Why it’s Time We Need to Stop Romanticising the Bare Minimum

Words by: Tiffany Forbes
Art by: Brooke Stevens

You know those moments? The ones where you look back and think ‘what the actual fuck was I thinking?’ I guess you could call it a kind of post-nut clarity, or some sort of clarif-dick-ation (thanks, TikTok), where without warning, that love bubble — fitted exclusively with a rose-tinted haze and the ‘they-can-do-no-wrong’ mindset — is popped, and you realise your partner isn’t actually all that? Yeah, well same.

It’s only taken me one too many failed talking stages and my bestfriend reiterating “the bar is on the floor, babe” so many times it hurts, for me to realise that I’ve spent the last four years praising and pining after these ain’t-shit men for doing the absolute least. So, consider this article a formal resignation from my own naivety (and perhaps insanity). 

Never again will I succumb to letting myself think a guy is doing the work of God himself for simply texting me back, I repeat for emphasis, simply texting me back or buying me plan B (yes, you’re not mistaken). 

It wasn’t all too long ago that I remember discussing my friend’s most recent one-night-stand to which she excitedly told me “he actually asked me if I wanted him to wear a condom” to which I replied “wow, we respect that.” But no, Tiffany, we don’t respect that, we should expect that. 

In my defence, I’m not the only one. I can shamelessly admit I have spent hours poring over the TikTok trend where people share their own tragic experiences with relationship standards. One stuck with me where a girl admitted “he told me he fucked his ex and his best friend…I said thank you for being honest.” 

If this isn’t a sure-fire sign we need a total upheaval on what should and should not constitute as the bare fucking minimum, I honestly don’t know what is. From this point forward, unless they’re giving me John Legend and Chrissy Teigen vibes, I don’t want them. 

So what’s the deal behind this awful mentality? Why did I accept this behaviour for so long without batting, at the very least, an eyelid? 

I think it comes down to the fact that dating has lost its roots — the win-you-over stage has been promptly replaced by three-day talking phases followed by booty calls and a ‘you’ve been blocked’ by the end of it. Situationships are thriving because we’re all here for a good time, not a long one. 

We seize any ounce of attention and validation we can get for a hit of five-second gratification. We accept their wrong-doings because we believe it’s the best they have to offer and the best we deserve, since no one has ever proved us otherwise. 

When you look at it in plain sight though, we’re crediting these people for what? Simply being decent human beings? Posting #relationshipgoals when they take the initiative to make dinner reservations is like posting #doctorgoals when your doctor gives you a prescription — it’s supposed to be a given, folks. 

So repeat after me, stop being impressed by the bare minimum, don’t romanticise their mundane bullshit, because you, my friend, deserve the fucking world. 

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