Girl Talk: Has love taken back seat to convenience, instant gratification?
In the traditional methods of dating, couples would get into a relationship and it would eventually turn into sex. Today’s dating world has turned that upside down. Often it starts with sex that hopefully turns into a relationship….sometimes. When did it all get so backwards? Do we need to turn back the clock and start over?
It’s often said that the older generations had it right. (Clearly, they are the ones saying it and have dubbed themselves “the greatest generation”) Our elders have inaccurately blamed the downfall of society on the hippies, business women and millennials. While their ways of thinking are often outdated and contradictory, is the message they are trying to convey accurate? I decided it was time to hear one of them out and see what is so great that we are missing.
One day, over dinner, my grandfather told me that as a society, we have lost our value. We no longer value the things we have and everything, including people, can be replaced. We tire of things and throw them away and are always on the hunt for something better. We are a dissatisfied generation.
I put some thought into this.
He is right.
When it comes to love, we build walls to avoid getting hurt. We play games. We swipe right instead of having a conversation. Instead of saving ourselves for marriage, we test drive the car before signing the papers. We get frustrated and walk away. Love has taken a backseat to convenience and instant gratification. We are ruining it.
Is the problem fixable?
So many of us have put other things ahead of love. We choose instead to favor careers, travel, friendships and dreams. This is a wonderful thing that the generations before us never had the option to do. I was always told that today’s modern woman could have it all, but why doesn’t it feel that way? Why do we have to choose between the women’s lives before us and the women’s ambitions ahead of us?
I certainly don’t want to ever find myself barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, but I also don’t want to grow old never knowing how to bake a pie. Where is the balance between yesterday and tomorrow? The secret is to make your own today. We are living in a world where you can choose to hook up and leave or get to know someone then build up to it. We have the freedom to set our own expectations. The problem arises when we feel the urge to choose between having sex that leads to dating, or dating that leads to sex, but the joy of our generation is that we are the ones to make that choice.
Do I agree with my grandfather on my generation’s murder of Cupid? No, I think we just gave him a make-over. Love is always going to find a way. Casual sex is not the enemy, but the games people play have made it more like guerrilla warfare. If we make an infusion of the timeless, forgiving and “worked for” love of the past that my grandfather spoke of and combined it with today’s freedom to choose, then the loves of tomorrow might just be the greatest of all time.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live and WBRE.