Fifty-plus years ago, there was significantly more continuity in regards to relationships between men and women. In other words, traditional ideals held a specific criteria for the right relationship: A man marries a woman; they buy a white house with a stunning white, picket fence in suburbia subsequent the marriage ceremony and honeymoon; woman births two children (although at that time, it was more likely five or six children); and every other stereotype we [the American society] has seen depicted through the film industry in the last 20 years (e.g. Mona Lisa Smile).
Now, pull yourself out of conservatism and conformity and glance at a calendar. My how the tables have turned.
The year is 2010 - the Digital Age, the Age of the iPhone, and the Age of Social Networks - and not just obtaining, but maintaining a relationship is harder than ever. In short, as times have changed, so have traditional ideals. Wow, really?! Okay Captain Obvious. Although such a statement is quite evident, my purpose is to convey a disheartening truth: Long-lasting relationships are a rarity in not only the western hemisphere, but worldwide. Such truth prompts a certain well-known proverb, the grass is always greener on the other side, which has reached its peak.
Let's consider geography for a wee bit. New Yorkers tired of city life, for instance, dream of relocating to California where the sun is visible and stars are born. In contrast, Californians who have overused Coppertone or they are simply sick of Schwarzenegger, vineyards, Hollywood and mudslides, vacation to the Big Apple for their dose of Sex and the City.
How do relationships intertwine with this proverb? Nowadays, it seems as though divorces are trendier than marriages. Why? Perhaps men and women are relying on mere physical attraction as reason enough to commence a relationship and once the truth is out - clashing personalities, contrasting religious backgrounds, and/or difference in social status - it's time to cut and run.
Has our society really become that shallow? Or is it something else?
With social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc), medical advancements and technology as a whole, have we put ourselves out there too much? In my opinion, a social media profile is a watercolor of one's personality. From a distance, the painting is beautiful, smooth and clear; but up close, it's hard to see the truth of what is really there. Furthermore, profile pictures are updated to ensure the image adequately portrays the right personality or character. And even then...through technology (e.g. Photoshop), one is able to alter physical features to create a more appealing image of oneself. Thus, our perception of beauty is somewhat clouded.
Here's a clip for readers who haven't yet seen "real beauty" in this century. Click on the link below to view this YouTube clip titled Dove Evolution Commercial.
After viewing the video and skimming through your friends profiles, I ask you...Did society have it right fifty-plus years ago? Was the grass as green as it could be because the truth was evident - no social media, technological or medical advancement to tell them otherwise? Or am I wrong and our present society has it right after all?
Now, similar to the Men, Women & Hair entry I posted a few months ago, the following is a list of questions regarding relationships - which don't particularly pertain to this post. Answers to these questions may turn this entry into a series and most questions can be answered by men and women. Additionally, these questions were created with help from friends and family members.
Please indulge me with your responses! To answer, comment below or feel free to send an email. Thank you.
(1) How can we maintain the excitement in relationships today?
(2) What scares you the most about a serious relationship?
(2) What turns you off most about women? What turns you off most about men?
(3) When does the "Oh shit, this is getting serious" moment generally arise in your relationships? Chandler Bing, anyone?!! Have you ever experienced such a moment and how did you handle it?
(4) How often do you change your mind about the women you date? (For instance, the transitions from liking to disliking and back to liking a woman.)
(5) If you know the woman or man you are dating isn't someone you would be with long term, how long do you let the relationship last?? Several weeks? Couple of months? Until you've found that something greener?
(6) How long does it take for you to be attracted to not only a woman's (or man's) physical characteristics, but other appealing attributes (e.g. intelligence, life goals, sense of humor, inner strength, etc)?