Back in the day when you got married young or committed to a relationship you start a family with a person you plan to grow old with and that dream actually became a reality. You live life and celebrate your thirty five, fifty six and eighty second anniversary, seeing your children have children and soon enough you’re great grandparents. You then die having fulfilled life, having instilled good morals and values, support and love, that never grew old, to your children.
What happened? …….. How did relationships turn, more like devaluate from one partner you build a home with to more than one partner, countless heartbreak and the probability that you might find your soul mate.
Millennials are defined as persons born in the 1980s or 1990s, are also known as a member of Generation Y. One may argue that the Millennials of this generation are emotionally unstable, but how can it be when the current youth have to endure breakups. This is not to say that none of the present day young individuals have happy relationships and persons in era of our grandparents and parents did not experience heart break. It is just an observation that there has been a decrease in the number of meaningless long relationship and an increase in short term or failed ones.
Millennials have also taken on this rising trend that since they were hurt by an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend they are going treat the next person they date badly or hurt them. The logic precedes rationality, because not every person is the same and one should not ‘pay’ for another’s thoughts, feelings or actions.
Why is this? What influences this change in desire to commit?
The media and societal influences play an integral role or is a great contributing factor to whether or not persons choose a partner and want to start a long term relationship with them. The Jamaican society pushes the ideology that a man must fit the outline of the set standard. These standards include provider, goal-oriented, successful, family- oriented, funny, wealthy, smart, attractive, fit, tall and overall ‘perfect’. While these sought after qualities are admirable, not every man has all those qualities to therefore make themselves the ‘complete package’.
Females on the other hand are expected to also have similar attributes like intelligence, nurturing, funny, family-oriented and attractive. As well, the standards go further to include curvy, sexy, caring, innovative, independent, and spontaneous among other qualities. However, finding a woman with those qualities in its entirety is rare, the ‘ideal woman’ is not really ‘ideal’ for everyone.
Relationships have lost their sincerity and romance and this could possibly be attributed to the technological advancement. ‘Back in the day’ courting, the period in which one tries to acquire another’s love or woo, was actually present and an integral part in any dating relationship. Not to mention the famous ‘ask her dad’s permission’, ‘pick her up and drop her off at the door’, ‘open the door and pull out her chair for her’. Now, it is safe to say that in present day, chivalry is not practiced by the ‘gentlemen’ of the society and seems to be more or less dead among the masses.
Monogamy is also a thing of the past, as it has become a norm to date more than one female or male while in the dating phase of a relationship, in order to ‘test the waters’. This phase is thus called an ‘open relationship’, where two persons agree to date, but can also date other persons, and at the end of which they decide to date the one which has the greatest connection with them. The phenomenon of an ‘open relationship’ has taken on a whole new meaning. As we would hope that monogamy remains the option of the dating realm, the media and social influences has forced these other alternatives into the mix in order to foster a ‘cake and eat it’ feeling.
By Alexandra Daley
Photo courtesy of helpguide.com