Prelude: Been a few months since I came to pay everyone a visit. Took some time to gather some thoughts, compose some quality material, and I noticed a recurring theme that seemed to keep making its way into conversation: Modern day relationships. In some form or another, it seemed everyone somehow had an opinion on relationships in today’s society. So I figured for a nice return piece, i would be fitting to write my take on relationships in this new world. Sort of an updated point of view for all these people who seem to have a couple pennies to toss around on this subject. So I present 8 points of reality for the 21st century relationship.
1) Time to do away with the old-fashioned way of doing things:
This is probably most difficult for women, especially those raised under traditional mom/dad, church-going households. But the whole fashioned way of doing this is just that, old-fashioned. Sure, it used to be a time when men courted women, did the proper dating thing, married that true love, had kids, grew old, etc. Sadly, that number is in the minority. Severely. Especially in the Internet era of #ManCrushMonday and the amount of lust filtered through social media. Where men on the better looking end of the scale are propped up as some sort of trophy and those on the unfortunate end of beauty of joked and ridiculed, where personality is secondary to sex appeal and a set of abs defies a set of skills. The standards to which the “old-fashioned way of doing things is applied to modern society is like a car with a cassette player. It’s a few still floating around but they aren’t very appealing. And this isn’t for just the ladies. Gentlemen, it’s rare that we will find very many attractive, domesticated, home-oriented, women that don’t either come with baggage or damage. Damage, especially is the most difficult to overcome because she will always have trust issues. Regardless of how well you do. The expression “all it takes is one” is most applicable here. You could be the one to change her perception or be the reason she never trusts another man again.
2) Communication has been reduced to texts, Facebook posts and Tweets.
It used to be a era where talking on the phone was the best way to get to know someone. Taking them out and spending time with them. This section go also fall under the elimination of the old-fashioned way but I’m going to expand a little more here. In our parents generation, they got to know each other in that fashion, and our grandparents went about things in a different fashion, and their parents in different fashion. In other words, like people have evolved, as have the way people communicate. Unfortunately, it has eliminated personalization. What used to be a call in the morning was reduced to a text, to a Facebook post, to an Instagram pic, to a tweet. Social media seems to be how people choose to know a person, despite the common perception that shouldn’t believe everything you see on social media. A couple bible verses make someone seem sanctified, a couple pictures with kids give the appearance of a quality parent, a few new clothes make someone seem financially stable. And then when these things are taken at face value, and the truth is the opposite, the affected person feels compelled to express it via Social media as opposed to using the experience as a learning lesson, furthering the circle of non-communication.
3) Religious beliefs are the most confusing preference in the 21st century relationship.
And this point rides off the first 2. Sort of a theme here. Each point carrying on the next. This one, however is the one most likely to raise eyebrows. Yes, religious beliefs. What God a person chooses to (or in some cases, not to) believe in has no bearing on the type of person they are. A Christian man is the same man a Muslim man is, and a Jewish Man is, and a Catholic man is, and a Buddhist man is. Same with women. You are still what makes you an individual. Now, choosing to follow your lifestyle according to the holy book in which you follow is completely different than you, as an individual being that way. Each branch of religion teaches to embrace the difference of others, yet it’s these same differences that people seem to use as a prerequisite for a relationship. “I want a God-Fearing man” is a very popular phrase spoken by Christian women, but what if the god he fears is different from the god you fear? Does he not fit the criteria? Or fellas, what if that “spiritual woman” you seek, indulges in a different spirit than you do? Point being, if companionship is what is truly being sought after, and that person is a fit, minus spiritual beliefs, why does it matter what they believe the next life brings? Because religion is nothing more than what you believe the next life holds in store, but I’ll save that opinion for later. It also brings me to the next point.
4) Sex is not evil. It’s also not for everybody. It’s also the single biggest dividing factor in the 21st century relationships.
The elephant in the room. SEX. The most taboo thing to discuss in today’s relationships. Some wait until marriage. Some don’t make it pass the first date. Some place the “90 day rule on it”. Some express “free love”. So here’s how we settle this. Sex is at the mercy of the person. If they want to wait until marriage, I applaud them. However, the harsh reality is we have become a sex driven society. Combined with increasing studies of how sex is not only healthy physically but mentally, it seems to almost be a prerequisite for the pinnacle of a relationship. Some men view it as a show of appreciation. Some women view it as the handcuffs to keep him there. But no matter the view, it’s there. Your preferences are your preferences, but the mate you seek will have to equal views or it will fail. You can’t be a prude with a freak and vice versa. And if you are the waiting for marriage type, it’s something you have to let be known. It’s not pressuring, more than removing the elephant in the room of any relationship. Sex shouldn’t be used as a power play, however. Or you will be viewed as just that. An object. Decide and choose your preferences wisely.
