The Cyber ‘Fizzle’

When it comes to relationships, the term ‘fizzle’ may shortly become recognisable. As a person who has been ‘fizzled’ and has delivered her very own ‘fizzle’, it is not always noticeable to the do-er, however we all seem to do it, aware of it or not.

Commonly, the misconception seems that people believe the art of letting it ‘fizzle’ is a mutual end to any relationship. Let us begin with the fact that genuine relationships don’t ‘fizzle’, they end. Hence why the term doesn’t take place between two people in a committed, loving relationship.

Being part of a ‘fizzle’ is generally when two people aren’t united under clear terms… they can’t properly break up because they are not together. The quick ‘relationship’ is finished as casually as the other stumbled into it. There is always somebody who is doing the ‘fizzling’ and someone who is being ‘fizzled’. However, being ‘fizzled’ is undeniably a unique and distant pain. And why is this? Because you have no choice but to carry on, feeling like you’ve wasted your time, whilst someone else chips at your ego. Sad, isn’t it?

So, here’s how it goes.

You meet at a party (or online nowadays) and there’s no doubt in your mind that (s)he is different. You know deep down this isn’t just a casual encounter. You get their text later that night, and the undeniable urge to perform cartwheels across your bedroom says it all. It sparks days and days of conversation that make you creepily smile down at your phone like a certified madwoman.

Fast-forward to the next couple of meetings, both with an uncontrollable smile on each other’s face, at another party, hand in hand. The messaging begins to flow at a faster rate, you are intrigued, and not going to lie, a tad excited.

Then something changes. It’s so small that you almost feel crazy for noticing it. Maybe you had to initiate the text conversation for the first time since you’ve met, or maybe you dropped a rank on their Snapchat ‘Best Friends’ list. Or maybe they just seemed a little distant or ‘off’ since you last met them. Your reasons are so minuscule and insignificant that you seem to just plod on and ignore them.

You ignore it, but eventually you take the plunge to text first, blunt replies, so you take the hint and stop trying. You stop trying, but what hurts the most is that they don’t seem to care. The excitement you used to feel when their name popped up on your phone has now turned into an anxious gnaw in the pit of your stomach. And for every passing moment their name doesn’t appear on your phone, that gnaw continues to grow. What happens when you’re frustrated and confused and just want to call them out? You know you can’t really do this, because you have no power, because you were never really together.

The warmth you used to feel when you used to see them becomes something else, you run into them by chance and have to act ‘normal’, squelching at every feeling of confusion and rage. You want to scream at them, but instead you sweetly say “Hi” and spend the rest of the time trying to avoid them like the plague, yet you watch them like a hawk. You leave feeling crushed, as they get with somebody else in front of your eyes.

But even if you did have the chance to speak to them, what would you have said? Because in all honesty, what did they even do to you? They were perfectly nice the whole time you were with them, and now they have stopped putting in any effort…can you really get mad at someone for that?… They were never really yours.

You’re familiar that it was just a chapter in your book and not the big ‘happy ending’, so then why does it still sting so badly?

The sting never seems to heal. It doesn’t seem to end. It can fizzle completely and then suddenly spring back to life again months later when you receive an unexpected text. But how you feel about it will become different. There are no boundaries nor loyalty in these cyber relationships.

The truth is, we are so wrapped up with how one reads another on social media, that we can’t pay attention to classic actions. And of course, actions speak louder than words. Everything turns into mixed signals and we end up analysing why that significant person didn’t put an ‘x’ at the end of a message, or you become angry when they didn’t reply after the “conversation” had already ended.

What ever happened to the “art of conversation”? The once romanticised image of ‘love’ is being replaced with how many Instagram pictures they like or receiving a text before midnight. We are setting our bars so low that “common decency” and “not being a dick” are seen as romantic gestures. Since when did we stop taking notice of our worth?

You’ll respond with something quick and casual and move on with your day. What was once an intense excitement has turned into indifference.

Put down those phones and listen to how each other feel. Stop second-guessing. Everyone’s ‘talking’, nobody’s ‘doing’. The relationship is ‘fizzled’ from the start. There are no memories, no trust, just a fictitious ‘romance’ in the inbox of your phone.

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