How The Fear of Commitment is Making Millennials Lonely

How The Fear of Commitment is Making Millennials Lonely

Non-relationships, non-breakups, and hook up culture are getting us nowhere.
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A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine went through a non-breakup. She wasn't in a relationship with the guy she had been seeing, but they had been "talking," if you will. It was a non-relationship that resulted in a non-breakup, but the pain and heartbreak she felt after were entirely real.

Our generation has started a culture of non-dating and stages of talking, where commitment is optional and relationships are fuzzy gray areas that are illegible, messy and confusing. We can't read into them, so we end up overanalyzing the little bit we know. Dating has turned into a hookup culture that is based on a series of games to determine who holds the control in the relationship.

The ideology has become such that whoever cares the least "wins."

We don't want to put a label on things. For a generation that is so advanced and open, commitment serves as one of our biggest fears. It's a combination of reducing the level of rejection and the liberty of having a quick escape route. No one wants to lose, no one wants to be rejected, no one wants to be stuck, no one wants to miss out on other options.

Yet no one wants to be alone.

The juxtaposition is stark. Why would anyone commit if they are already getting every benefit of being in a relationship with the additional liberty of having other options available? Why would they risk the embarrassment and awkwardness of being rejected if they can avoid it entirely? Instead, you hook up, you go out, and you assume there are no strings attached.

Unfortunately, there are always strings attached. Spending time with a person in this manner builds up your emotional ties. You may not see it as "love" but it's impossible to be immune to some feelings.

You can't avoid loving simply so you won't lose.

You can ignore feelings all you want, but refusing to identify them doesn't erase the fact that they exist. Then when one person confides in the other that they want something more and are instead rejected due to the commitment-phobia that is so pervasive in our generation, you end up with a sad, heartbroken individual who is suffering the very real effects of a non-breakup.

To get over the hurt caused by this one person, you go out to find a new distraction. We don't want to feel alone, so we settle for some half-hearted relationship for fulfillment. We distance ourselves from feeling what we do and ignoring the voice in our head that knows better. We build up more walls in the effort to not get hurt again but refuse to recognize we are hurting ourselves more in the long run. This perpetuates a cycle of hooking up, talking, and false intimacy. We close ourselves off and lose our ability to trust others a little more with each heartbreak we experience.

And in the midst of all this, we wonder why we still feel alone.

You have to let your walls down and allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable. Hold yourself to the standards you desire and allow yourself to be alone for a while if that's what it takes. Happiness and fulfillment come from real relationships, where you are honest and open with each other about your feelings.

You might even find what you're missing out on.

Cover Image Credit: animeflipside.net

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An Open Letter To The Man I Fell In Love With

I can't wait to spend every day, of the rest of our lives, showing you how much I love you.
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Dear Man I Fell In Love With,

When I met you, you drove me crazy. I was at point in my life where I resigned myself that I wasn't going to fall in love.

I told myself, I didn't need anyone and was fine on my own. I was an independent woman. This still hold true but now I'm an independent woman who has an anchor and pillar to hold her when she needs strength and calm. You think being an anchor to someone is bad but in my eyes, you hold me still in the water even when the harshest waves try to shake me. You are there to ground me when I feel like I can float away and guide me back to reality. You are my pillar when I feel weak and tired, ready to give up. You give me strength to carry on even in my darkest days.

Honestly, I don't know how you put up with me.

When I need constant love and attention you give it to me, without complaint. When I need reassurance and for you to tell me I'm pretty, you do it, without getting mad. Even when I know I'm being annoying, you love me more, remaining steady and patient. You love my flaws and my quirkiness, telling me to never change: that you love me as I am. When we are fooling around and I have a random thought in my head, distracting me from the task at hand, you laugh and stroke my face. When I told you I valued sex and wanted to wait, you didn't hesitate with your acceptance and never pressured me.

When I met you, I thought the worst of men and had lost hope because one man had hurt me so badly that no one wanted to pick up the pieces.

But you, my love, began taking the jagged pieces of me, fitting them back together like a messed up puzzle, cherishing every piece you picked up. You told me what was done to me was wrong and that it wasn't my fault. When I told you I was broken, you pulled me close, held me, and whispered in my ear that I was beautiful. You called me an assassin, your assassin. I am your Natasha. I am fierce and hard but also soft and vulnerable. Every day you show me parts of myself I didn't even know existed. I can share my inner most secrets with you, without fear of judgment or rejection. When I met you, I didn't recognize the girl I saw in the mirror but now I see myself clearly again. I was coming to see myself on my own but you made it more special and more valuable, showing me I deserved love, to never give up hope on myself or the world. You are the first man to call me beautiful and the first man I believed because I saw it in your eyes. You truly think I am beautiful.

When I met you, I fell in love.

It wasn't love at first sight but I knew you'd play a part in my life. You made a girl, who was told she could never dance again, dance. Not just well or as good as before but better than before. You strengthen me physically but also emotionally and mentally. I can never fully express my gratitude. I can't wait to spend every day, of the rest of our lives, showing you how much I love you. My eyes were wide open when we fell in love, it won't be easy but I'm willing to fight for us, no matter what or who tries to get in our way.

I just want you to know, I'll be your assassin forever.

