3 Reasons Why Finding Love in Our Consumerist Generation is Difficult
If you’ve been single recently, you’d know how tough it is to find that someone.
I’m not talking about finding someone that to sleep with, I’m talking about finding someone to connect with. I’m not wishing for a rom-com out of the movies, but just for someone that is actually genuinely interested in you. Nowadays, it seems like if you’re single, you have a target on your back and you’re constantly on someone else’s radar because you fit only that one pre-requisite of being single. People don’t fall in love with each other, they fall in love with the idea of being together with someone, and that means anyone. People aren’t interested in dating me because they like who I am, they merely like the idea of being together with someone – and that someone doesn’t necessarily mean me; that someone might just mean an opportunity. And with our generation’s new luxuries and culture, finding love is harder than ever.
1) Our Instant-Gratification culture
When was the last time you fixed something instead of throwing it out? When was the last time you bought a $15 shirt from Forever 21 that you know that you’d wear for 2 months instead of investing in a good quality piece of clothing? When was the last time you replaced your phone?
Phones are manufactured in a way so that they need to be replaced every few years, and clothes are made to be disposable and cheap so people can always wear the latest trends. Our buying habits trickle down into our behaviour and our attitudes.
People get together (even with the wrong people) for that momentary fleeting gratification – and move on to the next thing when something goes awry instead of fixing it (even with the right people).
2) It’s so easy to connect with other people nowadays
Look at your phone. How many messaging apps do we have? There’s the old fashioned texting, there’s WhatsApp, there’s Facebook Messenger, there’s Line, there’s WeChat, there’s KaKao, and we’re just scratching the surface.
You’d think that we’d have an easier time finding someone else since we can reach out to other people so quickly and easily, but couple this privilege to our instant-gratification/consumerist culture and it becomes disastrous.
Single men and women are texting six or seven prospective partners at the same time – if one doesn’t work out, we move on to the next one. This sounds great in theory – there are so many choices to pick from right?
We have a problem when we see partners as houses on the market. You can’t just find the right connection right away – it’s developed. When you see potential partners as dismissible choices, it’ll be tough to find the right person. No one is perfect, and some people might take more work to get to know – you’d never know if they were worth it or not, especially if they were only another contact in the list that you text.
3) Social Media
The greatest practice we’ve accepted into our culture in the 21st century is the selfie. It’s become commonplace to celebrate yourself – your milestones on Facebook, your appearance on Instagram, and your personal ideas on Twitter. We’re all mini-celebrities now – the more likes and retweets you get, the better. I’m all for this – I mean, if you think you look beautiful today – take a pic and share it! You’re only young once anyways. Got into med school? Share it! You deserve to get congratulated!
Our individualistic culture works great with social media. but relationships and social media is probably the worst mix that you could ever find.
If you’ve been living under a rock, then let me introduce you a new term – ‘Facebook Official’. It’s when a couple signifies that they are in a relationship by announcing to their friends and family (yes, even the extended relatives overseas) that they are in a relationship. It denotes a new level of commitment – think of it as the next step before getting engaged.
Understandably, Facebook and Instagram are the avenues that we pursue nowadays to find out if someone’s single or dating. You could probably deduce how long they’ve been single/dating through wall posts, picture comments, and tagged photos too. Most people might even determine their compatibility with that person through their likes, statuses, and picture posts too. This fits in perfectly with our consumerist culture – Facebook has become our Amazon of potential partners. I mean, you go on Amazon to check out a product’s specifications and details right? Facebook offers the same thing.
The problem again, is that we are people – not products. A relationship is a two way street – it’s not supposed to be a symbiotic relationship where a ‘perfect’ partner is meant to fit a number of one’s needs, but a mutual support and understanding. Unlike how an iPhone is meant to fit our needs, a partner isn’t supposed to fulfill a purpose nor fill a void in our lives, nor are they meant to be as disposable and replaceable as an iPhone.
If you’re looking, relax, and ask yourself why you’re looking – could that desire be filled with something else? It could be something you’re passionate about, your career, creating accomplishments, or building a deeper connection with your friends and family. And if you feel like you’re being pursued – evaluate whether the other person is interested in you, or whether they’re interested in the idea of just being with you. There’s a huge difference.