Retro Relapse: The Failure of Modern Relationships

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I may not be the best person to talk about relationships, as most of mine have been short-lived, existed in spurts or were an insane adventure that had to end for my own survival. The subject I am talking about here though, isn’t the reason for any of my relationships ending, at least not from my side of the equation. It is more of an observation I see in the behaviors of people and something I’ve discussed at great length with friends lately.

I see the relationships of many of my friends and acquaintances lose steam quickly and end pretty abruptly. Many times, the couple looks incredibly happy and everything seems to be peachy. All of a sudden, almost out of nowhere, there is a rift which almost always leads to a pretty quick exit from one partner or both. Relationships themselves are becoming a lot like speed dating but in a broader, slightly more long-term sense.

I can’t count how many times a friend has come to me and told me, “Hey, I think I’m going to end it.” I ask why and I get responses like, “I hate that she does this or that” or “We have different paths for our future.” Sorry, but for the most part, that’s weak and I see a lot of these assessments as bullshit. Rarely, do I hear legitimate things like, “She is a complete psycho” or “He’s a violent asshole.” No one can argue with those things, well unless they seem uncharacteristic of the person being profiled and the one saying it is either a “psycho” or “asshole” themselves.

Why do I think statements like the ones above are weak bullshit? Well, if you are committed to someone, the road isn’t always going to be easy. Relationships are a road that two people take together. Sometimes the road can be rocky. It doesn’t mean that you bail at the first sign of turbulence. The strongest relationships are the ones that take the rocky road together and come out on the other side, hand-in-hand. People seem like they are way too eager to quit before anything even gets to this point. “Aw man, she’s got an asshole baby daddy. I don’t even want to meet that dude, so I’m out. I can’t have that shit in my life. I just wanna play Titanfall and fuck, brah!”

There’s also the impatience factor. Everyone wants instant gratification and everything has to be “Now! Now! Now!” and about “Me! Me! Me!” Fuck all of that. Real relationships and long-lasting bonds take time. That old adage about how a relationship is always the best in the very beginning is bullshit but people seem to hold that ideal pretty strongly. I’ve seen a lot of good people toss other good people to the side pretty easily, when things weren’t as magical as they seemed in the beginning.

The two best relationships I was ever in, took time. One relationship took seven-to-eight years before we realized where we had come together, the other took four-to-five years before we had an incredible bond, a tremendous amount of respect and a lot of love for one another. We split up but that came after a good year of really debating if it was best for both of us because we had an almost inseparable bond. It was a really hard decision but it came with a lot of thought and a lot of respect.

If two people become married, their respect and love for each other should magnify. Theoretically, they shouldn’t be holding on to such impatience and lack of tolerance for one another. The essence of marriage is about choosing a life-partner. “Life”, as in for your entire life going forward. Nowadays, people get married young or quickly, as they make decisions at what appears to be the height of their still new relationship. Ultimately, most marriages today, fail. I don’t know why people expect instant gratification in something that is supposed to last a lifetime. “I want a baby now before it’s too late, but he won’t be ready for another year due to school.”

So to all the failed married people out there that left over something really kind of trivial, was it worth ending the whole thing because you wanted instant gratification and instead of being patient, threw it all away to start from scratch again? Seems like a big waste of time to me but this mentality also brings me to another point: selfishness.

Everyone is selfish to a degree, it is human nature. Some people are completely selfish and don’t care how their behavior and attitude affects other people, as long as they get what they want. These assholes should never get married. They expect the world to bow to them and a partner to obey and respect their wishes while they don’t do the same. A real relationship clusterfuck is when two of these monsters get together. Unfortunately, these monsters are in abundance.

I just don’t get the urge to rush and get married. Why rush? You have your whole lives to be together if that’s the person you truly want to be with. There is absolutely never a reason to rush into it, unless your partner is going to get deported or something.

The problem I see today, is that people are just so quick to quit. This isn’t even just with relationships. People are quick to quit their friends, their jobs, a task, a diet, a workout regimen and pretty much everything else. I’m guilty of it too, as I’ve struggled with my weight for several years. This doesn’t make you a bad or shitty person but when someone else is involved, like in a relationship, the game changes. It isn’t just about you when you quit.

Look, people evolve – they change. The same happens to people in relationships. Some couples grow together and some grow apart, that’s only natural. When two people do grow apart, dissolving the relationship isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, growing in different directions doesn’t mean that it’s the end either. I’ve seen several couples thrive because of their contrast to one another. Those are the people that have survived the hard shit and still stick together because despite their differences, their respect and love transcends it all. The one thing they have in common is each other. How can you ever have something that strong with someone, if you quit the second you encounter a bump in the road?

You should never stay in a bad or unhealthy relationship. However, you also shouldn’t be looking for constant signs that you’re in a bad or unhealthy relationship. You also shouldn’t simply bail out at the first sign of trouble. Your formula is weak and you will never find happiness this way, other than in small bursts in a string of short-lived relationships that seemingly never evolve or go anywhere.

Life isn’t a cakewalk. So what makes you think that love should be?

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