Couple Column: the Relationship Crunch

artwork_images_424046260_773095_tracey-eminEveryday, there’s a new news

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cycle that says it: technology is ruining our lives, our society, our world, our everything. With Facebook being charged with divorces, social media making the pain of breakups last longer than it should, and apps that will write break up text messages and wipe your online existence of your ex for you (no, seriously, that exists), things are looking dire for love in the world of Web 2.0.

It’s no secret that dating in the digital world has officially jumped the shark– there are more bad eggs (and apps) out there that encourage terrible dating behaviors and habits than ever. (Seriously– dating sites for salad lovers? Dating sites for adulterers? … please don’t tell me what comes next!) If meeting people through the internet is future of dating, well… I don’t know about you, but the contents of my (now-defunct) OKCupid inbox prove that future of our species is doomed… done, over, finished, buh-bye. (Guys, the jig is up… girls know that you copy-pasted that form-letter message from Microsoft Word, and no we are not impressed.)

But is it really the fault of technology– or is technology just making preexisting bad behaviors more visible to the rest of the world?

Many of the bad behaviors that are touted as the end of the world (and amplified by social media) aren’t new. We text to avoid saying things that make us feel bad or uncomfortable when we know that the person on the other end deserves more. We share too much about our relationships, care more about how they look to others on the outside instead of what they’re made of deep on the inside. We

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don’t know how to be honest about not being interested in someone new– and we’d rather use an app to rescue us from bad dates (yes, that actually exists), or just give radio silence instead of doing the actual work of coming up with a little white lie to escape. Sometimes, we even come up with multi-faceted social media strategies to make it look like we’re over a breakup faster than we really are, to make a boyfriend jealous, or to get what we want out of a relationship.

For all of the negative things we can say about social media, technology can and does bring out the best in us — and that’s a good thing. We share causes close to our hearts, we discuss issues that we’d like to see fixed in the world, and we use it to stay close to the people we love most in the world.

When it comes to dating and relationships, we’re making everything much harder than it has to be, and the magnifying glass that social media is making it even more complicated than necessary. If you’re attracted to someone, if you love someone, if you can’t go five minutes without wanting to kiss that person’s face off, there are only three questions that need answering to define your relationship:

  1. Do you like me?
  2. Do you like me enough to be with me, just me– no looking for other people, no keeping your eyes open for something better to come along?
  3. Do you want to be part of my life?

If you’re lucky enough to get a yes to all three of those questions, and you decide to take the technology plunge with your partner, communicate with your sweetheart openly, fearlessly, and honestly. There is a relationship crunch going on out there– it isn’t new, but with society changing at the speed of technology, it is more visible than ever.

 

About Tess

I'm the weekly columnist at Couple who writes about all things dating, relationships and technology.

One thought on “Couple Column: the Relationship Crunch

  1. i agree about the negative things you said about technology. But on the other hand, not having technology doesn’t mean that it’s going to make things better. People are still going to avoid saying things that are uncomfortable, people still care about how others look at them on the outside.

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