Where dating went wrong

Over the past few years I have noticed a lot of dissatisfaction with many people in relationships and in search of it. While on the surface it is easy to blame the emergence of digital technology on the dating scene, on closer examination there is actually more to this developing trend.

Contrary to what we may see in the movies relationships have existed with romance at the bottom of the priority list for many years. In fact marriages used to be a matter of compatibility for functionality as opposed to the modern take of companionship for romance in the pursuit of happiness. This model is just simply not sustainable. The idea that we can find someone just as captivating as we did when we first met till death do us part is flawed on so many levels. This expectation in itself has done more harm than any other assumption we make before getting into a relationship. We need to understand that romantic love is just not enough. If you are looking for a guy to treat you like a princess or a girl to treat you like a king, you will be in for a rude awakening.

Then there is the problem of self-esteem which has become a major problem in this generation even if we refuse to accept it. Thanks to a societal expectations we have been boxed into so many wired patterns of behavior of which many are self-destructive. In our bid not to hurt or upset our partners we have chosen silence or outright lies over telling the painful truth on many issues. Fights and arguments are now seen as an unacceptable outburst on the premise that somehow humans have become so logical that we are above our emotions. If you ever find yourself refusing to speak your mind on any issue from your partner’s body weight to their opinion on capital punishment because you are trying to avoid a fight, you are only compounding the problem.

As a result of this lack of self-esteem we have built relationship systems requiring far too much validation. Can you imagine how your parents dated in their time? Your mum saw your dad when she saw him. After that he didn’t have to text or call repeatedly just to remind her that they were together. In this jet age over communication not only demystifies people too quickly, it desensitizes us to our feelings towards them thanks to the impersonal nature of texting which has unfortunately taken over as the leading platform of conversation. It hasn’t helped that we can now tell when our messages have been read and when last the other person was online. This is simply not healthy for relationships because it leaves of feeling unimportant because we weren’t replied pronto. Why would I call you in the evening when throughout the day I have been updated about your lunch, who did what at work, and how you broke your nail.

The sum of this disconnect and lack of contentment is what has pushed us into the need to have a constant stream of potential admirers and possible partners online. In other words or digital behavior is not the problem, it is just a symptom of the problem.

Think of the internet as a medicine for our loneliness. The strongest side effect of this medicine that is the internet is the illusion of options and choices which on the surface seems harmless, but in reality can be very dangerous. This idea that we always have a backup adds to reducing our level of commitment by heightening our fear to stick to one person thinking that we may find better instead of thinking how to be better and better the person we are already with.

Lastly is the 21st century death of the codependent couple. Thanks to the new structure of society most couples can exist independently with no real need for each other. This means we have different dreams and ambitions, and sometimes (most times) these dreams are incompatible or even in opposition leaving the relationship doomed in just a matter of time. In these times when we are expected to be best friends, life companion, spouse, therapist, and all around everything for our partner it has never been more important that we actively participate in each other’s dreams and ambition. For men especially (forgive the sexism) it is unlikely that he will make a woman his priority until he has achieved financial stability. As you can understand this is because financial success still plays a huge role in mate selection when it comes to men. Until the term house-husband is as acceptable as housewife men will continue to deal with the burden of expectation to be successful and we are not about to put a woman before this unless she is a participant on our road to success.

All around relationships have become a vicious cycle originating from the expectation of heights never to be reached. If we are to make progress in our relationship we must pay attentions to what we want as a matter of functionality and less on the romantic front. Believe it or not, romance is not natural, and like all things that aren’t, it will not be there for the long haul.

william  ifeanyi moore
written by William Moore – www.secrat.org

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