Of demiromantics and fickle lovers

Shagufta Tasnim Nur and Farhat Afzal argue that carrying on with casual relationships that have no real emotional connection does not guarantee an ultimate happy ending

Commitment in relationships is daunting for many youngsters today, and they tend to steer as clear away from it as possible. Instead, when life’s stress becomes too much for our tolerance, we become self-occupied and try to please only ourselves, leaving disastrous relationships in our wake.
With the boom of dating apps and Internet social networking, instant indulgence and gratification has become a trending need for a large number of youths. They are pulled into casual hook-ups and superficial relationships, which offer the ephemeral assurance that we are not alone. These people tend to sing the anthem that love and commitment in relationships is ‘uncool and cheesy’.
There are points of justification that fickle lovers bring forth for backing up their preference of disseminating relationships. The most common reason has to be the fact that they do not believe in ‘happy endings’ and that ‘love doesn’t work for them’. This can be roughly translated into fear of vulnerability and change, and the lack of self-confidence.
Fickle lovers have a tendency to fear substantial change. This fear feeds the idea that being in a relationship will change the way they operate and how they interact with people, when they do not want to change at all. Of course commitment to a relationship will have to be accommodated in one’s lifestyle with some changes, but the concern should not be that there might be changes but whether the changes enhance the quality of life.
In addition, there is always the fear of being hurt by opening up and committing in a relationship. Although one should be careful, they should still take risks and give chances to potential lasting relationships by contributing proper effort. Another reason for fleeting relationships is busy schedules and how the little entertainment in the form of a dispensable relationship is much more rewarding and stress-free than the effort involved in handling a serious relationship.
Some think they will have the time to be serious later, but they often lose their ability to be sincere and even lose people they had real chances with in the first place.
In a time, when romantic relationships are as easily broken off as they had started, there might be merit after all in looking into demiromantics. Not everyone in this world gets attracted the moment their eyes meet with someone else’s across the room. Not everyone is drawn to a stranger and start planning a detailed future with that person. In fact, there are plenty of people who fall in this group, known as demiromantics, these people only experience romantic attraction after developing an emotional attraction beforehand.
The human sexuality spectrum is pretty complex and not black or white. Demiromantic is the romantic counterpart of demisexual. They are the ones who develop romantic feelings for someone after they have a strong emotional connection with that person.
You might say what is so special about them that they need to be distinguished as a whole new identity? Why do we define someone as introverted? We do it because the word describes them as a person. Similarly, demiromantic is a detail that describes an individual. We live in a culture where we are constantly presented with positive representations of blind dates, celebrity crushes and the evilest culprit of all, the concept of love at first sight. All of this is utter nonsense. What if that attractive person you met in public transport is actually a homicidal creep or someone with a weird foot fetish? In addition to being completely unrealistic, such depictions also set up false standards for the rest of us who would never fall for such a poorly concealed trap. Yes, it can be called a trap because falling in love with a stranger sounds like an unnecessary, painful and undoubtedly messy experience.
Sure, you may argue and say that this does not mean non-demiromantics are constantly crushing on strangers. That is certainly true but most people do feel that way frequently. Mostly it might be towards their significant other but at other times, they are attracted towards a passerby on the sidewalk or even the barista at the neighbourhood café. For a demiromantic, there has to be a gap of years between each time they are attracted to a person; or there maybe one person that have caught their eye.
In some cases, physical appearance does not play a significant role in the preference of demiromantics. They will come across someone who looks pretty ordinary to them at first but after a while, the very plain-looking person will become attractive to the demiromantic if the two develop an intense bond that is purely based on emotions.
Some people seem perfectly happy without committed relationships but it really comes to mind whether those casual hook-ups are just temporary fixes to get the quota of love and companionship every human requires to keep sane. It may feel like the best of both worlds- getting emotional and physical contact whenever needed and then being able to shun it whenever it is too much to handle – but this sort of lifestyle takes a toll. With each shallow, temporary relationship, satisfaction decreases until one realises how hollow they feel and have no one who truly knows them. They end up losing loved ones because of lowering their expectations over every bond that they had in life; as one puts in more time into a casual relationship, they become accustomed to shallow connections. They become less likely to open up and share their states of mind to discuss feelings and personal details. This eventually has a severe strain over a person’s psyche and ability to bond with others. And that affects all other relationships the person may have in life and disrupt them, making the person more lonely and depressed.
But, of course, these consequences come along too late and thus people go on enjoying the timely privileges of a casual relation.

– Shagufta Tasnim Nur is a business undergrad student at the Institute of Business Administration and enjoys writing short fiction.

– Farhat Afzal is an architect by qualification, teacher by profession and writer by passion.

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