I'll fight any battles you need me to, standing strong and loyal at your side. I'll love you for as long as I breathe and even into death. I'll love becoming your wife and the mother of your children. I love how you make cute noises or how mad you make me when you tickle me until it hurts to breathe, from laughing so much. I love you when you grab my butt and when you put your hand on my head. I love laying on your chest in my "home". I love listening to you talk about your day because it fascinates me.I love laying with you, simply listening to you breathe. I love your kisses and your hands touching my body, in the most innocent of ways. I'll cuddle closer on cold days because you exert an inhuman amount of heat and I love being close to you.

We fit together, like puzzle pieces. We complete each other.

You make me happy every single day we are together. I love you more and more with each and every passing second. You're my "baka". The love of my life. I love you: with every fiber of my being, with all the passion in my heart, and more than all the stars in the sky. I love you, Panda.

Agapi mou, you are my everything."

Love,

Cat

Cover Image Credit: http://www.chobirdokan.com/2061/love-and-rain/

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10 Totally Weird But Totally Relatable Dating Deal-Breakers That Make Me Want To Swipe Left

They may be odd, but they make some sort of sense.

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So . . . dating. The act of one person actively trying to find a mate. It's messy and awkward, but it can also be wonderful and lead to some snazzy wedding presents in the future.

Now, I'm no expert on the subject, but I like to think that, at 22-years-old, I know what I would like in a significant other. Even better than this, though, is knowing what I don't want. Process of elimination, you know, is a much easier way to go.

In making my list of "Don'ts," I realized that some of these, while strange, are pretty applicable when you think about it. Yeah, there are the obvious ones, like "doesn't like dogs" or "doesn't support my life goals" or "is a convicted serial killer," but I'm talking about the little things that you might not immediately think of but are irksome nevertheless.

1. They fold towels the wrong way

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A'ight, so I know it's a pretty "adult" point to start with, but there is a correct way to fold a towel. I know it, and if you don't know it, either ask me and never do it another way again or leave my presence forever.

It comes down to looking at the future. How are we supposed to have a home together if we don't share towel ideals? How will we raise the children?

2. They like kale

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Look, I'm all for being healthy, but I draw the line at kale. Kale is spinach's angry cousin who wasn't hugged enough as a child, and that's tons of emotional baggage that I don't want in my vegetables.

There's also a big difference with accepting kale and actually liking it. If you're like, "Yeah, I need some antioxidants in this smoothie, and it was on sale," feel free to hit me up. If you're making full-on salads with it, I'm afraid you cannot hit me up. Ever.

3. They won't duet "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

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Okay, so we don't have to be Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé level of duet. That's an ultra mega level of awesomeness that just has to stand alone.

However, I like to sing, and when I say, "like," I mean that 80 percent of my day is spent singing to some type of song. If you're not belting right along with me or at least giving me a standing ovation at the end of the song, then I'm going to have to ask you to leave the show, no refunds available.

4. They have no interaction with literature

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This might be a bit more personalized on my end, but I'm an English major. I legitimately want to teach the youth of America about the wonders of literature. It's one of my passions, and I'm definitely going to be talking about it quite often.

I get that reading isn't everyone's "thing." I'm not asking you to read the Odyssey, for Pete's sake. Choose something you're interested in. A medical journal, a comic book, an article about pants, whatever. Just prove to me that you're literate, and we'll get along swimmingly.

5. They hate board games

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Have you ever met a decent, good-hearted individual who has said, "I despise board games, they are the scum of the earth, and I rue the day they were invented," and meant it?

No. Because that person doesn't exist. Board games are pure and remind us of our childhoods.

Also, if iCarly taught me anything, I would never trust anyone who would use "rue" correctly anyway.

6. They criticize my driving skillz

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I'll admit that I drive like a crazy woman late for her parole meeting, I will. I have a tendency to swerve in and out of traffic and to speed more than my fair share.

However, just because my bad driving is an established fact doesn't mean that fact is up for commentary. Clench your jaw and grip your seatbelt like the rest of my passengers. I pinky promise we'll get to our destination quickly and with lots of adventure.

7. They don't laugh at dad jokes

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Dad jokes are funny, okay? They may be the "lowest form of humor," but I'm all about a stupid joke to get the giggles rolling.

If you can't laugh at a dad joke, either because it's legitimately funny or because it's legitimately the worst joke you've ever heard, what in the world can you laugh at?

8. They binge-watch The Home Shopping Network

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I'm a fan of watching TV. Whether it be a new, binge-worthy show or a movie I've seen seven billion times, it's a great bonding experience that I'm all for sharing with a significant other.

I absolutely draw the line at the Home Shopping Network. I cannot and will not binge-watch a slew of large gemstone rings and super-mega-ultra microwaves. I would watch a string of infomercials (go Flex Seal) before I would listen to Nora and Stacy tell me that I must have this wool sweater dress in navy blue and burnt umber.

9. They wear toe socks

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Picture this: You and your potential significant other have just returned to their place after dinner and are ready to relax. They walk in and kick off their shoes to reveal brightly colored toe socks.

Now, I'm not trying to dog someone's fashion choices, as I have some interesting quirks myself. But toe socks? TOE SOCKS!? I sincerely apologize, but I'd have to turn around and quickly exit before I started laughing in their face.

10. They don't support my late-night nugs runs

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As I may have mentioned once or twice, I'm a fan of McDonald's chicken nuggets. They're a supreme comfort food, and are good at any and all times of the day.

If you can't support my nugs runs, then I'm going to have to assume you don't approve of my self-care, and that's just not okay all around.

Which deal-breakers do you agree with?

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