Dating is a difficult. Not everyone ends up their first love and lives happily ever after. Most of us experience various setbacks, life lessons and heartbreaks along that path that (hopefully) eventually leads to Prince Charming. Sure, we all have 20/20 hindsight when it comes to relationships and a basic level of introspection allows us to see what we could have done differently or how easily we have spotted those red flags.
As we experience both the highs and lows in our quest for love, we will turn to our friends for advice (which we frustratingly go and ignore), a high five (when we get lucky) and a shoulder to cry on (when that douche bag inevitably breaks our heart). The way I see it a good friend calls us out when we do something wrong (like dragging out a ‘relationship’ just so you can drive around in Porsche), they big you up when you (finally!) do something right, they celebrate your happiness and wipe away your tears, tell you that you’re pretty and generally put things into perspective when things aren’t going your way.
But we are not here to talk about those people. They know who they are and don’t require a blog post to validate their existence. Instead, today we’ll shift our attention to a breed of ‘friend’ known as the Emotional Vampire. Describing the Emotional Vampire isn’t easy. Let me start by saying that an Emotional Vampire is not necessarily a bad person with ulterior motives (aka Frenemy). These people don’t secretly wish ill upon you or revel in your failure, they are simply negative people who always put a dampener on things.
Time for an example.I think it’s safe to say the we have all come across THAT friend. You catch up with her for a gossip and spill the beans about the new bloke you’ve being seeing. You show her a picture of your new beau and her reaction : ‘Ewww. Rancid. Disgusting. Tfu Tfu Tfu’. Next she quizzes you on his vital stats and it goes something like this : ‘Does this one have a job? education? a wife, perhaps?’ and then the focus shifts to you : ‘What does he want from you anyway? He is certainly not with you for your supermodel good looks so maybe he wants to RINSE you for a free coffee or use you as a sex toy‘. The convo ends with advice on how you should aim higher. You leave feeling broken-spirited, doubting your own judgement and wondering whether there is any hope for happily ever after.
Suddenly you get a sense of deja vu – her words, they seem familiar. Didn’t she make the same negative comments about your ex? and the ex before him? And wait a minute… didn’t she say similar things about EVERY guy you or other squad members ever dated?! The fact is that it wouldn’t matter if your new love interest was a cross between Ryan Gosling and Albert Einstein with Leonardo DiCaprio’s moral compass – THAT friend of yours would still have nothing nice to say. Despite the fact that she has NEVER dated in her life (clearly, no man on earth is good enough), she will constantly criticise your decisions and be the first person to roll their eyes and say I TOLD YOU SO when things go pear-shaped.
This, dear Rinsers, is an Emotional Vampire! Oh, and their negativity goes beyond the realm of dating and relationships. That new job you’ve been offered? ‘Forget it! You’ll be redundant in a month!’ Considering an adventure in Ethiopia? ‘Why the hell would you do that? For God’s sake, don’t you know there is no food there. You’ll starve to death if they don’t kill you first. ‘ The negativity of the Emotional Vampire knows no bounds.
Now for the million dollar question. How does one handle an Emotional Vampire? It would be easy to say sever all ties with them and run for the hills. But life is never that simple. While encounters with an Emotional Vampire always leave you feeling like you’ve had the zest for life sucked out of you, you know they are not necessarily a bad human. Maybe its a historic friendship and you are still nostalgic about the good times or maybe they had some bad childhood experiences that made them this way? Regardless, it’s best to create some distance and limit ones contact with Emotional Vampires.
Life is hard enough without having someone finding fault and constantly reminding us of all the mistakes we’ve made.As you manouver your way through this treacherous world in the quest for love surround yourself with positive people that keep you in good spirits and makes those blows you experience along the way a little easier to handle. Even if you can’t completely remove the Emotional Vampires from your life, at least downgrade them to ‘Coffee Friend’ status.
Rinsers, its your turn now. Have you met any Emotional Vampires? How did you deal with the negativity? Share your stories in the comments below.