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Are Teenage relationships pushing the Envelope too far too early?

Lines of commitment in dating today have fast blurred. We live in times where smartphones comprise the essential kits of tweens and pre-pubescent. It is difficult to differentiate between reality and virtuality in today’s digital era. And so is it difficult to draw the lines regarding who youngsters interact with and how. Dating today is one of the sureties of life even for teens. By the time kids are in high school they have started using lines like “my ex was so toxic” or “it was so much abuse”. Abuse has become a word so much in circulation that the gravitas of the word loses meaning. While a lot of youngsters use the word casually to perhaps define an ex-partner that did not bend to their will, it is also a necessary question to be asked whether relationships are truly becoming more and more reckless in today’s times. To find a better word, we need to examine how healthy boundaries of interaction and communication are when it comes to dating in today’s world.

We are fast moving towards an era geared towards frivolity with serious issues regarding commitment, be it young or the old. Social media makes the world seem a very small place and the dating pool even smaller. At the same time, social media is one of the peak embodiments of a capitalistic living being in itself a brainchild of the system. Hence on social media, people are no more than products that come with varied packagings but similar content. Modern dating takes place mainly through social media and hence borrows as much from its artificiality and superficiality. What is produced is more and more lonely individuals and hollow love lives. With so many options around from an early age, people start seeing potential romantic mates as commodities replaceable with better ones. The willingness to go off guard and expose one’s vulnerabilities or dedicate oneself to any particular relationship, inevitably, gets reduced. To a point today where terms like ‘ghosting‘ or ‘double-timing’ make for the common dating parlance of most. Or have been experienced by most several times by the time they have even reached their 20s.

As commitment becomes a risk factor, healthy communication too breaks down. Individuals do not feel accountable for each other’s emotions or emotional breakdowns. It gets easier to give hope and then quickly withdraw it. It becomes easier to feel worse seeing someone that had been attending to you romantically suddenly go off the rails attending to someone else. It makes questions of self-esteem and confidence more serious and plaguing issues in an age where answers to so many ‘why’s aren’t found. It makes dating, one of the biggest miseries of the present millennium.

So in a sense, relationships, or rather the lack of it, in the 21st century, are far more complicated than the generation prior to them could even comprehend. In essence, most of them are truly unhealthy and one may safely conclude, in need of more of a  human touch than a mechanical dealing.

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