In an era in which we are remarkably interconnected, we are unusually alone. Our technologies made us forget how to behave, made us insensible to our feelings and to the pain or excitement of others. Our relationships had become superficial, lacking depth. We are too afraid or we don’t know how to interact with others, we are scared to be judged or rejected. Paradoxically, we lack sensitivity for others because we are ourselves too sensible. We forgot that is normal to feel pain from now and then (that’s how love works).
I was reading the other day a book about public speaking and a funny yet interesting thing was written there, that the psychological state of excitement is the root of both pain and pleasure. I think that statement could at least describe my love life. Lately, this thought has been bothering me for a while, that our bodies and thus our minds are not suitable for the modern life, look at our eating habits or at our sleep behavior. The reaction to stress is an ancient mechanism and as modern men and women, our prehistoric minds perceive our mundane lives as we are chased by tigers all day long. Usually, we control this state by the power of will but that has a limit too.
Coming back to our main subject now, being in love is painful, and not in a metaphorical way, no, no , those of you who experienced this state know the pain you have in your chest when you are in love, is annoying, one moment you are happy when thinking about the one you love, the next moment, you feel a punch in your guts. Isn’t love magic? I don’t have to say that it gets worse when you are rejected or when you pass through a breakup, that is total hell.
Summing up a little, if one takes into consideration all those mentioned above and their implications we can conclude that modern love life is doomed because people, as usual, are afraid of feeling pain created by rejections mostly, therefore, they don’t build up relationships with others and prefer short-term hookups because the chances of being hurt are lower, in financial pseudo-terms, your investment has little values so you don’t have to lose too much. Funny thing, you can’t either have a relevant revenue. You risk more, your prospect winnings can be higher but so the value of the failure. Apps like Tinder are the stock market for low-value investments.
Truly and deeply I think that humans search meaning in life, look at the success of religion and political movements, and that applies to relationships too, we are desperate for deep, intimate relationships, but there are some main obstacles:
1. We don’t want to devote resources to those connections.You have to invest a lot of time that could have been redirected to something else like your personal development, for example, in a relationship you gave up your time for “us” but in some extent for he/she; you gave up financial resources, gifts, and other stuff; you gave up emotions and your well being, you let yourself exposed and prone to injuries etc. This means you gave up “you” for “us”, and for those of you who are selfish, individualistic, and narcissistic persons as I am, it can be pretty damn hard and people may not see your efforts and hence not appreciate them.
2.You have to change, not like making compromises, that is a mistake, but more like changing the way you see the world and see yourself as a part of it, your prospects about the future change as well.
3. You have to abandon the other opportunities. It is natural that humans search something new, is our instinct, is the marketers’ hell (you change one brand for another because it seems interesting and new without any previous signs). Men and women alike always wonder if there is someone better than their actual partner, all that sum of what ifs… The truth about that, as far as I am concerned, is that yes, there is always someone better than the person you are dating, but that stranger is there in the world, probably hooking up with someone else and the chances to find him are not that high if you see things from a more realistic point of view (this applies if you play at the top spectrum of your hierarchies). Usually, our partners fail our expectations, and we usually start to see their flaws after the hormones exit our bodies. No one is perfect, and you have your own glitches, but one is more than his defects and mistakes. I don’t say that if the relationship isn’t working you should stay there, no girl (or boy) pack your things and move on, but that after you tried making things work (and in most situations, this implies that horrible ritual for the pagan gods … communicating with your partner, speaking your mind straight out, without games, and truly listening to what your partner says, not just hearing, but listening, for real). Also, if you have a working relationship but this thought, that there must be someone better out there, doesn’t let you rest, I think is more due to a thing that your partner lacks like trying kinky stuff or doing more stuff tougher than the need of an entirely new person, ask yourself what you really want and most of the time you don’t need a new person.
I intended to talk about dating apps but look where we’ve got at the moment of talking about feelings and sh*t, I think it’s too late for that now…
When you use social media, or you post something somewhere, even a comment or when you text someone etc., usually you don’t act as yourself, our digital personas are different from our real selfs (we become more confident or we say things that one could not say in a real, tete-a-tete conversation, you don’t start saying sexual things or to sware right after you meet someone, no… you buy them a drink and then say that, is more polite this way). My point here is that technology depersonalizes humans because we don’t care or we don’t even think about how the other person behind the screen may react to our words. Additionally, it allows our Shadow (as Jung describes it) to show up, we expose another face, another persona that cannot be expressed in another medium due to the fact that we have to take into consideration social norms (like don’t be rude to strangers, or don’t harm someone because is fun).
Wrapping up all these random thoughts I presented, we can communicate with more individuals than ever before and thus the possibility of meeting a new partner is higher, however, we are afraid to get too involved and nonetheless, we discard some parts of ourselves when using technology, some pieces that may be essential for who we are in real life.
Search for meaning and don’t be afraid to be hurt, that would be a good piece of advise that I should follow as well.