Experience: The "Don't-Catch-Feelings" Community
I started out dating with my “Don't Catch Feelings (DCF)” banner flapping wildly in the wind. I was young and already i had become very jaded. Let me see, did i have those proverbial romantic tummy butterflies then? I believe i did, until sprayed them all with proverbial Raid. Hehe. Anyway, i was the poster child for this ‘no feelings caught’ business. Of course, this led to a relatively dysfunctional relationship. It was like dating an ice princess. Poor guy.
I have to admit, it was a little fun. Not having to deal with drama. If he acted up, i’d just grab a pineapple-based cocktail and sail away on a raft, humming along to Harry Belafonte. I had zero time for drama, which, if you ask me is a pretty sweet deal.
Recently, the art of “Not catching feelings” has been on the rise. People are eagerly choosing to be in “relationships of convenience”, with minimal or no responsibilities, you hang around, take what you want and enjoy the sunny days and fun nights. I’ll admit it’s very handy when it comes to avoiding getting heartbroken, even though it all begins with getting heartbroken in the first place!
The psychological term associated with the 'DCF' rave is “Dissociation”. Dissociation is a coping or defense mechanism which people employ to manage, survive or hack impending or contingently difficult situations. It’s usually caused by trauma, in this case emotional trauma and the effects of dissociation is moderately mild. Psychologists, however, suggest that we are designed to connect, to build relationships and nurture them, i.e we are wired to catch feelings! Pickle, hmm?
So what to do? Stick with the desire to build relationships based on love and a deluge of emotions with a seemingly normal person or put up the walls asap? As a past DCF chairperson and wall-builder extraordinaire, what would i advice people to do?
Ideally, i should scream “Catch feelings! Fall in love!” from the top of a roof to everyone bearing the banner but i won’t. Partly because, my ice princess-pineapple cocktail-Harry Belafonte relationship mentioned above ended pretty badly just because i chose to dip my banner just a little bit for him. I thought, maybe, he might be worth leaving the DCF community for, to resurrect the tummy butterflies for, to stop drinking those cocktails for and actually work at a mature relationship with; but then *insert china breaking sound* Heart. Broken. All. Over. The. Floor.
This is where the DCF community would smack me over the head and say “Gosh, you were doing so well! WE NEVER CATCH FEELINGS, remember?” Then they’d proceed to expel me as the poster child. Lol.
After that experience, it was like i tattooed the banner all over myself. Lol. I was like a mutant with Feelings Ricocheting super-powers; harder than “the thing” and colder than “J. Frost”. I couldn’t cry, not even if i wanted to and that was the best part. Whenever any guy acted out, i grabbed two cocktails this time and sailed away.
I believe in loving completely and totally but how realistic is it to love a partner after awful heartbreaks? Do the DCF community have a point? Yes, they do; be careful who you fall for, don’t love recklessly, guard your heart. It’s too precious and the predators aren’t that hard to identify. We always see the signs!
On the other hand, loving freely and intensely must have its benefits and it does—in the right relationship with the right person.
Eventually, i retired from DCF, i met Ed and he taught me that i could have the best of both worlds—catch all the feelings that i possibly could while sailing away on a raft with a significant other, both of us drinking pineapple based cocktails and humming along to Harry Belafonte, of whom he’s a huge fan!
Sweet deal, huh?