“Life is short. Have an affair.” This is the classy slogan of Canadian-based online dating website Ashley Madison. Many people became aware of the Ashley Madison company because their database was hacked and a long list of names was released, exposing the affairs of celebrities and everyday people alike. But, did you know that Ashley Madison has over 40,090,000 anonymous members? This is a greater number than the population of Tokyo, Mumbai, New York City, and Paris – combined. It’s baffling that our society has turned the sanctity of marriage or a committed relationship into a loose label with constant urge for “more.” We expect perfection out of others, get bored easily, and crave instant gratification – thriving on selfish instincts. Where do we draw the line?
Dating has become such an open concept in our generation that it’s hard to tell when you even begin dating at all. “Talking,” texting, “things,” booty calls, and so many other newly popular relationship titles open up the door for cheating, hurt, and horrible expectations for yourself or others. Our society has completely dropped the tradition of first dates, first kisses, and commitment – making sites like Ashley Madison thrive and dragging moralities low.
I may be archaic, but I believe you have the choice to be with someone or not. If you choose to commit to being with someone, you actually commit. Love is not something that needs to be tampered with, as it is fragile. So why is it that, as a society, we crave sexual gratification from multiple sources after we commit? If you want to have many partners, don’t commit at all. We have all watched friends, family, and colleagues cry over the misconducts of cheating, yet there are still over 40 million members on Ashley Madison and affairs happening every minute.
Here’s what that says to me: “Real love doesn’t exist; it has a timeline. As soon as something goes wrong, it will fall apart.” Now, I know this is not true, but this is what is being taught to our generation. I’m in love, and my parents are in love, but we are being exposed to media telling us that you can have a little boo-thang on the side, and it’s not only normal, but encouraged.
How can we change this?
I don’t think we should judge those who have sexual social lives, but I also don’t think those people should be in a committed relationship until they are ready to accept the responsibilities. Relationships are no walk in the park, and jealousy is lighter fluid. We get jealous of our partner for fear they are cheating, because society says they are. Yes, life would be much easier if you focus on yourself and instant gratification forever, that way no one gets hurt, and you never are subjected to the affair-driven media, yet still are getting what you want.
But, love is a more beautiful thing – it is worth the work. There is a reason people have found their life partners since the beginning of time and love has been said to move mountains. We, as humans, long for companionship. Some people are not cut out for the work it takes to be in such a devoted relationship, but I believe it’s worth it. At the end of the day, we need to go back to the tradition of dating, kissing, holding hands, and putting work into building relationships when we are finally ready to be in one, not look for the next girl/boy to have on the side.
Ashley Madison may be a trend, but love has stood the test of time – cherish it. Life is short, so find love you want to truly commit to.