In my opinion, healthy relationships are hard to come by these days. I’m confident enough to sit here and say that my generation is the first to experience this new dating world, and we’ve taken it as our own and ruined the word relationship. Yes, I’m engaged, and I have that healthy relationship, but God knows it hasn’t always been. We’ve worked to get here. I’m also lucky enough to be surrounded by people who also have healthy relationships, but I also know a crap load who do not. There are many reasons a relationship can be toxic or won’t work out, which I need to vent about.
1. Social Media
Surprise, social media is one of the biggest factors in today’s relationships. It’s sickening honestly. First it was who’s on your top 8 on Myspace, now it’s who’s Instagram pics are they liking, who’s following who, and let’s just wait for the day we get back the Snapchat’s best friend list back. Now you can even see the last time someone was on Instagram/Facebook, so you know if they’re ignoring you. It’s ridiculous. I could write a whole chapter on how people, yes people – not just men – shouldn’t be liking inappropriate pictures on social media, because I feel pretty strongly about that. But I’ll digress now before I even begin. However, if you’re in a relationship, don’t be an asshole on social media. Nothing is a secret. Everyone can see what you’re doing. Your significant other will find out. Stop. Point number two about social media, our communication skills are out the window. We can strike up one hell of a conversation through texting or DMs, but put two millennials in a room without other people and a cell phone, and things could get awkward. Because we don’t know how to talk to people anymore. I say “we” lightly because I’ll toot my own horn and say I’m an exception, but most of my generation and the generation after. No one picks up the phone to talk anymore, most people are on their phones on a date or out with friends, human connectedness is just declining.
2. Dating apps
This brings me to dating apps. I say dating lightly here, because it’s pretty much just hook up central. But good Lord…Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish…they’re all the same. Our way of choosing a mate is judging a picture, what 140 characters they write in a bio, and swiping right or left. I’m SO happy that I’ve been out of the dating world for 6 years, because these didn’t exist back then. How the hell are you supposed to be interested in someone by just those two things? How freaking superficial is that? Yes, I’m sure there’s a couple out there that became successful from one of these apps and I’m happy for you. But for the rest of the world they’re getting cheesy pick-up lines and guys who are not interested in something real. So why is it called a dating app? Dating is about genuinely being interested in getting to know someone to see if there’s a possible future with them. Not trying to get a chick’s attention with “did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” just to try and bang them on the first “date”. The chivalry in romance is gone because of these idiotic concepts.
3. Accepting Being Treated Poorly
This. This is not just my generation, and not just women. I know adults who fall into this category, men and women. This is a category I have experience in, so I’m not just talking out of my butt here. However, I think with social medial and technology, some of the bad laundry gets put out in the open a little more than in the past. If someone is not respecting you, why are you staying? There’s endless answers to this question. I’ve gotten them all. I’ve even used some. My excuse – I was young. I understand sometimes the answer is ‘kids.’ But still. When I see people my age, or people my parent’s age, staying in toxic relationships despite how they’re being treated, I want to shake them. Respect. That’s all. If there is cheating, lying, emotional abuse, physical abuse, belittling– they do not respect you. Their loyalty does not match yours. Stop falling for their sweet words when their actions are much louder. I’m not saying there’s no resolution, sometimes people change and things will work out. But I’m talking about the endless fights, the endless tears, always knowing there’s probably someone else, always sneaking to see who they’re texting. Help yourself. Do it for you. You’re accepting this behavior and letting this person make you small and irrelevant. Eventually, I hope, someone gets tired of the games. Toxic relationships have no place in your life, but only you can change it. Only you can decide that you are worth more.
5. Past Relationships
Oh, the trauma these can give us. Trust issues. How many times have you been told, “sorry my ex just messed me up” Or, how many times have you said that yourself? This is a huge part of why dating is so crappy these days. Everyone’s all butt hurt from the person that broke their heart. I get it. I used that excuse a time or two in my day. Sometimes it might be done unconsciously. But at some point, get over it. Especially if it’s been years. You’re future in relationships will not be successful unless you choose to let things go and trust again. Why keep letting this one person control you, even after they’re already gone? You’re giving so much negative energy to this person because you can’t let yourself try again with someone new. You will push people away with trust issues, I’m sure some of you already have. And trust me, I’m not sitting here saying you don’t have the right to have these trust issues or fear of getting hurt, but I’m saying let them go. Make the conscious decision to stop letting that ex continue to control your dating life. The bravest thing you can do is love again.
That’s my short rant about modern dating. It affects so many people I know and love. People are staying single well into their 30’s for obvious reasons, or in crappy relationships. I can write a whole nother page on why I think my relationship is so successful in this world, even after a not-so-easy road. But, what works for me might not work for you. In this world of dating, know what you deserve and take care of yourself first. You can’t help someone else swim if you can’t stay above water.