FOMO: "Fear of Missing Out"
Has anyone ever heard this phrase before? If you have, it has most likely been related to missing out on weekend plans with friends while you're stuck at some family gathering with you third cousin, twice removed. "Fomo" is a real thing, but have you ever considered how it applies to the dating world?
Rather than point fingers in this post, I'm going to be honest when I say I am guilty of letting fear get in my way. I have prematurely passed up opportunities with guys in an effort to prevent myself from getting stuck in the wrong relationship and as a result, miss out on "the one."
I can't say I'm doing it all wrong, though. It's true, you don't know unless you try. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, but what if the fear of missing out is the one thing that actually stops us from settling for anything less than what we deserve? From what I have witnessed in my dating journey, labels can be downright terrifying. Some may argue that this is the reason the modern day dating world centers around minimal emotional attachment. Once you label your situation you immediately take on a responsibility to someone other than yourself. For me, the label has never been my cause of fear. What scares me the most is the thought of being stuck in a relationship that just isn't right and missing out on the type of person that makes my heart beat out of my chest. My fear is missing out on something great because I was just "passing the time" with someone. I mean, shit, if I don't know what I'm looking for how am I supposed to know what it feels like when I find it?
So, while some may say not committing to any one person, or having "fomo" is just a cop out, I have to say I disagree to a certain extent. Clearly, there are people out there that are using the art of non-commitment as a crutch, but some of us aren't dodging the responsibility, we are simply waiting on the relationship that lives up to our standards. Could it be proven then, that this generation is not just a large bunch of lazy daters, but rather less willing to try to settle for anything less than fireworks kind of love? It seems like as we get older, our checklist gets longer and longer. We all want someone with a good career, a certain level of attractiveness, family values, etc. When someone doesn't meet your standards it always seems to be a disappointment, no matter how small. For most of us, we believe in love. But, can we identify love? That's where the struggle lies. It seems that the ultimate goal here is trying to get out of our heads and into our hearts.
Fear is something that can hold you back on so many accounts. However, mindlessly jumping into new relationships can be just as harmful when you consider the amount of messy break-ups you could potentially face. It seems then, our only option is to find a happy medium. As comedian Katt Williams once said, "You got to get real in tune with yo motha fu%$in' star player!" In simpler terms, tune in and act from a place of mindfulness in whichever direction you choose. Take a chance when it feels worthwhile, but don't try to just pass the time.
Michele is a former St. Louis Rams Cheerleader living in St. Louis. Follow Michele from the sidelines of the NFL to the sidelines of the modern dating world.