DMs or create new dating profiles to match with them again.
- You’re always available.
Whenever they text, “U up?” you are. You rearrange your entire life at a moment’s notice. Doesn’t matter if they asked you to meet them at a bar fifteen minutes before you were going to leave to attend your niece’s ballet recital. Doesn’t matter if you have a big presentation at work or an exam tomorrow. You’re a Walmart, a 7/11. You’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- You cling. So hard.
You don’t like the idea of “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” You actually think constant presence is going to turn this lukewarm lump of a relationship into something sparkly.
You ask where they’re going all the time and invite yourself or just show up. You stay the night at their place, and you’re still there when they get back from work the next afternoon (you thought it would be nice to clean up their place a bit). Whatever you’ve got going on may have started out as a casual, once-a-week thing, but you quickly make it clear that you’re ready for forever.
We’ve all been this thirsty at one time or another. The problem is, we rarely find love or peace when we’re in this state. We’re just constantly hungry because we’re not eating what we actually need. If you find yourself desperate for love, it’s time to take a step back and be single, and maybe too step into a therapist’s office to get some clarity, help, and self-love.