Brick By Boring Brick [will anything ever be enough for our swipe right romantics]

Most people say that ‘Love Island’ is their guilty pleasure, but for me there is no guilt. I get alarmingly obsessed with watching a multitude of slight variations on what society has deemed to be appropriately ‘attractive’ people. For those of you who are lucky enough to have a life right now and don’t watch it; the premise is simple. ITV lock a handful of Instagram model style singles in a villa in Spain and the aim of the game is simple: get drunk, couple up, fall in ‘love’ and win £50K. You can leave it at that, watch it six nights a week as ‘fluff’ television. Forget about it by the next morning. I almost wish I could watch it like that; but for me it casts way too strong a spotlight on so many issues and patterns of our millennial-style fairytale that I end up lying in bed at night after the hour long episode wondering if our generation will ever think someone is ‘enough’ or if we will always be left holding onto something only until someone else comes along. Will the 'level up' mentality haunt every relationship I find myself tangled up in?

 Whether you watch ‘Love Island’ or not, I think we can all agree that across any platform of social media, television shows or even movies, the search for love has been abandoned and the search for lust is in full bloom. When cast members are asked (on shows that focus on relationships) what they are looking for or what their ‘type’ is - they start by listing what color hair and eyes they find attractive. What type of build gives them fanny flutters. At twenty six I watch these TV shows and when the girl ends up sitting in the V.T room crying looking down the lens saying ‘why did he go to her, I thought he was going to work’ two days after they ‘coupled up’ I am shouting ‘Did you even know his last name’ even though to be honest, I don’t think she will hear me. If she did, she’d wonder why I even asked. I know sexual attraction is an integral aspect of a relationship but not once have I heard questions like ‘What was your religious upbringing’, ‘How is your relationship with your parents?’, ‘What was the last thing you did that you were proud of’.

Instead of trying to figure out who these people are, they are looking at one thing - their appearance. This instantly gives me alarm bells in my mind and transpires to what I dreaded - that it’s exactly like all of these dating websites that our generation are using to seek, something. Not relationships, but options. Not someone to love and be loved by, but someone who you think might bring you further along what has seemed to become the endless path to ‘true’ happiness. Chances are, you open your Tinder app and you simple sit and swipe. Right for yes, left for no. That simple. It’s almost as if people and options are indispensable. A yes or no but always in the context of ‘right now’ - prioritising immediacy over compatibility. When was the last time you read someone's bio? Or more importantly when was the last time you found a bio that actually had substance to it?

In reality how the fuck am I supposed to know if I want to put any of my time or energy into someone by looking at four awful photographs and even if I do read their bio (bearing in mind that I generally don’t, and if you claim to, you’re only lying to yourself) - reading ‘24, gym, cans, my mom, my bed’ gets me literally nowhere. I know most people are going to roll their eyes and say ‘Well bother your ass to actually get to know people’ and as much as I agree that I need to stop being judgemental and anti-trying, our generation has zero respect for actually ‘dating’ and falling in love. I have a new cycle : tinder/bumble, find someone I like, put effort in, when the third sentence is ‘show me your tits’ I sit and know I have two options. Do it, or know that I’ll simply be a closed tinder conversation while he says the same thing to the next girl.

When my parents were falling in love there was no ‘swipe right’, bumble was simply a word associated with bees and although all of these ‘looking for something better’ mentalities would of been prevalent because it’s a natural human thought I feel like it was almost non existent in comparison to how heavily it clouds all of our minds now. When they talk about how they met, how they ‘courted’ each other - it wasn’t a fairytale by any means. It was real life and it was the 60’s. There was ups and downs - but to me? It’s the closest thing to a real life love story I’ve ever got. They went on dates to a roller skating rinks, they wrote love letters, they looked for each other and at each other as a ‘home’. As their end game. But now? Instead of putting ourselves out there and really searching and seeking - all we are actually finding is bricks.

Brick by boring brick, we are still building which I guess counts for something but what structure is forming around us? One brick for the guy who slept with my best friend. One brick for the guy who emotionally manipulated me into feeling so insecure about myself that I felt grateful for him even wanting me. Etc. Etc. I have bricks there, I’m building my home - but it isn’t a home that I will ever flourish in. When I was younger I used to think romance was about red roses and princess gowns and although I wish it was actually like that I’ve had my reality check, I know love isn’t going to be like a scene from Romeo and Juliet. But I do have faith that it’s out there. I have faith that one day I will love someone so much that he / she will repaint and refill every single brick that has been weighing me down instead of keeping me stable with trust, love, gratitude, hope, faith.

But it isn’t going to be an easy battle. It’s going to involve a lot of heartache, a lot of wasted energy and time but what’s the other option? Be a brick? Be a girl that someone is dating till something better comes along? Or almost worse the extreme opposite - stay with someone and end up engaged at 25 to the first guy I slept with because I’m terrified I’ll never get any better?

 Don’t accept a brick, don’t seek bricks. Seek a home.

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