Do I love you? Not really

Do I love you? Not really

I like you. I love you. I’m sorry. (Why did you do this to me?) Don’t leave me. We’re over. Most of us have been there and felt this addictive drug called love. For the rest of you who have yet to drink the poison, let me save you the trouble of having your heart ripped out and stepped over like a muddy doormat by the person you thought loved you.

We begin to feel love, from the first touch of our mother to the first time our heart pitter pats when we look at that certain boy or girl in elementary school. As children, we thought that the only way to catch the cute boy or girl’s attention was to be mean or ignore them on the playground.

Oddly, this cat and mouse play is still used in young adulthood. Like when that tattooed biker college dropout bad boy catches the goody-two-shoes never had a boyfriend girl’s attention who falls deeply in love with him. Her parents refuse to accept this match made in heaven. These attractions have been around for centuries. Good girl falls in love with bad boy. Nice guy gets dumped by mean girl. And now with the Web and social media, we can hear about every moment of this game called love.

But what is love? Love can be categorized under many social realms. Like the unconditional love for your mother who single-handedly raised you without the need of a man. She is your German Shepherd who has been there for you since you were seven and has shown you more loyalty than anyone you know; or your best friend who you are closer to than a sister; the one you have spent 24 solid years of tears and deep secrets with. But this is not the kind of love I’m referring to. I’m talking about the so-called love that every person within a mile’s reach is sick of hearing about, along with every one of your friends on Facebook. I’m talking about the guys and girls who are drawn to damaged goods—also known as Emotionally Unstable Creatures (EUCs) or Emotional vampires.

Emotional vampires are the people in your life who suck out every last ounce of positivity and well-being and leave you feeling helpless from their negativity and problems. Instead of feeling content and at ease when this person is around, you feel exhausted, drained, and angry. You find yourself ignoring their phone calls and not responding to their texts. This is clearly your intuition screaming at you to get rid of this person before they take you down and drown you with them. But you keep listening in hopes of being the hero in that person’s life.

Being involved in a toxic relationship with an emotionally unstable person does more damage to you then these energy suckers do to themselves. Some individuals are in relationships for all the wrong reasons. You do not need to be the light at the end of their tunnel hoping to finally change that person into who you want them to be. A tiger is born with the stripes it has, and just like the tiger, these people will not change their stripes.

Or maybe our generation has become so vulnerable to anyone and everyone with a wireless connection. We have now learned to tell the world how we feel in less than 140 characters. The world shares our own personal diaries; the ones we used to keep hidden under our bed secured with lock and key. We give away our weak points to irrelevant people who look at our social pages with the intent to judge us. If they see we are doing better than them, they will find a way to make us feel bad about ourselves. Emotionally damaged people tend to do the most social media stalking. This has become a trend of our generation.

The more advanced the Internet becomes, the easier it is for your ex-girlfriend of six years to see where you took your new girl to lunch today (hoping it’s somewhere you never dined with her) or to find that your loyal boyfriend is dating someone else. The sad part is that you found this out because you were tagged in the comments under a picture of him kissing his new girlfriend on her Instagram page. It is safe to say the Internet ruined relationships, especially those subliminal tweets about your ex or those breakup quotes you’ve been posting twice a day this week (Ew! Unfollow!). Everyone will know Lisa and her boo are fighting AGAIN. Don’t be that couple; don’t settle for basic.

I’m no love doctor, but pure and honest true love is often confused with a need to fill in empty spaces in our hearts. We’re all human and that’s okay. What isn’t okay is allowing this heartbreak to lead to compulsive habits like buying that $250 dress for girl’s night that you can’t afford, or the new Air Jordan 3s. Scratch that—the new BMW M5 series that you have been bragging about all year long to your then girlfriend. Of course the real reason you bought these things is so you can post photos on Instagram and Facebook so everyone can see how you’re doing better than they are. The new girl may have your guy, but at least you look hot in that expensive new dress that you’ll be sure she sees via a tag.

Finding solid relationships that become real love takes time but before we can commit to a relationships, we have to love ourselves first. When a great guy or girl comes along, we sometimes look at them as friend material because they’re lacking the bad boy or girl gene. We find fault in their stability and kindness. Why? Because we love the chase. Instead we crave the “Sometimes” kind of guy or girl. Sometimes they call. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they text you. Sometimes they don’t. They will disappear for days with no contact and then reappear by blowing up your phone demanding to know where you were the past 48 hours. This type of relationship can make a person insane because the chase will always repeat itself and you will have invested your time and energy on an unemotionally unstable creature who is unable to commit.

Why put yourself through this misery of doubt and insecurity, when you know you deserve more? Don’t be a victim of damaged goods and allow yourself to feel belittled or manipulated by an emotional vampire. The more time you spend with the wrong person, the less time you will have for building relationships with the right people.

Despite what our heart wants, sometimes the mind is better at deciding what is best for us. Listen to your instincts and if you feel you are not being valued, then you probably aren’t. If you find yourself debating whether a relationship is worth the time, energy and love, ask yourself this question: Am I investing myself in the type of relationship I would want my own son or daughter to be in? As soon as you figure this out, everything else will start to make sense.

If you are friends with someone in a toxic relationship, it may be time to move on. Some people just can’t live without uncertainty and anxiety and will jump from bad relationship to the next. They are emotional vampires too, and they will drain you of every last ounce of healthy blood. So maybe it’s time for to move on too, or press that unfriend button.

Substance is a publication of the Mt. San Antonio College Journalism Program. The program recently moved its newsroom over to Medium as part of a one-year experiment. Read about it here: