Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Relationships.. the Modern ways …The Attraction Paradox

As a coach I’ve had a few thoughts about the relationships of the modern world…the techno savvy world.. 

What is it that we are looking for?

What comes out forthrightly in today’s relationships is our fear of commitment. We are attracted to those who are unavailable and lose interest in those who are. In dating a partner who is acting needy or too invested in us is often the cause of our losing interest in them and a host of terms are used to describe them as too clingy, creepy, desperate and the like. We are comfortable with maintaining emotional distance. This is not to say that these days people don’t have wonderful, fulfilling relationships, but it’s just that it’s much harder to scale the emotional distance we are so careful to cultivate. But we are unknowingly getting complicit in a dating culture that prevents intimacy - we are turning into a generation afraid of being in love. 

The spectre of technology invading our lives is literally sapping our emotional attention. We were drawn by its power to connect, but somewhere down the line we have lost some of our ability to talk to people face to face. Take a moment and think ..when was the last time you called on a friend? We have filled the holes of intimacy with updates, feeds, snaps, beeps and clicks. These are beginning to control our happiness and our moods in place of real genuine human connections. We are more comfortable with fleeting online relationships where people are getting bolder on the various social sites. We are actually struggling to find intimacy in our increasingly connected but disparate world.

Youngsters are not settling in as they are faced with the consequences of excessive choice. Why commit and settle when there is always someone new round the corner? The online status screaming out to get attention, the Facebook pictures waiting to be liked and the end result being unfulfilling at best. Choice takes priority, intimacy and connection are afterthoughts. But we never give the other person a chance to express themselves long enough to give them a chance nor do we give ourselves a chance to learn about things about them we could love. And as a result the relationships get lost somewhere. Ghosting (dropping off from text/phone communication) and flaking are commonplace as they help remove the guilt of hurting each-other.
So where does that leave us?
Our childhoods taught us to value love;  but the new era of technology have taught us to fear commitment and put choice first. We’re trapped in a self perpetuating cycle of emotional distance with each other. Most of us really want love at some point in life, but our actions are at war with this desire. The fear of commitment and rejection makes us maintain emotional distance.We comfort ourselves knowing at least we’re not feeling the stinging pain of a broken heart, at least we don’t have to deal with real emotions. But is this our true self?  Are we not losing out on one of the most important aspect of being human.

Are we all not looking for happiness? Don’t you think having a strong, positive relationships in our life is one of the keys to happiness and fulfilment. Anecdotally, we know this to be true. 

Lets stop playing games where there are no winners. Lets break free from this culture and learn to love again.

Lets take some actionable steps:

  • Lets give time to each other to help you know 
  • Say what you mean and mean what you do.
  • Express your thoughts and emotions with less filter. 
  • Compliment each other on skills, interests and looks of course.
  • Learn your partners emotional cues.
  • Question your assumptions…remember your partner is not a mind reader 
  • Try to refrain from “ghosting” or “flaking.”

Lets not fear when other people like us. When they’re attracted and interested  in us, value and treasure these moments. Somebody has decided that you’re a great enough person for them to want to be with you. Conversely, do not value people who do not value you.
I am sure for most of us improving our relationships is one of the best things we can do in our lives. Maybe, this will lead to a happier and more fulfilling life, maybe it will just make me a better person, or maybe it will lead us to finding love. 

Lets build real emotional connections !!! Happy Connecting !!

Article in the news paper