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 My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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4 Basic Rules You Need To Know While 'Dating' More Than One Person

Dating: the stage where you are talking and testing out the waters with someone else.

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Here is the thing about dating: you're not married, nor are you boyfriend and girlfriend.

Dating is when you're just testing out the water with a few people until you decide who you're going in a relationship with.

Dating happens when you're interested in a person and vice versa. It's when you find them attractive, so now you have to figure out the personality. To be "in a relationship" would mean to be boyfriend and girlfriend.

Here are some of the basic guidelines about dating that everyone should know:

1. You can date multiple people.

You're not in a committed relationship with anyone. You're going out with this man to see if this relationship will become a relationship, and you're allowed to date multiple people to see which one is the best one for you.

You're checking out the fishes in the sea and checking which shoe fits better. It's like being a bachelor or bachelorette. Honey, during the dating phase, you can do whatever you want.

Although, I should tell you not everyone is going to appreciate you dating other people, but who are they to stop you from your one true love? The proper way to go about this is letting the people you are 'dating' know that you are seeing other people until one of the relationships gets serious.

Side note: a real man will respect the honesty and understand. Time is ticking and doesn't wait for anyone.

2. If you're going on the fifth date with the same date, it's time to upgrade.

So, what I mean by this is that if you're on your fifth date, either end the date and begin a relationship, or move on to other people.

If by the fifth date, you're not feeling something unexpectedly particularly special with this person and if you're not clicking with them, then it's time to move onto other fishes, hun. And if you are but you're scared to commit, then admit to the person that you have a commitment issue. And that's fine, but let them know so they're not hanging on for no reason.

3. Dating does not mean one-night stands.

Now, if you're looking for a one-night stand, then dating is NOT what you're looking for. I'm sure some one-night stands can always turn into relationships, but sex always makes things complicated. So, next.

4. No sex during dating!

Like I said before, sex makes things complicated and it results in several test results and concerns.

If you're dating, you're there to see if the person is good enough so that you can be in a relationship with them and maybe then have sex. You naughty people. But I won't stop you.

If by all means, sex is one of the top things you need to have a healthy relationship, then by all means, I support you 100%. But ma'am, if he's having sex with you on the first night, imagine who else he's done on the first night. Think hard.

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