As ever on Vix Meldrew, I like to bring you dating terminology that seems to have sprung up in modern times. The phenomenon of catching the feels is basically what us 80s kids call, ‘falling for someone’. But it is somehow now an almost swear word. A blight on our dating lives.
Catching the feels usually happens precisely after a few casual dates, definitely straight after a boffing and often before the ‘official’ word is bandied about.
How do you know you’ve caught the feels? In my experience, you think about the person all the time, you hate the thought of them fancying anyone else and you envisage every waking moment of your life with them.
It can be quite awful when you’ve caught the feels. You can find yourself stalking their social media to see if they’ve indirectly posted a quote about you and obsessing over what every text means. They say they want to see you again but that really means they hate you, right? You’re forever anxious as to when you’re next going to see each other and you panic at the thought of it all going tits up.
Modern dating makes catching the feels particularly treacherous because everyone is dating, matching or messaging so many different people that the person you may have fallen for, may be falling for someone else. OR they may be so scared of catching the feels themselves, that they are keeping their options open. Don’t be shocked. You totally do it too.
It can seem that no one has the feels any more. Netflix and Chill has replaced the anticipation of an exciting evening spent together doing something you both have in common which is not just the enjoyment of oral sex. It seems that everyone is so casual nowadays. That people just expect that a FWB will turn into true love with no effort or feelings being expressed.
Another issue that comes with catching the feels is that the other person just might not have caught the same feels. In your head, the feels are aplenty but that doesn’t mean they’re at the same place you are. They might get there. They might just genuinely hate you.
Modern dating dictates that once you’ve caught the feels you should retract immediately. Play it cool. Let them know you’re not bothered and are probably dating a gabillion other people. Nowadays, ‘the feels’ seems filthy. Like you’re weak for admitting to yourself you have feelings for someone. We’re in an age where we are all supposed to be unfeeling to be able to preserve our own feelings. However, I call bullshit.
The beauty of catching the feels is the very possibility that the other person has caught the same feels. That is a wonderful thing. Mutual feels catching could lead to something great. Especially when all the stars align and timing and circumstances don’t get in the way. ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON’T FREAK OUT. My friend Laila calls this the ‘prang out’. The moment you have been diagnosed with the feels and immediately question everything in your entire life. He said this, what does it mean? She tweeted that, does it mean what I think it means? He liked her Instagram pic, HE LOVES HER AND NOT ME. Don’t ruin it with overthinking, anxiety and mind games. What really is the worst that can happen?
If you have caught the feels, let the other person know in some way. Message them to let them know you want to see them again. Enjoy each other’s company. Just TELL THEM. No one has ever hated someone for telling them they are cared for. The worst that can happen, if the other person isn’t interested, is that you’re PIED STRAIGHT IN THE FACE.
But you were brave. You believed in romance. And you cared about someone else’s feelings more than your own pride. Go you. Feel those feels.