The vow “Til death do us part” used to tear me up at weddings. I don’t know if there’s anything more sublime than finally finding the person with whom we’ll share the rest of our lives. But those days are dying.
I’m speaking from an outsider’s perspective. Growing up in China, a country with thousands of years of traditional values, people don’t play around when it comes to marriage. Although increasing exposure to Western culture has freed up many sexual repressions, the core Asian belief still revolves around monogamy.
However, this isn’t a popular theme among Americans. Often it’s even scoffed at. With the birth of dating apps, hookup culture has evolved to a whole new level. No longer does anyone have any patience or ability to combat loneliness. Serendipity. What is that? You mean like unexpectedly running into a stranger at a train stop and somehow starting an organic conversation, then suddenly realizing you guys have matching hobbies and growing the encounter into something more than a friendship? Yeah, good luck with that movie script.
Don’t you feel empty?
“Promiscuity is like never reading past the first page. Monogamy is like reading the same book over and over.”
-Mason Cooley Quote
We love the freedom of having no strings attached. Keeping our options open while becoming imitate with multiple partners at the same time. Physically and emotionally. What sense does that make? That only means we compartmentalize or compress our feelings every time we leave someone to who we gave our bodies and a piece of our heart. Do you know what that reminds me of? Dogs. They hump and bounce. My mama chinchilla doesn’t know or care about the male she procreated her babies with.
‘Having fun’ is a huge dating component in America. Nothing wrong with that. Except people overlook the emotional aspect.Prioritizing pleasure over love makes us search for the wrong qualities in a person. Nowhere else in the world is bodybuilding as prevalent as it is in America. Dudes hit the gym trying to look like Rambo. Treadmills are always packed with single gals. Everybody tries do hard to look sexually desirable. That’s what we believe others want from us, which means it’s also what we desire from others — physical beauty.
Therefore, I’m not curious as to why people divorce daily. I don’t wonder why we switch partners like we change socks. This results from seeking short-term gratification instead of a stable commitment.
Hearing my friends’ staggering number of dating and sexual partners reminds me of why true love only appears to be a myth. The sheer volume shows how little meaning we place on sex and dating. Then, there’s also the raunchiness that goes along with those experiences. One nightstands. Dating for a week, two days. Zero recollection of who we messed with. Dating multiple partners at the same time. Threesomes. Orgies. Hookers. And nobody seems disturbed by this picture. What is this?
How can we find ‘the one’ by approaching potential partners like picking clothes from the mall? If we don’t treat romance with respect it deserves, who can we blame for our repeated failures in relationships?
Thousands of movies, books, blogs, and TV shows such as American Pie and Archer normalizes the pickup phenomenon. Our idea of ‘fun’ is often vulgar and irresponsible. Sadly, this loose goosey mentality instilled in younger generations robs them of innocence and the chance to experience deep connections and lasting relationships.
You probably don’t see how strange this all is. That’s fine. We’re accustomed to the things we’re exposed to the most. All I’m saying is, it’s okay to be sensitive. It’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to seek exclusivity. Love is the reason we live. We ought to not taint or complicate it with lust. Or any other flaunting purposes.
The quicker love comes, the quicker it goes
Genuine relationships take time to develop, but nobody has ‘time’ for that anymore. Everybody emphasizes quantity. Of course, we need to cross paths with different people to discover who we are and what we want, especially at a young age. It helps us grow. The problem, though, is that we’re treating this like a race. A numbers game. Without seriously investing in each person. We allow strangers in and out of our lives, usually before knowing them beyond a superficial level. But that’s the American way. Give someone a try. If it doesn’t work out, move on. No biggie.
We’ve always applauded this absence of attachment, mistaking the ability to jump quickly from one relationship to the next as an act of strength. In reality, we’re avoiding the risk of pain and commitment. Quality partners require a ton of patience. The right person doesn’t come from relentlessly throwing darts at the board and hoping one of them hits the target. Timing is everything. We could easily miss a worthwhile relationship by occupying our time with a mediocre one. Instead, opening up our availability allows us to stay ready for the best opportunity when it arrives.
Why do we treat something so beautiful and so sacred with such an indifferent and playful attitude? It should be fun, yes. But why dispose of all the traditional values? They exist to provide us the foundation for love. It isn’t about being conservative. It’s about maintaining a level of elegance and authenticity.
Don’t fear commitment. Fear wasting your time with the wrong people.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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