Why We Are Losing The Ability To Love

Why We Are Losing The Ability To Love

What dating is like in this generation.
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Each generation in society has many attributions that are carried by people and are eventually passed down to future generations for decades to come. It's obvious to most people that showing one's love for someone else has increasingly changed within society.

I often lose sleep over the fact that we will ultimately be known as the generation that gave up on love.

Unfortunately no, there's no Relationship 101 course that you can enroll in for this semester. However, from communication and psychology studies, common behaviors prove to be deadly in both romantic and platonic relationships. I'm here to say that this is no longer OK. For the sake of our generation, let's consider why we are losing the ability to love and focus on ways to fix the problem.

1. We often date for the sake of dating.

Most people only date for the sake of dating. People need something to fill the void of depression or sadness, so we use others for our own benefit and label our actions as "love" or "relationship goals." Sometimes knowing that someone "loves" us makes us feel better, wanted and gives us an initial purpose to our lives. It's also become everyone's favorite sport. Millennials date because we feel as if we are supposed to.

We're supposed to find someone by the age of 21, date for a couple years, get engaged, get married, have kids and live happily ever after, right?

Wrong.

I hate to break it to you, but that just isn't the reality of how our lives are supposed to go. That mentality is saved for things of fiction, such as fantasy novels and romantic comedies. The true reality is that love is rare. The people that put constant posts of their significant other on social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or VSCO are all showing the world a glamorized version of their relationship. Of course, we all do that, because who wants to show the world the bad and ugly within ourselves? That leads me to my next point.

2. We value instant gratification more.

Ever get bored so you whip out your smartphone immediately and find something to do? You get lost? There's an app for that. You often can't wake up in the morning? Oh, no need to worry; you have a digital alarm clock right at your fingertips.

We live in an era where everything is high-speed. High-speed internet, high-speed 4G phone service; essentially we expect everything to happen for us immediately now and that's a problem for love.

There are so many dating apps nowadays that it's hard for us mortal, single people to keep track of the latest trends. Just Googling them now, I didn't actually realize how many there are. We've got Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Grindr, Zoosk, Match, Lulu, Down, Coffee Meets Bagel, Happn and OkCupid. Not to mention how many dating websites there are based off of people's religion, too. As efficient as our lives are with these apps, the excitement and suspense are taken out of love.

By giving into these corporate apps, we are taking ourselves out of the romance that love so beautifully offers. There is no build-up or suspense anymore. No drumroll leading up to the first kiss. No excitement of getting to know one another over a date. Now, within fingertips, we swipe left or right and guess what, if they swipe right back that's it. Now you can chat for hours and get to know who people really are without even physically meeting them. Now, I'm not saying that love cannot come from these generators, but is that really what we want for our future generations, more specifically for our future kids to have to settle for when looking for love? I really hope not.

As a society, we value television shows such as ABC's "The Bachelor" and watch how one man dates 30 women at the same time and in a matter of weeks, he is proposing to one of these beautiful girls who couldn't find love the old-fashioned way, themselves. Now don't get me wrong, I love seeing Chris Harrison's smiling face say, "Coming Up!" every Monday as much as the next girl, but doesn't that image say something wrong about the dating culture in our society?

Love is a slow build-up; it's not an instant thing. You can't go on three dates and expect to be ready to live with each other, not to mention be realistically dating 29 other women to potentially "find the one."

I mean, in all honesty, how many times have you looked at your phone while reading this article? We have to recognize what our generation has become and focus on bringing some of the old habits, such as our ability to fall in love being a uniformity instead of an abnormality.

3. The trend of non-exclusive relationships.

Many of us have fallen into this deathly circle of "non-exclusive" relationships. The title is just a fancy way of saying that you are basically still single and are able to see any other human being on this earth without it affecting your current relationship. Honestly, as days continue to go on, it baffles me how "friends with benefits," "no strings attached" and "Netflix and chill" are all terms that I frequently hear throughout the day. Is not one single person enough, anymore?

It's almost impossible with our generation to find just one person to date at a time. Sometimes non-exclusive relationships are actually a great thing to have. It allows individuals to really see what they're looking for in a partner. However, it isn't hard to argue that there is a common trend of trust issues that form once individuals begin a non-exclusive relationship, which leads me to my next point.

4. We have a fear of commitment.

If you've gotten your heart broken too, then you have also built up a series of layers in order to protect yourself from the devastating loss that you've felt. Oftentimes, people try to not get attached because we're fragile and afraid of getting hurt again. Many people would rather be cautious than fall in love at all, which I find to be extremely upsetting.

What is love?

How can we really define our ability to love without defining what love actually is? Instead of just bumping our heads and singing, "Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more" at the top of our lungs, I've asked many people what love means to them and have put some of their answers below.

