We need to take a second here and talk about divorce rates and how we started as a society that didn’t even consider divorce and option, to only doing it as an extreme last resort, to where we are now. Why are we giving up on each other so easily after promising we never would? Do we not “love” our significant others the way our grandparents did? When and why did quitting become the common option? Let me tell you what I think:
Back when my grandfather met my grandmother, he had a challenge before him. He thought she was beautiful and had to muster his confidence to approach a stranger in a random place and strike up a conversation. If he was lucky, she’d respond positively and get a phone number, but this is where his real work began. He’d have to talk with her on the phone on a regular basis to get her to agree to go on a date and be a perfect gentleman to show her that he respected her. Not only that, but he probably had to do it three separate times before anything physical would happen, because that used to be the commonly accepted “rule” of progression. He had to invest time and energy, which gave them a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level. They built a strong bond over mutual respect and honor. They found the reasons to love one another hidden deep within, through shared life experiences and matched values. Physical attraction may have been what brought them together initially, but it became secondary as they grew together.
For starters, most of our biggest movie/pop/rock stars and famous icons are almost all divorced. My favorite example is Kim K getting divorced after like, 72 days. 72 DAYS?!? What was so irreparable after just 72 days that made divorce the answer? Oh wait, because you didn’t love him. How naive of me to assume that if you married someone, you were in love. With the eyes of the world constantly on these people, we’re so much more exposed to the subject than any of our forefathers. It’s like we’re being shown that it’s totally acceptable and on top of that, 90% of meeting someone has been reduced to a simple left or right swipe, which keeps physical attraction at the forefront of our attention. Now, let’s couple that(pun intended) with the hit of dopamine we get every time we “match” with someone and you’ve got a recipe that fuels our society’s loneliness. Keep in mind that all of this exists in a world where we can order literally anything online and have it at our doors within two hours and we walk around with super computers in our pockets. Even a lot of the couples that have been together for years can be found at the dinner table, not talking or staring into each other’s eyes, learning each other, or bonding; but thumbing through Facebook. We’ve all seen it and we’ve probably all been guilty of it. We live in an age of information that has increased our knowledge, murdered our wisdom and greatly reduced our attention spans. What do you get when you put it all together? Say it with me, now: instant gratification. We want what we want, when and how we want it and if you don’t like it, you can leave and I’ll swipe myself right into a new relationship. We get married in the puppy love phase and a lot of us get divorced when that ends and we wonder why the vast majority of people are depressed and unfulfilled in life. We’ve lost sight of how to simply exist together, finding joy in the simple presence of another. You call it technological advancement, I call it a technological apocalypse.
My grandparents struggled just like any other couple. They were married for upwards of forty years and never gave up on each other. Why is this concept so lost on us in our current day? What was common practice just 40-60 years ago now sounds like a sappy romance novel and I think we have technology and entertainment to blame. Stop following in the footsteps of your favorite movie and music stars and remember that their jobs are to entertain. As much as they should strive to set examples with impressionable masses watching them constantly, it’s simply not entertaining. So next time your get that familiar itch to check your phone during dinner, or while spending time with someone; I would urge you embrace that it could be causing silent harm to your relationships and if this article is able to help save just one marriage, it’ll all be worth it to me. Hold eye contact and have long talks, hold hands and connect instead.
I’m Johnny and I’m just watching out for ya.