Let’s just jump right into this:
Are your back burners, whether on social media or in real life, making you a terrible person?
Getting involved with someone new, or even getting back together with someone from your past is a pretty exciting, yet ridiculously vulnerable time for most people. Each party sort of vies for the upper hand, being able to at the end of the day feel as if though no matter what, they are desired, and they are desired more than they desire the other person. (We are really f—– up, by the way). So when that overwhelming feeling of “I am really into this person/Hope it’s reciprocated/Am I imaging something that doesn’t exist?” hits you like a ton of bricks, you tend to set your temporary, almost meaningless sights on back burners. Back burners are either ex flames, people met in bars whose numbers you purposely didn’t lose, and/or the nightly pickings from the dating apps that are becoming less and less taboo. The commonality amongst all of these options, however, is that if worse comes to worse with your current partner, any one of these people could account as a Plan B.
You might be calling this shady, and you might be shaking your head saying “God Julia, that’s so wrong.” First of all, I’m not saying that I’m someone who’s messing around with this, though I understand where it comes from. Second of all, my purpose in writing this blog is to get the conversation going, talk things out, all while sounding moronic so that you don’t have to. So personally, I think we need to take a look into why we feel the need to sort of “employ” a back burner in the first place. Is it that we feel like we’re not getting something from our partners? Are we jaded from some failed past relationship? Or is it just what Jill’s doing so we should probably follow suit because Jill always comes out on top? F—–g Jill. She was also the first of the group to get a Prada bag.
I think we just enjoy having options. It could also stem directly from a self esteem issue that could have been the result of a failed relationship, but aren’t I always the first one to tell you that you have to let that shiz go? *Cue Idina Menzel* It’s nice to have options because we have room to mess up. If Plan A doesn’t work out, we don’t have to free fall into pints of ice cream and romantic comedies. All it takes is a quick and creepy Facebook message “Hey, you’re my favorite thing to look at when I’m pretending to be Googling investment tactics” and voila! Plan B, gainfully employed.
That’s how we imagine it will work out, at least. In reality, what it really does is cause a rift. You start to withhold trust from one another, walk on egg shells, relationship fails, and then you wonder why you feel like you constantly need a backup. I get that the thought of putting all our eggs in one basket seems terrifying, especially when put like that, but for the love of all things holy, at some point you have to just go full force. Otherwise, you will keep parading through these half a—d relationships in search of something that might just be right in front of you.
Most of us in living in the digital world find things out. It no longer takes the employment of the CIA to be savvy enough to figure out that a partner is attempting to turn up the heat somewhere else. Please don’t be stupid.
Here’s my advice: Either suck up that vulnerability because it’s all in your head, or if it’s something you know is happening for real (example: seeing it firsthand on Facebook), then put on your big boy/big girl pants and strut away.