What is a trend? The definition of trend (according to dictionary.com) is: “The general course or prevailing tendency”.
Here’s a story for you that I have been hearing a lot lately, from several friends. Real-life events of ordinary people, just like me and you. The names and genders – as well as sexual orientations – differ from one story to another, but – strikingly – the events are identical. So, if you are homophobic, or biased against other people’s sexual preferences, kindly close this window.
It might strike you as an everyday kind of story, but – to me – it made me contemplate the status of relationships nowadays and what we have become as human beings. I have to warn you: it is not the kind of soggy story that has a happy ending, and it won’t make you use up the tissue box to dry those tears. It isn’t the kind where, after a lot of breaks-ups and make-ups, the couple lives happily ever after. This is reality and not some Disney fairytale.
And so it goes as follows…
Once upon a time, not too long ago, in a land by the Mediterranean Sea… to cut a long story short: they met, they “fell in love” (whatever the definition of it means nowadays), they broke up…
Not end of story… Actually, the best part is towards the time of the break-up. Please, do go on reading.
“They” were a happy couple; the envy of many of their friends. Young and wild, they believed their “love” could conquer the world. Heck, they believed it could overtake the universe. Or at least, that’s how their “words” and “vows” and “promises” could be interpreted. All was going well for them; yeah they had their ups and downs, but who cares? “Love” can withstand any obstacle, right? Well, I beg to differ.
One day, she met another guy, through friends, at one certain event. This “other” guy, being the typical macho I-am-God’s-gift-to-women type, hit on her. She reciprocated. Now you would think (or maybe not): “What’s wrong with that?”. I shall tell you, but at a later point. For now, just enjoy the story.
So, being the girl-next-door type that she is, she told the “love of her life” about the “incident” with the other guy, explaining how it all meant nothing to her and blah.. blah.. blah. You know, women are extremely capable of coming up with all sorts of excuses and stuff. Anyhow, after a week or so, during which time the girl was in daily contact with the other guy, she tells the “love of her life” that she is not sure of her feelings for him, that she needs a break to think things through, and that it was for the best. One day later (or maybe two, I’m not sure), she brags in a caption of a picture on a certain social media network about “a dream come true” – an activity that she had experienced with the other guy. A week later (and this I’m sure of), she announces to the world that she is currently in a relationship with the other guy.
Okay, yes women tend to give excuses and stuff to make the break-up easier to digest and all, but to tell the guy (not the other guy) that she wants everything between them to remain the same, and have the guts to “take his permission” to change her relationship status?! Now that is cruel and heartless!
End of this story… But here’s another shorter one for you. Once more, not a happy ending type of gig. But Again I warn you: if you are homophobic, filled with bigotry and hate, and are a self-proclaimed God’s messenger on earth, please skip this part… or better yet, stop reading altogether.
Story no. 2: Two women “fell in love”. They were crazy about each other; so much so that even their heartbeats were in unison. They pulled each other up, shared the good and the bad times, and dreamed of the day when they could build their dream house and live together… forever. Then one day, one of the two women (like our friend in the first story) decided that it was supposed to “end”, backing that decision up by “I need to learn to make it on my own”, and the notorious (yet unbelievable) “I don’t think I can commit now; I need to be free” excuses. A few days later, she was out and about with a few men here and there, and ended up in a “committed” relationship with one of them. Again this woman (and again like our friend in the first story) wanted everything between her and her ex-lover to remain as it was (including the intimacy… go figure! This woman tops them all!).
End of story.
I have yet another story still. Not really a story, but rather a (sadly) funny incident that have come to my attention. A single 37-year-old woman went on a first date with this man. He was 7 years older. During the course of their dinner, he asked her (oh so casually as though he was asking about the time): “Do you spit or swallow?”
Do not attempt to adjust your screen resolution, and your eyes and comprehension abilities are intact. Yes, you read it correctly. Spit or swallow. Quite an interesting topic to inquire about on a first date. But who can blame him? The guy has to be sure whether or not to take things further, right? Wrong, according to me, but who am I to judge?
I guess it has become a trend these days to break-up with someone but keep things as they are; of course, under a different title, such as “good friends”.
I have read a post by a friend on Facebook, where she mocks the status of relationships these days, explaining how boredom sets in and partners end up cheating on each other. And I was also in a discussion with another friend, who was adamant in her beliefs that it is “healthy” for partners in a relationship to flirt with other people. She even somehow made fun of me for not agreeing to what she said.
