By Beatriz: A lot of things have changed with the passage of time, involving all areas of human nature; however, one of the things that has most impacted us, has been globalization and technology advances. These two combined have created a world where everything happens in a short time span, and where we have a lot of options to get whatever we want, from wherever we want. We’ve become overwhelmingly stimulated, and this, believe it or not, affects our interpersonal relationships.
Social Dependence and Technology
With the rise of social media and instant messaging, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch 24/7 with friends and partners. However, some years ago, people would keep in touch with time limited phone calls, and would catch up in person.
On the plus side, this allows us to maintain connections that are long distance, or to connect online with like minded people. On the down side, it can lead to a lot of anxiety and dependent tendencies because of the quality of the messages and interactions we receive from others.
This last point affects how we perceive the affection others have for us, but also our self esteem and confidence.
Personally, I’d argue that it makes us hyper aware of our social connections and hyper reliant on them. It also makes it easier to lose trust and interest for people that are not constantly replying.
A Fast Pace World and Long Term Connections
Alongside social media, we’ve also advanced in terms of commerce. Globalization has allowed us to buy things from all over the world, for different prices and qualities, but we always have the choice of getting the best suitable option for our personal needs.
This has affected how we consume in general: is this the best option? Is this what will satisfy my needs best? Is this the best deal I can get? A whole lot of overthinking in what, in older scenarios, would have been a simple task of grab and go from the two options at your local store.
When we combine the fast pace and the advancement of globalization and capitalism, we find ourselves with two big issues in the romance department:
• Impatience when building relationships: we tend to want to get to know people, date and be official really fast. With the availability of text messages, you can easily fit three dates worth of information in the span of one evening of texting back and forth. However, people can NOT be taken in in such short terms. People are complex, evolving and reactive beings, imperfect as well, who need to be carefully explored and understood with time. It’s not the same being told about someone’s pet peeve, as seeing them act up on it, is it? Trying to rush relationships will constantly create an idealization of the person in question, and will also create an incongruence of pace and rhythm of the relationship. You might be thinking that this is not going anywhere, but to them, this may just be getting started.
• Viewing relationships as consumer goods: sometimes, our view of “which of these things can make me happiest?” with consumer goods, bleeds into our relationships. Thinking that maybe the relationship you are currently building, or have had for a while, could be topped by another one that you could have with someone else. This would be, in a way, viewing people as consumer goods. This is especially common in two moments: the first one, is in the dating phase. Dating, getting to know each other, and still speaking to other people to keep options open and decide in between candidates. The second one, is in established and stable relationships, when the hormonal rush and the honeymoon phase have passed, that people may begin to wonder if this is “all there is”, and if maybe there is someone better for them.
The Truth of it All and How to Fix it
Truth be told, relationships take time and effort in order to work. There needs to be a personal awareness and willpower coming from you to fix it. Here’s a list of tips:
• Do NOT rush connections: allow both of you to flavor each other. Get to know the other one, don’t have too many deep conversations online, have meaningful dates with a prudent waiting time in between. Be patient with how things unravel, and don’t let the desire of a relationship consume you and blind you.
• Do NOT make decisions based on texting: texting is one of the least personal forms of communication, which also allows for a lot of misunderstandings because of the lack of tone and visual feedback. Their way of texting and frequency will not be an absolute indicator of what they feel (for better, or for worse).
• Make a real effort to keep the flame alive: a relationship is not something that is meant to please you while you sit and receive; it’s meant to be a project between two (or more) people who care for and love each other, where they give and receive equally. Don’t seek that “spark” somewhere else if you have love for your partner (partner, NOT memories; those are two different things). Reignite the flame, go on dates, show each other love with different love languages. Be mindful of your thoughts and patterns that you may be showing. Don’t miss out on someone for the idealization of another possible mate because of how consumerism has conditioned you.
In summary, be mindful of how you connect with people and how realistic your expectations are. Do not make decisions over petty motives, and remember that all good things take time and work.
Love and Light,