“Someone that loves you, loves you because you’re you,” – 11-year-old girl

"You can love yourself first because once you learn how to love yourself, you can love anything in this world," 68-year-old woman

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday" Seven-year-old girl

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Five-year-old boy

"They say, look deep into yourself and see if you have this in-love feeling. If they had it, the relationships progressed pretty well. If they didn't, looking back it was the key to a relationship being wrong." 87-year-old man







Don't they make love sound so beautiful and attainable? So how could we possibly be losing the ability to have that feeling? Common high standards and misleading expectations have driven people in our society to expect that their relationship needs to be perfect in order to have true love.

5. Relationships aren't perfect.

That reality is something so important to realize. You will fight. You will argue. You will be confused by their actions. Guess what? This is actually normal.

No relationship is actually perfect and if it is, then that's actually a problem. Thanks, Hollywood, but in any relationship, it's important that you challenge your significant other in order to fully grow as mature and developed people.

So here's the thing: love is such a rare thing to have. It's important that we teach our future generations of children and grandchildren that we can't settle when it comes to finding love. As long as we continue to communicate and grow as individuals and learn from past experiences, we will continue to have the ability to fully love the people around us.

Lastly, when we say that we are losing the ability to love, it isn't disregarding the thousands of people who are still wildly and passionately in love. Don't let this article doubt your ability to love or your have love within your own relationships. If anything, let these words inspire you to love even more fully and honestly.

Life is short, so tell someone today that you love them because you're not sure when you'll get another chance to.


Cover Image Credit: Molu

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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41 Thank-Yous To My Boyfriend Who Stood By My Side For Three Semesters And Graduation

Life will be scary and difficult sometimes, but as long as you're there to hold my hand, I know that I will always be OK.

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These last several semesters at college, I've learned so much and I've changed so much, all because of one person. A person that came at a time when things were going downhill, and completely flipped my life around. I will never forget how terrible I felt before I met you, and how much better I am with you by my side. Truly, I don't know where I would be without you. And that's why it will always be impossible to thank you enough for everything that you have done for me.

But you do deserve to know how much of an impact you have on me.

1. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on when I was struggling to get through this last semester.

2. Thank you for always listening to me rant about problems I was having with my friends.

3. Thank you for never getting tired of me talking about the same things over and over again.

4. Thank you for never acting like my past trauma was baggage or a burden.

5. Thank you for trying your best to understand and to be considerate of my anxiety.

6. Thank you for being patient with me when I take so long to process everything and sort out my emotions.

7. Thank you for dealing with my mood swings and intense emotions.

8. Thank you for never judging me over things I get embarrassed about.

9. Thank you for sharing your opinions with me, even when I didn't want to hear them, but I needed to hear them.

10. Thank you for opening my eyes to toxic behavior that I was blind to.

11. Thank you for always looking out for my health and well-being, and my future.

12. Thank you for helping me grow up and mature.

13. Thank you for always wanting to talk things out.

14. Thank you for making me feel important.

15. Thank you for giving me a reason to live.

16. Thank you for showing me what true love is.

17. Thank you for being my best friend and partner in life.

18. Thank you for breaking my walls down but never breaking a promise.

19. Thank you for keeping my heart safe.

20. Thank you for giving me endless reassurance.

21. Thank you for never making me worry about the fate of our relationship.

22. Thank you for always putting me first.

23. Thank you for being loyal and committed to me.

24. Thank you for all of the memories and adventures.

25. Thank you for never getting annoyed about taking photos.

26. Thank you for the best summer of my life.

27. Thank you for making college a much better experience for me.

28. Thank you for always putting a smile on my face.

29. Thank you for always catering to me and trying to make me happy.

30. Thank you for all the little favors you do for me and everything else you might think goes unnoticed (but trust me, I notice and I appreciate it so much).

31. Thank you for supporting everything that I'm passionate about.

32. Thank you for always making an effort to change.

33. Thank you for always forgiving me when I make (loads of) mistakes.

34. Thank you for being a good influence on me.

35. Thank you for being my role model and inspiring me to be more like you.

36. Thank you for the amount of time, effort, and love that you've put into our relationship.

37. Thank you for shaping my future.

38. Thank you for making me so hopeful and excited about everything that we are going to do throughout our life together.

39. Thank you for thinking that I'm worth it.

40. Thank you for wanting to get married, have kids, and spend your life with me.

41. Thank you for making my dreams come true.

Now that we've graduated, for the first time, we're dealing with the fact that we don't have a set path laid out for us. Real life is more than what we're used to. We might struggle to find jobs. Heck, we might find jobs but hate them. It might take forever to save up money. Things might not go according to how we planned them in our heads. We're going to have to juggle a bunch of different elements all at once. Life will be scary and difficult sometimes, but as long as you're there to hold my hand, I know that I will always be OK.

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