Yesterday, I spent the night reading The State of Affairs by Esther Perel.
In case you haven’t read it yet (how come you haven’t?), the book is about modern relationships and affairs.
I was having my hot cup of tea and cuddling my Irish Setter doggo when I came across the term “simmering.” I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been familiar with that word. I almost choked on my tea. What is simmering? Why do I not know about this?
When I googled it and understood what it meant, it turned out that I knew the term pretty well. I experienced it—more than once.
A video featuring Esther Perel on “Lifehacker” gave me all the clarification I needed to understand all about the dating trends that have been tremendously hurting us:
Ghosting, icing, and simmering.
Why are these trends hurting us? As Perel puts it, these behaviors promote selfishness, disrespect, and the decline of empathy in our relationships. That’s why it’s important to recognize them and understand what they mean. Thinking about it now, so many people “iced” me in the past. So many people disappeared on me when all I needed was a one-minute explanation and accountability.
Yes, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been (at least once) with someone who showed interest, but we were merely their plan B. We’ve all been with someone who suddenly stopped responding to our calls. We’ve all been with someone who left us “simmering.” Or as Perel explains it, “You let them cook on a little fire, ‘I have nothing to give you, but I don’t want you to disappear from my life anyway either.’”
It’s sad that we have gotten here, but it’s also understandable. Online dating has made it easier to juggle multiple lovers at the same time. Before the rise of social media, it was slightly more difficult to find another potential lover. But now, it’s so damn easy. It’s so damn accessible. Our relationships have become so unclear and irresponsible.
As Perel calls it, it’s “stable ambiguity.”
Here’s all you need to know about these terms and why we need to stop doing them: