Opinion: Why are we so afraid of commitment?

Today’s teenagers are different than those in the past. We’re experiencing a climate no one has ever seen (or imagined!) before.

We can’t ever be away from others: it’s unacceptable to ignore your phone, not post on social media, or just be ‘off the grid’ even for a few hours.

We never really have to choose or commit to anything: phones will be replaced in two years, you can completely change your friend group every month if you so desire, and your favorite tv show probably varies by week.

So why do we put so much stress on relationships?

You can’t just casually “date” someone. Dating infers you two are boyfriend and girlfriend, committed to each other above all else.

Dating used to be going on a few dates to see if you were right for each other. After that, maybe you would go steady. Prople didn’t just date to be in a relationship, they dated someone because they cared about them. This shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but a lot of negative relationships form on this single belief.

I see so many couples around me, and most of them seem normal. But yet, so many of our peers refuse to break up or end their relationships. Even when they see it going nowhere, or their clinging to it because it’s their first real relationship, or maybe they don’t want to hurt feelings. I’m not saying everyone our age is doing it wrong, I’m saying we have room for improvement.

I think the root of the problem is our expectations. We expect our relationships to last forever. We expect ourselves not to change; and thus we will never grow apart. We expect to never fight.

Sometimes I find myself trying to give other couples advice. They come to me, who knows why, and expect me to sugar coat it and tell them they should stay together forever no matter what. I want to tell them to stop pretending this very dysfunctional relationship is working and going somplace, but I’ve learned not to.

Sometimes I can’t hold my breath, bite my lip, chew my tongue. I tell them I think they should consider splitting up. That never goes well. Suddenly, the boy they’ve hated for months is now the love of their life, and nothing can seperate them.

I’m not saying I know much about relationships. I’m not much into them: so maybe I’m biased when I say being single is easier?

I just think we need to reconsider what a relationship is. It’s not looking for the person you stay with no matter what; it’s finding the person you can’t live without.

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