I’ve been following an online discussion on Quora.com, a question and answer forum. The question on October 2, 2013 was – What am I missing out on in life if I don’t have a girlfriend?
On Quora.com there are many comments, but the most poignant one was written by Jay Bazzinotti. He says that he’s a successful guy who’s done everything, except share his life with a long-term partner. He knows he’s missing out on something very important, but I’m wondering if he has the capacity to be in a relationship at all. Most young people are still yearning for a relationship, but they don’t want to do what it takes to have one.
I’m disturbed that young people are opting out of long-term relationships all together because they are just too much work. They’d prefer to put their time and efforts into their jobs and into entertaining themselves in the virtual reality of cyberspace.
What’s this no-relationship trend all about? There are lots of contributing factors. Here are a few — technology that sucks up most of your time, internet pornography that gives you unrealistic expectations of sex with a real partner, overpopulation which makes jobs competitive to get and hard to hold onto, female and male rebellion of traditional roles of the stay-at-home mom and bread-winner dad, and entitlement of the super kid generation who is accustomed to immediate gratification.
Most young people are also products of non-intact families or of long-suffering parents who define their marriage as a prison sentence. The kids have endured the pain of divorce and/or unhappiness, and they’ll be damned if they’ll repeat their parents’ mistakes. Unfortunately, in their attempt to be empowered, they’re going down a slippery slope.
Take a look at this alarming video. In Japan, in order to have some semblance of human contact, young men and women are resorting to “cuddling” with complete strangers. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that this ”cuddling” is anything more than big business, especially when a professional “love” worker can make as much a $800,000 per annum. And, amazingly enough, these “cuddle hotels,” run by the mafia, don’t include sex. This leads me to conclude that young people would rather have virtual sex or none at all.
Why would humans not want to express themselves sexually with another real human being? Is it just too scary? Maybe the no-relationship trend stems from the human desire to survive by avoiding pain. Perhaps, people just don’t feel they can handle the risks of real life and real relationships anymore. Why? Because people need relationship education to cultivate their resourcefulness and resilience!
Commoditizing relationships won’t solve the problem. Fun and meaning are enhanced because you have memories that you and your partner share. Jay Bazzinotti knows there’s a big hole in his life. Who else is going to care about that trip that you and your partner took to Hawaii 20 years ago? Certainly not a stranger who’s a professional actor!
Granted Japan and America are different cultures. But, humans are humans – we all crave connection. Will fake, make-believe connection be enough? Will it evolve or devolve human psychology? More importantly, regardless of fads and trends, what would you prefer – a real relationship or the facsimile of one?
Are you settling for anything less than the real thing? Do you put more time into your work and online activities or do you spend time with real people, especially your partner? Are you willing to pay the emotional price of a real relationship?