Friday, 22 May 2015

The Column - Relationships Aren't Dead


Relationships Aren't Dead

Today’s twenty-somethings want to convince themselves and everyone around them that commitment is for suckers. The belief that relationships and marriage are an antiquated, failed proposition, or a lifelong prison sentence, is not just the butt end of many jokes - but becoming a reality. Marriage may not be for everyone, but solitude is not normal behaviour for the human species.



People will often say that women’s new positions in the workforce and their independence have destroyed relationships. Due to women’s status in the workforce they choose to settle down at a later age and undoubtedly the dynamic between man and woman has changed.  Unfortunately, from my perspective careers are not the true deterrents or killers of relationships. We live in a world where we have Tinder, Badoo, OKcupid, etc. Where people are foregoing social efforts to meet and develop relationships for fast-food type experiences with the opposite sex. The concept of dating in a traditional sense is quickly becoming prehistoric and having a tremendous affect on self worth which is collectively circling the drain.

There are a growing number of people, particularly those in urban centres who subscribe to today’s hook-up culture and allow their nether regions to be a revolving door. Unfortunately for many of these promiscuous adventurers, there is a huge psychological toll that is being written after each and every encounter. Contrary to their initial goals their actions are bringing them further away from happiness on each and every single collision with the opposite sex. They will claim that this is the lifestyle they prefer, but they will be the same person who cries themselves to sleep listening to Adele, Taylor Swift (insert your artist with far too many break up songs here). They fail to admit that their everlasting quest for sex is indeed driven by their search for a suitable mate. They become torn between what they are physiologically wired for and what they are socially programmed to do.

If relationships die, our culture and society dies with it. We are indeed evolving as culture and as a species, but the need to reproduce will always be there. The unfortunate part about my generation and those thereafter is that we are socially engineered to be near sighted. We cannot see past our wants for success and materialism. We believe we have all the time in the world to procreate and settle down. By the time we change focus and discover a suitable mate, there are years of baggage carried with them (not to mention our own).  This drawn out phase distracts us from our baser instincts and by the time we reach thirty we are looking at our lives and trying to piece together all the lost time.



So what’s the deal with all these adults frowning upon relationships? There is this widespread consensus that relationships hold people back. That man or woman is out to control the other. That careers will be inhibited. Here’s a news flash – There is a certain level of compromise in every situation and individuals need to make choices on what they want more. To assume that once a you are “ready” to settle down, that the first attempt at a relationship will be successful is unrealistic. For most of us the first relationship never works out, maybe two, three or four relationships afterward. Preliminary relationships are a very big part of maturing and developing to become responsible adults. Through these trials and errors, we develop skills that help create what is required to eventually create lifelong bonds. If we forgo these preliminary relationships, the maturing process takes longer and ultimately this will contribute to the breakdown of social structure in the twenty to thirty year old demographic.  

Fortunately, relationships are not dead. There are still those who find more value in a sit down dinner than eating a burger out of a bag. Relationships teach us self reflection, compromise, self assessment, among other important life lessons. The value of human interaction and intimacy should never be watered down to a few lines and a photo on a cell phone screen as the password to someone’s bed. There is tremendous value in learning about another individual, feeling vulnerable in the moment and then recognizing your own faults and weakness. More young men and women in their twenties and thirties should be out there having dinner not tapping a screen to show their interest.



Call it what you will, relationship, marriage, partner – or do not name it at all. The reality is that most people are seeking relationships but technology and lower self worth have distracted from the ultimate goal. The construct of what was once a church sanctioned bond may be becoming scarce, but ultimately people are forever impressing upon anyone who is willing to notice that they desire human companionship.










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