I am the type of person who likes to observe and analyze (hence majoring in psychology). Human behavior is one of the most interesting topics for my mind; I can spend hours observing, taking mental notes, and analyzing. I usually end up surprising myself at the accuracy of my results.
Anyhow, back to our topic: trends, as the title suggests.
After hearing those stories, reading that post by my friend, and trying to swallow (not what you’re thinking of, you naughty one) the logic behind my other friend’s argument; and after a lot of observation and analysis (of day-to-day events), I have come to a conclusion: monogamy has long since died, taking along with it all the necessary ingredients of a successful relationship (such as open and honest communication, the belief that relationships need a lot of work to work out, the willingness to fight with each other to “make it work”, etc…).
Over the decades, the life-span of a relationship has decreased significantly, and now varies between 10-12 months for the dating type of relationship, and 2-6 years for marriages. All my friends from high school and college, and those who are my age (37 in case you’re wondering) are now divorced, both men and women. And the funny part is, all exes want things to “stay the same” after break-up. Mind you, those who ask for things to stay the same get eaten up by jealousy if their ex meets someone, or – God forbid – decide to date.
People nowadays live spontaneously and on impulse. They follow their feelings “at the moment” without considering the consequences. It has become all about how they are feeling right now. Yeah, feelings are a beautiful thing, especially if they are pleasurable. But it has made us so selfish and self-absorbed that we do not care (not even flinch) about the other person’s feelings. And by other person I mean the “partner”. Everything these days is all “me.. me.. me”. The “give-and-take” situation no longer exists. All we wanna do is take. Partners in a relationship have lost all zest for the relationship and are so “not in the mood” to work things out that flirting with others is now considered healthy. I’m not sure where this comes from and where it originated; it could be all those TV shows where the “I” is hailed and promoted. I mean, it’s not s bad thing to look after yourself, but we cannot ignore the fact that we are part of a society, and there are other people around us. “No man is an island”.
Anyway, another trend I have picked up on and that is so “in” these days, and which is directly related to what has been said above, is that people praise the “assholes” (excuse the language but I could not find a more age-appropriate term), while the nice, decent people are scorned. Terms like “what a hunk” or “he’s the man” or “she knows how to play the game” are used to when referring to those who are all for polygamy; whereas “what an idiot” or “she’s so weak” or “loser” are the definition of those who are monogamous.
What I do not understand (despite my efforts and continuous struggle to) is this: how can it be healthy for one partner, or both, to know that their significant other is dirty dancing, grinding every inch of their body, with some stranger whom they just met at a bar or nightclub? And how can it be healthy to be sitting with your significant other, watching them texting this person (who usually means nothing to them), smiling like a 16-year-old who just received a text from their crush? Or better yet, if they are both into the flirting outside the relationship type, how can it be healthy to lay in bed next to your partner, both smelling like someone else?
Yes, a little jealousy every now and then is good for a relationship. And by that I mean something like telling your partner how this customer smiled at you, or told you how lucky your partner is to have you. That is the type of healthy I believe in. Just as I believe that the ingredients to a healthy and long relationship are honesty and communication, the latter being on the top of the list.
I have once heard someone say: love dies after some years have passed, but friendship and companionship remains. It was someone way older than me, who comes from that ignorant generation where marriage meant a lifetime commitment. I tend to agree only on that love dies away. Let me explain.
Feelings, like any living organism, need constant care and nurture. A lot of work has to be put into keeping them alive. It is our responsibility to keep them alive. Problem is: no one wants to make the effort. People are opting for the easy way out that guarantees their pleasure (no matter how momentary). And if you look at it closer yet, you will realize that human relationships (besides friendships, although those have also been tainted) are based on immediate gratification only (mainly sexual). “I feel good now, so I’ll go for it” type of thing. Just listen to the oh-so-short lyrics of songs these days: “I wanna make you sweat; I wanna make you know who I am”… Hmmm, can there be any other way for me to get to know you without having to “sweat”?
There was a time when that magical “first kiss” took months to achieve. The wait was always welcome and added to the magic of it. Nowadays, as one of our short stories suggest, it is perfectly okay to ask about the other person’s sexual behavior on the first date. Talk about evolving!
I am not being judgmental, nor am I opposing the “way of life” of polygamous individuals. I am merely stating an observation, and a hope that those who follow the polygamous way of life would refrain from calling their conquests relationships. Maybe – just maybe – relationships would actually live longer.
And yes, your guess is correct: I am not trendy!