After breaking up with a long-term boyfriend who’d cheated on me, I dated half-heartedly. My overall feeling about it was meh.
I wasn’t willing to take any risks because, based on what I’d experienced, I knew they weren’t necessarily worth the costs. It’s not that I didn’t want to love or be loved; it was just that I didn’t want to be disappointed again.
“Don’t you want to find someone? Someone who treats you better than your ex?” a friend asked me.
Watch: Relationship deal breakers. Post continues below.
I shrugged. “I’m fine being single, and I’m fine dating. Doesn’t really matter to me.”
“So you’re apathetic,” she said.
I thought about it for a second and then nodded.
“Dating apathy” is just another way of describing someone who has become “love avoidant.” You may be love avoidant too if:
1. You’re super independent.
When my car battery died, the man I was dating at the time lived close by to me. Instead of calling him, I shelled out money to have a company come do it. When I was sick, I ordered delivery and took my own sick butt to the store to buy cold medicine.
Asking or receiving help from people felt like I’d owe them something, and a debt felt too much like commitment. Further, I could soothe myself and didn’t look toward the relationship as a place to do that.
2. You’re dedicated to things outside of the relationship.
We all should have hobbies or relationships that aren’t just about our romantic partner, but if we spend the majority of our time working, working out, playing sports, spending time with friends or family, then we’re likely neglecting whoever we’re dating in the process. A relationship can’t grow if we don’t give it any time to do so.
If a man wanted to see me, he had to juggle a somewhat imaginary schedule. I had a normal 9–5 job at the time, but they had to have thought I was working 80 hour work weeks with how little I seemed to be available.
3. You’re not emotionally present.
Love is impossible to develop if there’s no intimacy and vulnerability, so the best way to avoid love developing is also to avoid being intimacy and vulnerable.
When men asked me about my previous relationships, my childhood, what I thought about where I was in my life at the moment, etc., I was monosyllabic or vague, or redirected away from the conversation altogether. More often than not, I asked them questions, so I didn’t have to talk about myself.
4. You hide behind walls of silence.
One of my dates once said, “It’s so nice that we can comfortably sit in silence together.”
I thought of when Uma Thurman said that in Pulp Fiction and how she was meaning that sharing a comfortable silence with someone meant you’d found someone special.