Love endures among millennial relationship woes

On Saturday my parents are getting married again. No, there isn’t going to be a big ceremony. There are no elaborate decorations. My mom is wearing a black dress, and there will not be something borrowed or blue. My dad will most likely wear that old suit he has in the closet, which I know for a fact outdates me by years. They’ve been together for over a quarter of a century. And despite up and downs, they’ve made it. Enough to get up in front of a priest and do it all again.

So maybe it’s not technically a wedding. It’s a vow renewal. But still, it’s big. Especially when you factor in the well-known factoid that over half the marriages nowadays end in divorce. Well then. Let’s take a hop, skip and a “nae nae” into the year 2015, where everything is a hook-up with someone whose biggest credential is impressive eyebrows.

Why? That is the only question I have. I often see ranting over social media that people can’t find anything different or real. Everyone’s fake and they’re just going to be an old loner who lives out in the boonies, with their 97 cats and 22 dogs. Now, as good as snuggling with Fluffy every night and not having to hear any complaining about putting on real pants once in awhile sounds, they’re still craving attention. Hence, the post of sad quote, supposedly inspirational photo or semi-amusing meme with a dog in a baby carriage.

I’d like to blame it on gender roles, sexism and mass media. But it’s more than that. No one person or thing is responsible. There are many causes. Dating is what we make of it. And let’s face it, we’ve messed it up, one swipe right at a time.

This piece isn’t here to put down flings. Everything has its time and place. People want different things and that’s okay. It’s a free country. This piece is about thinking before acting and the single most important part of any relationship. Whether it’s three hours or three years, you have to have communication. With all of those new-fangled gadgets we have permanently adhered to our hands, one would think that communication would be better. It couldn’t be more different.

Dating culture has changed in accordance with the times. People have tried to turn dating into a fast food business venture. They want it to be easy. But that’s not a relationship. There is a reason we have a sky-high divorce rate compared to years ago. And it isn’t about the money, money, money. It’s about the perspective we’ve taken. We almost have too many options due to the constant connectivity we have.  The grass is always greener in many ways.

Texting and emailing have a certain impersonality to them. You can’t tell tone. You can’t see faces. You have key phrases such as ‘I’m fine’ which means the opposite or ‘We need to talk,’ which probably strikes enough fear to bring Zeus down from his the clouds. There is so much miscommunication in relationships that sometimes, one can feel like they never really knew someone at all once they realize the true meaning behind words.

So how can we fix it? It’s simple. Be honest. Don’t beat around the bush. If you want it to be a fling or you’re looking for a long-term commitment, tell them. And if that pushes them away? It wasn’t meant to be. Those song lyrics you posted are not going to get them back. You’re not going to change someone. Not everyone is the same. You’re just looking in the wrong places, honey.

I don’t believe in the supposed shortage of good guys and genuine girls. I don’t believe anyone finishes last. I think it’s a broken road to where we belong, but that’s what is worth it. Some people just fall into the cracks more than others. Everyone says they want to be the cute old couple holding hands walking across the Walmart parking lot. Yet, no one thinks about all the work it takes to get there. So when I stand up for my parents this weekend, I’m going to be proud to sign on that witness line. They’ve been through a lot more than most could handle. They’ve hit a lot of bumps along the way. But, it only proves love endures, and we don’t have to be another statistic.

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