Why are relationships so difficult?
It’s kind of crazy, we have so much technology that assists us in meeting people and yet so many people find themselves alone or in a relationship that just isn’t working. We have dating apps, websites advertising what’s on around town, so we’re never short on things to do. We have interest groups like running clubs, bushwalking clubs, and theatre groups where people of like mind can get to know each other. We have social clubs that let you meet other people over a long period of time and get to know them. Let’s not forget the internet with chat groups, social media, and the like. The list of meeting opportunities is endless. Being able to meet people and do cool, fun things has never been easier.
I haven’t forgotten about that little Pandemic thing either. Whilst it is true that Co-Vid 19 has made it more difficult to meet people there are still plenty of options for the intrepid if they want to put themselves out there. Besides the problems with finding the right partner in the modern world of dating and relating started long before the pandemic was even a thing. These problems will also be present long after the pandemic is no longer a thing.
The hard part about dating and relating in the 21st Century is not can I meet someone who could be a good partner, the hard part is finding the right someone. The challenge for us is as it has always been. How do we find and connect with the right person and then develop a relationship that is going to work and make our lives more fulfilled and satisfied for being in it, and not less fulfilled and less satisfied? So What’s going on?
The 20th Century Changed Everything.
Success Seemed Simpler Before?
In generations, prior to World War II, the formula for relationship success was simpler. You simply had to follow a series of social, religious, legal, and biological rules for a long time, say 40 to 50 years; and as long as there were no scandals you were said to be successful in your marriage.
The idea of happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction was not factored into the idea of success in marriage as much as following the rules. Now I am not saying they had it easier. The fact is they had wars, depression, disease, and a whole bunch of other things that made life very challenging. The way relationship success was measured was simpler. Follow the rules. Keep up appearances and stay together until death doth you part.
Wars, Depression, Baby Booms and The Rise of The Individual Shifted the Focus of Life
But the 2oth century changed everything. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the suffragette movement saw women get the vote. The people living through the 20th Century experienced a century of wars that radically changed peoples values around the purpose of life and living. The Russian Japanese War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Russian Chinese War, the Russian Japanese war, Vietnam and Korean wars, the Falklands War, the Iraq war started to erode the average person’s confidence in Kings and Queens and politicians to rule. Let’s not forget the great depression triggered when Wall Street collapsed in the late 20s early 30’s.
Equally religious institutions started to fall from grace and the average person started to question their faith in God and the Church. We had the baby boom which drove so much growth in the world and market-based economies started to dominate. We had a rise in civil rights and women’s rights movements. We had a shift from living for God and country to living for yourself. We had large numbers of adolescence staying at home and going to University raising the overall education levels of the population. The youth started to aspire to grow beyond what their parents were content to do and create their own way in life. We had “The Pill” come along and suddenly women could control whether they were going to get pregnant or not. We saw no-fault divorce, we saw improvements in protections for women and children from domestic violence (yes there is still much more work to be done on domestic violence).
Let’s Not Forget The Great Disrupter, The Internet
We have internet relationships, we never have to be bored, we can reach out to people around the world. We’re living longer. We’ve got social media and the whole Fake News/Fake Reality conundrum. We have a rise in La Bella Figura or “The beautiful appearance”, the idea that what matters most is what you appear to be not what you really are, making people frightened to be authentic and not perfect. We never have to get bored, we are un-relentingly on the clock, we are constantly distracted.
We Now Have Unlimited Potential Relationship Options, Or So It Seems.
We now live in a world where just about every relationship option you can think of is available. Some of which could literally kill you and others could bore you to death. We now live in a world in which men don’t need women and women don’t need men to survive or be socially acceptable. We live in a world where many of us are time-poor. We have the internet and we can communicate with people around the world so we’re on the clock 24/7. Our awareness and understanding of psychological disorders now show us that some people are really well suited to relating whilst others are not.
With so many options and so much going on and so many options and so much to consider how does anyone navigate all this and find their elusive love, and enjoy happy successful relating?
Here are a few other links that you could follow that will help you understand a lot more about why relationships are so difficult to make happen.
In The Next Post
In the next post, we’re going to frame up what to do about all confusion so you can be successful at finding the person who is best for you.
Until next time, Cheers