When you fall out of love with someone, everything you feel when you acknowledge that moment is bittersweet, because once upon a time, that person was your everything, and you couldn’t imagine them not being in your life. But then something shifts, and it doesn’t have to be something that either of you have or haven’t done, sometimes it just happens, and all of a sudden that person is no longer stealing your breath, but draining your energy and time. And that’s a horrible feeling; I don’t think anyone can honestly say they feel nothing when they fall out of love with someone, it’s not like a switch you can arbitrarily turn on or off. Heartache of any kind is hard, that’s why we write about it, right? Why we sing songs about it, watch things that show that pain on a screen that is separate from us yet we can so easily relate to.
Not to be melodramatic, or perhaps to be incredibly melodramatic, but when you fall out of ‘love’ with a ship – as in, your favourite TV couple – it’s not quite as painful or wounding as falling out of love yourself, perhaps, but it does have an impact on your life. It does me, anyway; all the time you invested in wanting to see them happy, clutching at straws and clinging to meta writing, overanalysing moments in episodes where maybe, possible, if you squint, something might be about to happen, and then, that feeling is gone. That care and attention, that excitement of seeing them sharing the same screen means nothing anymore, and if anything, seeing them just makes you feel a little, well. Bittersweet.
If you’ve never shipped a couple in a show or film, then you probably stopped reading this a paragraph ago, but if you have, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you have, you probably share that odd sense that something is over for you, that maybe you feel now that you shouldn’t have become so invested in this relationship that isn’t yours, but you did, and for so long, this thing meant a lot to you. Perhaps everything – too much, for some.
So I guess what I’m saying is, I have, or I am in the process of falling out of love with (one of) my ship(s), one that has kept me afloat (…) for a good few years now, got me through some difficult things purely by giving me something else to focus on other than myself, and I feel… deflated. Bereft. Out of sorts. All kinds of things that I probably ‘shouldn’t’ be feeling about a fictional relationship that is nothing to do with me at all. But that’s how I feel. And yes, probably, I got too invested, I think many of us fans do, and I won’t apologise for it nor regret it, but this feeling I’m left with, when I scroll past the things that used to grab my attention because I don’t want to see them anymore, it’s just like scanning through your facebook to avoid pictures of exes or other couples together when you’re no longer in one.
There are multiple reasons why this particular ship has sailed for me, and it has to do with the characterisation, some of the actors, the show itself, and I’m trying perhaps a little too hard to not turn away from it entirely, telling myself I’ll be interested again when the next season starts. But it just doesn’t feel like that now. Everything I read about it currently just makes me groan and scroll faster…
And what’s probably going to read as even more ridiculous for a casual viewer, is that I have found another ship that has well and truly surpassed the one that’s been breaking my heart. This one appears to be loved by the actors, shows and (majority) of fans alike, and the care and attention that they pay these characters really does put the smile back on my face. The ridiculous part of that is that I feel a little like I’m cheating, because ship number one is still a part of my life in so many ways, and yet this new one has come along and really, I only have eyes for that. And that is… bizarre.
Welcome the the weird and wonderful world of shipping, if it’s not something you already do…