This is a subject I have wanted to write about for a while but I was waiting for the right words — We are living in a time in history where we have over 8 billion people, around the world, at our finger tips; people we can interact with. But can this level of international connection and ease cause issues when it comes to dating and relationships?
If we look back at dating through history, a lot has changed. No longer do we need to give people our home phone numbers or provide them with any real details other than a means of contact and proof you aren’t a catfish! Taking a step back, we can see how far courtship and relationships have altered throughout time. Nowadays, by some people, monogamy is seen as insignificant and more of a “status symbol” and represents a privileged position within society, rather than a symbolism of love. Even in the last decade, there has been a vast change in how we meet and date people, and how we communicate with each other in general. Our eyes are glued to our phones, necks bent over and there are many who have forgotten how to have a real conversation (this has led to an increase in anxiety, but I will save that for a later post).
It was very common for people to meet their partner at a young age, marry young and spend the rest of your life with that one person. Thus, nowadays, the process of dating, falling in love and getting married has somewhat turned on its head, and finding that “special someone” can be a lot more challenging than it once was. It seems we are a society of commitment-phobes, we are afraid to commit to one person and, as they say on Love Island, afraid to “put all our eggs in one basket”. It seems that people require a back-up, if one person doesn’t work-out there is someone laying in wait for them to date next, but how is this attitude affecting relationships?
With the fear of commitment, comes the lack of relationships. We seem to be more satisfied with one-night-stands than we are settling down with someone who is on our same level. Apps, such as Tinder, Badoo, Bumble and so on, contribute highly to the way in which relationships and dating have altered; promoting vanity and superiority through swiping left or right, determining by appearance whether someone is “good enough” for us. The ease of finding someone just around-the-corner in five minutes for a quickie appears to be more appealing than sitting in front of the television, cuddled in a blanket and enjoying the company of the one you love. It seems as though people no longer want to put in the effort to make relationships work and work on any difficulties within relationships, but simply expect them to be perfect and any hint of upset is a sign that the relationship isn’t work, when in actual fact, it is that people no longer want to make that effort to make relationships work. With billions of people at our fingertips, it is very easy to search for instant, but false, appreciation and gratification from strangers and this is where dating apps are causing an issue in modern day relationships. It is easy for people to download and start swiping and meeting people in minutes but is this potentially leading to further unhappiness and more of an outlet of frustration than a pursuit to find something more.
Are we afraid that, with the instant international connections and having anyone at our finger tips, infidelity increases? One little argument and one of you is out-the-door and onto the next person who gives them attention. We’re stuck in a continuous circle that we’re so afraid of losing people that we never commit, we’re also seeking something better, something that makes us “happier” — but the grass is never greener.
We are living in a digital era where nobody is happy with what they have. An example of this is from itv2 show Love Island, where Wes says numerous times throughout the show that he is happy, but he could be happier. The issue with his statement is that he is always searching for something better. Now, if we’re always looking for something to make us happier, then we’ll be constantly looking, never enjoying the moments we are in but seeing the grass greener on the other side. People care too much about numbers and how many people they have had sex with that they are forgetting what is actually important; a connection, putting in effort and working at a relationship in the rocky stages, instead of giving up completely. If you have only been with one person, then you’re questioned, “how could you only be with one person, don’t you want to know what else is out there?” – second-guessing ourselves through the judgement of others. You do not have to sleep with over 20 people before settling down, just in case you “regret it” or think you can “find something better”. The continuous search for happiness has led us, instead, to instant gratification – something we seem to mix-up with happiness.
But is it really more appealing, or are we faking it? Is it all a facade or are we genuinely living in a society now where relationships do not mean as much to people as they used to? Have we lost the meaning of relationship and marriage and commitment, or is it simply out of fear? Remember to put in the effort, if you truly love someone or care about someone and want the relationship to work, work at it, communicate, don’t just end it from lack of effort. Relationships are a commitment, they’re about give and take and not allowing ourselves to stray when the going gets tough.
If you have any views on this topic, please comment below, I would love to know what you think.
Disclaimer: all opinions are my own