As a biology major, I can’t help but look at everything from an evolutionary perspective and as a scientist. I can’t help but hypothesize and question why it is that humans seem to be evolving into a more disconnected species? What changed as generations passed that has deteriorated the connections we make with one another? Looking back at what life used to look like in the classical years of the 40s and the 50s, it seems as if concepts such as ‘love’ have trickled down in meaning.
When I was younger, love was a sacred word, relationships used to be meaningful and long-lasting, and commitment provided a sense of security people strived for. Yet, these words seem to have strayed from their meaning as generations go by. Commitment has turned into something people run away from rather than run toward. It is no longer synonymous with stability but rather viewed as a disturbance of individual freedom.
Before the 1960s came around, the rules of dating were significantly strict. From the 60s on, there was a period of much social, cultural, and intellectual advancements worldwide that opened doors and allowed individuals to have a greater sense of liberty. Particularly, one of the biggest milestones in this time period, was the changing role of women in society. At this time, it became possible for women to have a career other than raising children. They were beginning to be allowed to study at institutions and hold important positions in the workforce. The female gender gained independence and power during this time frame. Such independence only grew stronger as years went by. During these years, women began to be self-sufficient and were thus less inclined to tolerate certain behaviors form their partners because they no longer needed them to survive economically. This may be one of the reasons why break ups became more abundant, and relationships began to lose their value.
Additionally, both men and women, began to appreciate the importance of intellectual development more during these years, and many started to put their careers ahead of their desire for building a family. Many people nowadays fear that relationships may hold them back from thriving in their careers or in other aspects of their lives, which is why they avoid being in a relationship at all. There is also the fact that providing for a family seems to be much more expensive nowadays than it used to be years ago, explaining why we seem to put it off for later. In fact, that tends to be the current general trend when approaching love. We save it for ‘later’ like the leftovers of a really good meal we couldn’t finish. We live our lives and put love in a little box that we take home for ‘later’.
For some of us ‘later’ comes at the right time, when we are at our 30s all tired out, with enough experience to know what we want. And for some it doesn’t. You meet the right person at the wrong time and put them aside for ‘later,' because there is too much to live and experience, too much personal growth you believe you will not be able to do as long as you are tied to someone else. The fear of missing out in life, outweighs the fear of losing the person. Yet what most of us fail to realize is that being with someone is an experience in itself. The thing with people and food… is that saving them for ‘later’ doesn’t always work. Sometimes food goes bad, sometimes people move on, and sometimes you’re sitting in a desk at your dream job, missing the person you let go to get it.