5) Kids are not evil. They also aren’t for everybody. Kids are the 2nd biggest dividing factor in 21st century relationships.
Kids. Next to sex, they are the issue most likely to unify or divide a relationship. Especially when engaging a relationship in which the kids aren’t yours. This, similar to sexual preferences, should be held to the beholder. If you love kids, great. If you don’t, great. But don’t impose your feelings on to others. If you don’t want kids, your choice. But it’s not cool to constantly have to wear it as some badge of honor. Your decision to not decide to procreate is not something worthy of an award. Just as those with kids who take care of them shouldnt wear it as a badge of honor. If you created life, you SHOULD support said life. But moving on. When encountering a relationship where kids are involved, there are a variety of factors to consider. 1) If the kids involved are yours: Understand that for the remainder of that child’s life, you and the other parent will be forever linked. If you don’t want kids with that person, take the necessary steps (whatever your belief is in that area. Not my place to interject) to make sure that kids don’t happen. 2) If the kids involved aren’t yours: if you decide to deal with someone who has kids that aren’t yours, first establish what the relationship is between the prospective mate and the other parent. If it’s for you, great. If not, don’t bring vengeance into the situation. Don’t try to be a step parent when your place doesn’t call for it. This brings an unnecessary element into the relationship that doesn’t need to be there.
6) Your mom, your dad, your friends, your co-workers, your pastor, your mailman, your Twitter followers, your neighbors all know way too much about your relationship.
Everything isn’t for everybody. It’s YOUR relationship. Not everyone else’s. Nobody can resolve issues in your relationship. It’s easy to spectate from the sideline. It’s a whole different perspective when actually in the game. Outside opinions bring outside eyes inside your world. Issues should be worked out between you and your partner. Not everyone has your best interest in mind. Some people would love nothing more than to make you the topic of discussion. Especially if it will make them look better. Even your family don’t always have your best interests at heart. Especially if they still have a slight feeling toward someone from a previous relationship (more on that in a second). If the situation can’t be resolve between you and that person, then it’s time to move on from that situation and person. While some people love the story. The drama. The theater of a rugged relationship, sometimes the TV ending doesn’t always happen. And you end up doing more harm than good, in both the short and long terms.
7) The past is the past. Don’t bring baggage, people, or issue to the future.
This is always the one people seem to have the biggest issue coping with. Your next mate is not your last mate. Even if the same issues arise, the people aren’t the same. Once you are gone, they are gone. The issues, the problems, the good, the bad, all of it goes when they go. Too many people bring old issues into new relationships, then wonder why it seems that things repeat themselves. Just because the last guy cheated doesn’t mean the next one will. Just because the last girl was cool with you looking at other girls doesn’t mean the next one will. This is especially for the “ain’t shit” mob, as I call them. The ones who yell “men ain’t shit” and “women ain’t shit”. If you are considering courting someone and hear that line come out of them, run. Run as fast as you can away from them. That is the ultimate sign that they carry the emotional baggage that someone left them with and plan on dropping it on you. And when you can’t deliver, want to be able to have that story to tell someone. The same goes for the damaged folks. The ones who say “I don’t want to be hurt again” or “my last situation was…”. People who don’t know how to move on aren’t the ones to pursue. Wait for them to come to you. It’s going to be twice the work, half the reward because of the lingering feeling they will always have.
8) We have become the microwave era. If it’s not instant gratification, it’s on to the next one.
This new era has become one of right now. No patience. Instead of building up a prospective partner, they have to come as prepackaged perfection. But how does one build upon something that’s already complete? You can’t. Then once the relationship has gone stale, there is nothing to build upon. Not everyone will fit the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental aspects of what you are looking for. But it doesn’t mean that they can’t. Teach them, groom them, built them up to be great. And if you see they can’t reach that potential, the. Weigh the options. If they are worth it, push on. If not, move on. But serial dating and one night stands produces nothing in the long term but damaged egos and emotions. People jump into situations for fear of being alone. Then those same people are the same ones ready to move on a few weeks in. If he or she works around the clock, be there to support them when they are off. If he or she doesn’t know much about romance, teach them. Help them understand what works for you. A lot of it is just lack of knowledge. Some just don’t know or have never been shown. Regardless of age. A home cooked meal takes time, effort and dedication. And is more gratifying when it’s completed. More filling. Apply that same logic to the dating world. You want it fast, it’s going to end fast and leave you wanting more.
Too often these “experts” think they know. Women who “think” they know what men want. Men who “think” they know what women want. Older people “think” they know this new game. Every person is different. And understanding each person and situation is the key to growing as a society. And building better for the future. Everything in life is evolution. Getting better with time. It’s about time, we as the next generation got better….. Until next time…… signing off.