Written by Evi Idoghor
It has been stated that our parents, particularly those of African descent, stayed in partnerships and even marriages for longer than they should have. People of that generation are derided, insulted, and scoffed at (by a younger generation) because they did what many people today are not brave enough to do: they stayed the course, no matter what. Most people did not know what transpired in the next person's relationship or marriage back in the day. If a situation arose, it was kept hidden and addressed behind closed doors. Although this had its challenges and disadvantages, however, it appeared that relationships lasted a lot longer than what we are witnessing today.
I feel we've let false logic take over our minds, refusing to be vulnerable with this thing called love. We have our strategy in place and our game face on long before the person enters the picture. We say what we don't mean and keep our true intentions hidden. We've become too sophisticated for love and relationships. Love is for those who have no goals in life. For damsels waiting for (rich) men to come and rescue them from distress. In fact, who needs love? Who needs a relationship's safety net when we can hook up and break up whenever we want? When we can swipe left or right, choosing what our stomachs want for the day?
Who needs the wahala and complications that come with loving someone else unconditionally, when we can remain in our bubble, living our lives as though others didn’t exist? These are the reasons why relationships collapse so frequently. People in their 20s, 30s, and perhaps 40s, are finding it increasingly difficult to find their forever person in such a selfish world - once boy meets girl and all the excitement ensues, for some reason, the other shoe tends to drop within a matter of weeks, if not days. (Am I the only one who has experienced this?)
Why is this the case? This is not the romance that Hollywood has been selling us for years! In Disney fairytales, everyone always lives happily ever after. Jack risks his life in the Titanic for Rose because he cannot handle the thought of her freezing to death (there is no greater love than this). In Me Before You, even after his death, William guarantees that Louisa is left with a large sum of money, ensuring that she will never go hungry for the rest of her life.
So, once again, I wonder, why are relationships failing at such an alarming rate? The following are some of the factors I believe are at the root of the problem.
1) Inconsistency: This is a personal annoyance of mine. Most relationships start out well, but then things start to go wrong. One partner no longer puts forth as much effort to ensure the relationship's long-term viability. They call when they want to and disappear when they don't want to entertain their partner. They love bomb you today, and the next day they are nowhere to be seen, hidden in plain sight.
This perplexity or yo-yo behavior might have a negative impact on a person's psyche. Inconsistency in a relationship can manifest itself in areas such as communication, affection, and commitment. Such behavior conveys to the other party that they aren't essential or valued, which drives them nuts and brings the relationship to a halt. Or, more often than not, the wounded party stays hoping for a transformation they will never see.
2) Differing Values: Many people make the error of consenting to be in a relationship with someone whose ideals are diametrically opposed to their own. They believe it will not cause any problems at first, but it will. One of the most difficult aspects of a person to change is their value system. Don't get into a relationship with someone who doesn't share your values, as this can contribute to the collapse of the relationship.
3) Different Expectations: One of my favorite pieces is one I wrote lately about managing expectations in relationships. A gap in what both people expect from a relationship is another reason why couples continue to suffer. People sometimes rush into relationships without first learning what the other party wants from them. If you expect him/she to call you every day and take you out once a week and fail to explain it to them early enough, when they fall short (according to your standards), a crack begins to form in the relationship, and it only takes one small incident to cause the entire thing to shatter.
4) Lack of Intimacy: Living in the social media age hasn't made it any simpler to be vulnerable in relationships. We prefer to project an image of ourselves to gain likes, comments, followers, and sponsorships even. As such, we don't know when to put off that persona and be genuine with individuals with whom we are in a relationship. Some people don't reveal the most intimate aspects of their hearts with their partners, and as a result, the relationship feels more like a chore than something to be nurtured and grown through shared life experiences. In no time, the person seeking greater closeness departs to find someone who will be more open and vulnerable with them.
5) Low Tolerance: Our generation, particularly those addicted to social media and its behaviors, prefer to walk away from a problem rather than work through the process of resolving it. When a couple goes through difficult times together, they can emerge stronger, build trust, and stay longer than if they decided to leave when a problem emerged.
Couples must learn to be more tolerant and forgiving of one another, which are qualities that many couples lack these days. People are eager to vent their dirty laundry on social media, and they are fast to move on to the next thing smoking, declaring, “I don't need you!” “I can get another”, or “me, myself, and I!” This is not referring to abusive or toxic conditions. Please excuse yourself in such cases. However, if it is a matter that may be resolved amicably, you should not give up. It's possible that the grass isn't greener on the other side. People must abandon all childishness, games, and false expectations for relationships to begin working and survive a lifetime.
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