Recently Elite Daily published an article titled ‘Why Staying In Dating Purgatory Is Ruining Our Shot At Real Love’ The article defines non-relationships or complicated ‘situationships’ that aren’t really feeding our desire to be loved and aren’t even progressing in the direction of love as dating purgatory. It then goes on to explain that that Gen Y-ers have mastered this dating purgatory thing and therefore are self-sabotaging any shot at a relationship that does provide us with the love that we long to receive. Read the article here http://elitedaily.com/dating/staying-dating-purgatory-ruining-shot-real-deal/1023418/
This article got me thinking about why this is the case. Are we, the Gen Y-ers, the Millennials, a love hating generation of non-feelers? Do we actually desire to be loved less than generations before us? Are we intentionally sabotaging our opportunities for real love? I think not. I honestly do not believe that we desire to be loved any less than generations before us. Nor do I think we began our dating lives with the goal of creating the so called situation-ships or non-relationships or Friends-With-Benefits-ships that plague our dating lives today. So why is it that our generation has mastered this dating purgatory?
Relationship purgatory is the consequence of putting our careers first. I don’t know many people in the Gen-Y or Millennial generation who are living in the same town where they were raised. These generations moreso than any before, move all over the country and world to get educated and take advantage of career opportunities. This has the unpleasant effect of putting relationships lower on our list of priorities. This isn’t limited to romantic relationships but friendships and family-ships also suffer. We have disconnected from siblings and parents as well as the community that raised us for the privilege of a college education. We then move on from college and disconnect from friends that we became adults with to take advantage of career opportunities in different cities or even countries. These are great opportunities that have come at a high price and our families, friends and society at large is encouraging us with gusto to take advantage of them. However, this is the very thing that introduces the notion of relationship purgatory. We get less and less sticky as we lose touch with the family and close friends who loved us for no reason other than they just did and make casual friends of convenience or friends who are our friends for superficial reasons. We lose connections with our families and create new ‘framilies’ (framily = a group of friends that serve as replacement for family) and as the Elite Daily article highlights we also begin to take a casual approach to dating.
Our generation has to recognize that the same metaphorical hands that generations before us used to grip love and relationships, we have used to grip new educational and career opportunities. We didn’t knowingly let go of relationships. Many of us don’t even realize that we are treating relationships casually. This is all we know. Understanding that we have unconsciously let go of relationships in relentless pursuit of career opportunities will enable us to be more careful of getting and staying in dating purgatory as well as all other relationship purgatories moving forward. We as a generation will have to be intentional about holding on to our ability to be present in ALL relationships. We will need to call our parents, nieces and nephews and siblings and go out of our way to strengthen family relationships and reconnect with old friends. Strengthening relationships with people who know and love us will fill us with the love we naturally desire. It will enable us to bring our whole selves into a romantic relationship and be more comfortable moving on if the situation isn’t optimal. We can do it my Gen-Y and Millennial brothers and sisters! #LEGGO