I’ve often heard that people only start wanting you when they think that you don’t want them. It’s true; I’ve lived by it. Whether its business or friendships or especially romantic relationships, the person who cares less always seems to be the person who has the most power. At least that’s what it might feel like for the person that cares more. But I question whether this is true or not.
I have been called the, “queen of not giving a shit.” One of my many talents is that I am really good at both not actually caring, as well as acting like I don’t care. Just yesterday, some girlfriends and I were talking about boys and I quoted Almost Famous as my romance mantra, “If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt.” And it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve ultimately come off as cynical about relationships. People think it stems from really not caring; on the contrary, it stems from the fear of caring too much.
I know how to be the person who doesn’t text back, who doesn’t call back, who waits for the guy to make the first move, and who acts like I couldn’t care less whether he does or he doesn’t. Being this person comes natural to me because I have convinced myself that being the other person comes with too much potential damage. And I do think to an extent it does. I may have truly had my heart broken, and I’ve known people who have; I’ve been there for them and they for me. And that shit isn’t fun. It’s depressing and devastating and oftentimes a really long journey to returning to being okay.
But the thing is I think people who put themselves out there; people who let you know they care a lot – I think that they have the right idea. I think the human heart especially when it’s young, is really resilient. I think that the journey to being okay when one’s heart has been broken is a journey that is usually worth facing even when love hasn’t done what you wanted. But when you’re the one who cares less, who apparently doesn’t care at all, you’ll never go on this journey because you’ll convince yourself that you don’t need to. You convince yourself that you’re fine even when you’re not.
What people don’t seem to realize about the person who cares less or acts like they care less is that they’re usually the one who ends up being hurt the most or hurting the most. It is human nature to want love and to want to be taken care of and to want to take care of someone else. To deny that, is simply to deny one’s humanity. Being the “queen of not giving a shit” doesn’t make one healthier or stronger or wiser or cooler or even happier. It just makes you feel less human. It makes you feel less and less.
When it’s all said and done, even people who are perfectly lonely and perfectly alone – still need their person. Whether it’s a romantic partner, a good friend, a loyal family member – everybody needs a person. And the truth is if you act like you don’t care enough, people will eventually start to believe you. So if you feel like you care too much or feel too much or love too much, remember that the alternative is worse. We should all try to seek balance because virtue is that middle ground between any two extremes. But when it comes to love, I don’t know if there is such a thing as loving too much or showing that you love too much. And if there is, I think it’s commendable; not something to be ashamed of. Because if you don’t tell people and show people that you do care, that you do have feelings for them, that you do love them, how the hell are they supposed to know?
So I suppose you can go through life thinking that eventually someone will break down all the walls that you’ve put up, because you don’t want anyone to know how much you can care; how much you can love. But life is short and people are busy. And maybe when the right person comes along, maybe they’ll see right through you. Maybe. But if you keep telling yourself that you don’t care, maybe you’ll also start believing it and you won’t even be able to see your person when you find them. So get out while you can and start giving a shit; and if your heart breaks, let it break. Because it’ll be okay. You will be okay.