We have been encouraged to be relational from a very young age, but people have vastly different experiences. Getting married at recess in kindergarten might have been the peak of your entire elementary school career, or you may think that people still have cooties. Either way, the prospect of relationships are somewhat ingrained in our minds and have had some sort of impact throughout our lives.
In a world that values being independent and unique, society adversely encourages the constant, and somewhat obsessive, search for your one and only, your soulmate. We are often brought up to believe that one day we will get married and have children, and though that is not everyone’s goal, and that is perfectly fine, there is some hidden expectation in finding and surviving in and through a relationship.
Opposingly, there seems to be a disconnect in the dating scene, and communication seems to be the culprit. Between trying to be independent, yet wanting someone to depend on, there is a chasm of indifference in the way that people connect to one another, or rather, don’t.
Men have traditionally been expected to go after the girl, to plan and pay and to make the first, second and third moves. This is no longer the “traditional” way of thinking, and that has made quite an impact. The idea of “chivalry” is joked about constantly, and the idea of “dating” is now completely immersed in gray.
We live in a world of misunderstanding and confusion when it comes to relationships. Going through “talking” phases, waiting for someone to make the first move, never knowing where we stand with someone, not knowing if being in a relationship means you have to bend to the “ring by spring” mentality—these are all real issues, and lack of communication is stealing from many potential relationships.
Why is it so hard for people to say what they feel when they feel it, in any relationship? Why do we have such a hard time accepting when we are hurt by other people or try to cover up our emotions in fear of others thinking we are “weird” for feeling?
Relationships seem to be more scarring than loving, and that is an issue. Especially in a Christian environment where many want Jesus to be at the center, relationships tend to crumble because the fear of rejection and lack of communication overshadows the good that can come from relationships. Perhaps we need to stop living in the world of playground marriages and finally take the steps that are necessary to communicate and nurture relationships in love and maturity.
Perhaps the biggest mistake within human relationships is that true feelings are rarely brought out into the open and talked about. Maybe it’s time for relational humans to actually face reality head on, change what we want to change and become more communicative.