A lot of people have anxiety about relationships. I get it too. I was once at an age where my whole life hinged on everything from will a girl look back at me, to will a girl ever talk to me, to will a girl ever go on a date with me, etc. It seemed like I spent days on being on an emotional roller coaster about them.
Deeply, madly, hopelessly in love one day, freaking out that she will never talk to me again the next. The nice thing about my dating life is that we did have some sort of distance between communication because communication wasn’t instant like it is now. If I send a text and don’t get a return one within a few minutes, I know they just don’t want to talk to me, or they are in the one spot in the United States where T-Mobile or Verizon doesn’t cover. Back then, I would call with no guarantee they were even at their house, or they could have just been ignoring me.
Thankfully, I could just justify that they were gone. Now, you find out that they are either instantly in love with you, or they are moving on. There are no justifications.
The techniques and tactics of dating have completely changed. One of the things that haven’t changed is the old silent treatment. We called it the silent treatment anyways. Kids call it ghosting. Either way, it was a strong tactic used on the battlefield of love.
The problem with me using the silent treatment was that the other person was actually glad that I was. Or they didn’t know that I was even using it. It almost always backfired on me. Most were just glad that I was out of their lives, so they could finally pursue someone they liked.
The silent treatment doesn’t stop when you are in a stable relationship though. In marriage, I’ve had my fair share of the uncomfortable “not talking to you right nows”, which used to cause me a large bit of anxiety.
It sent me into a thought spiral, which introverts do quite a bit. Is she going to ever talk to me again? What is going to happen when I get home from work? Am I going to have to sleep on the couch again?
Now in my old bitter age, I’ve come to not only accept the silent treatment, I look forward to it. I crave it. I go out of my way to get it. And now that I crave it so badly, it comes so infrequently. Why can’t I get banned to the couch? Why aren’t my family leaving me all by myself at home as punishment? Why aren’t people telling me in such a nerd and loser that they don’t want me to come to the party? Where is the librarian telling me to be quiet and go to detention to have a think time?
It’s the curse of the Bitterman that you can never have what you want when you want it.
What are your thoughts about the silent treatment? Do they give you anxiety like young Bitter Ben or do you crave them like Old Bitter Ben?
Bitter Silent Treatment Ben