Another advertisement, another campaign has been put up on getting young couples together, building up their love’s nest and ultimately, having children. A major concern for many developed countries – increasing population growth to complement the nation’s building efforts. Yet, there has been little or no improvements…
The OECD’s report on average age for marriage has increased by about 5 years since the 1990s from 25.3 for ladies and 27.8 for men, to 30.3 for ladies and 32.6 for men. The more worrying trend falls on the divorce rates, with over 50% from 1970s to 2014!
Japan, one of the more developed Asian country, is facing a declining birth rate caused by young adults of over 45% saying they have got no “desire for a partner” and will only consider should they earn a certain amount of income a year. Singapore, another Asian country constantly earned top ranks on the “most expensive city award“, polled financial management, work-life balance and maintaining attraction as the 3 key factors to staying in marriage.
Why are couples facing so much trouble these days, especially in developed countries and cities, to find a soulmate to spend their life with? Is there no happily ever after anymore?
We are all social creatures – we all want to interact, we all want to have someone to turn to when we feel happy or sad, we all want to have meaningful relationships.
The evolution of technology such as Tinder, OkCupid, Skout, Match.com, brings us closer in a virtual world, giving us an opportunity to talk to someone from another part of the world, understand about their culture, and expose us to way more people than before. They even provide compatibility studies that place a certain percentage for one to see how compatible they may be in terms of thinking and lifestyle. Yet, the relationship and distance between 2 physical being, is drifting even further away.
Why is this happening?
Dr. Ted Hudson from University of Texas has done a studies stating that compatibility was never an issue for happy couples, and couples who were unhappy in their relationships, almost always puts the blame onto compatibility.
Such technologies have placed many young adults in a mindset that constantly think that there’s someone better out there. It gives people the easier way out, thinking that if this relationship doesn’t work, I can always find another. They then start introducing various requirements, many unrealistic, to set a benchmark for their potential partner. Sadly, this is usually for the ladies. Men really just have much simpler requirements, if you know what I mean.
Often, the key the meaningful relationships start from the mindset of both individuals, and these are the more prominent ones that will determine if you will find your soulmate:
1. Be Committed
Nothing is much more fruitful and beautiful in a relationship when both are committed to making things work. Many couples who tout that their relationships didn’t work out blamed it on a variety of reasons. But the truth is, either one or both, are not committed to staying in the relationship and making it work out.
Gabrielle Reece, a professional volleyball player, author, mother and alpha female, understands the key to a meaningful relationship with her alpha male husband, Laird Hamilton. Both knows when to compromise, when to admit their mistakes or making the relationship meaningful. Tony Robbins, who talks about his previous failed relationship, attributes his current marriage success to the dedication and commitment in making the relationship work. Donnie Yen, as successful as he is now, believes deeply a mantra – “Happy wife, happy life“. He never argues with his wife stating that “suppose you are right, and you convince your other half of it. You win, but you are just being selfish. If you upset your wife, that’s losing“.
Staying in commitment means working hand-in-hand to whatever comes along. It will be us against the world if there’s a need arise, it will be “never say die” mentality, it will be a “I’m willing to let go of my ego, to look into the problems together, and come out winning for us both“.
2. Embrace Uncertainty
How often do we see an individual avoid interacting or even meeting another party just because he/she does not fulfil a set of benchmark? Or when they do meet, they set themselves up for failure because of a closed mindset of not accepting the person for who he/she is, instead hoping that this person will speak in a desired way, or talk about the things he/she does that are interesting to me.
More often than not, we see individuals wanting this person to have a certain accomplishments before even considering a potential relationship together. You want a person that fits in all the checkboxes, but when that comes, do you fulfil all his/her checkboxes as well?
I was talking to this lady online and things are going well. When I start to ask her out, she asked instead for my Facebook page. I asked her why would she want it even before we both meet and her response was “I just want to know who you are first“. Does scrolling through someone’s history on social media, gives you an assurance that this person will be good to you or even matching to you?
When two individuals get into a relationship, it is no longer what was in the past. History is history. The key is to understand if this person is going to be there for you for the long run. You are building a future with the other person, not flipping old history that this person may no longer be like. Wanting to be certain that this person is going to be interesting, be humorous, be well-off or have great activities doesn’t mean he/she is going to stay that way.
Young couples constantly have to face with the growing demands of costs and uncertainty in the future. This leads to more stress and lesser willpower to challenge the capitalistic nature of our world today. Fulfilment and happiness, be it for themselves or for the relationship, starts with embracing the uncertainty. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs directly addresses the fulfilment aspect of relationships, claiming self-actualisation as problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts etc. because after all, a relationship is by two individuals coming together.
3. Communicate Openly
Men have always been seen as the unemotional one. It’s harder for men to express themselves as compared to ladies and studies have backed that up, saying men restrict themselves to expressing their innermost desire or emotions. This led to many ladies calling quits, claiming that they are not receiving the attention they want. In fact, more divorces these days are initiated by ladies, be it in Asia or in America.
You want your man or lady to communicate with you, to give you the attention you want and yet, you are not willing to learn to communicate more openly, be more patient? That is going to push the relationship over the cliff.
When the other party is trying, help him/her out. Give them your assistance, your encouragement and build his/her confidence to share more with you. We constantly think that the other party may know what we want. But many times we noticed, the other party really don’t. So why don’t we start with ourselves?
Be Present, Be Engaged.
Our current evolution of technology means a constant plague of distractions, from the numerous games that spark your interest to the endless advertisements that have no regards to your privacy. Unless both individuals have chosen to stay committed, work hard together, communicate and respect each other, the fundamentals of human existence – being human, will slowly erode to nothingness.
There will no longer be meaningful relationships to begin with, but the superficial transactional ones. That to me, is more scary than anything else.