Emotional labour is overrated: stop trying to fix them

Emotional labour. A new buzz phrase. Women are supposed to multi-task. Women are supposed to be “more emotional”. Women are supposed to smile. Women are just “better at this stuff”, right? Society thrives off the emotional labour of women, from being expected to remember birthdays to being part-time therapists in the dating world. Emotional labour is unpaid labour, and eventually, it takes its toll.

From faking orgasms to hiding our feelings, women have gotten used to performing to satisfy the male ego. One of the traps I’ve noticed many girls in their late teens and early 20s falling into is the role of an emotional labourer and therapist for men who need to learn to deal with their own emotions, their own shit and probably need to go to actual therapy.

How do you spot the “Humpty Dumpty”, the man who needs ‘fixing ’in the dating pool? Although his Tinder bio might not read: “Man seeks therapist girlfriend: all the commitment without any real investment”. It may as well. Perhaps he is a man who has issues regulating his emotions, verbalising his feelings and is riddled with commitment phobias. Now, he could go to therapy and work this out, or he could just get a girlfriend. Get laid and get free therapy at the same time? Neat! Two for the price of one!

Now, I’m not telling you to stay away from people who have issues. Hell, don’t we all have issues? I’m telling you to stay away from people who don’t attempt to handle their own shit and expect you to fix them.

We’ve all been there. You really like this guy. And you think: OK, if I just keep being really perfect he will definitely want to commit to me soon! Or, it’s not his fault, he was clear with me that he “is scared of relationships”, I just need to give him time.

Therapy is becoming more and more widely accepted in society. 72% of women experiencing emotional issues or mental health problems go to therapy, compared to only 60% of men who are suffering from the same issues. With more women going to therapy, they get skilled at emotional management, but girl, this does not mean you should be piecing together the fragments of a dude who won’t even invest in himself, nevermind you. Put that energy into yourself.

As Florence Given says: stop raising him, he’s not your son.

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