Dating and relationships are so hot right now. You only have to turn on your TV, radio or computer to see our constant fascination with finding love. Reality TV shows such as 'The Bachelor', 'Married at First Sight' and 'Kiss Bang Love' highlight our need to go to extremes to find love. There are hundreds of relationship products, websites and apps that are constantly being developed every day.
So why then, if we have more ways to find love, are our relationships failing?
A third of marriages end in divorce, which is not hard to believe considering the increase in websites catering to people looking for a second-time-around love. And it's no new knowledge that relationships are hard work and that they require more than just chemistry and compatibility.
So why are we struggling to keep our marriages together? Why is it so damn hard to find someone who we can actually like as well as love? Why does dating become more complicated as we get older? It seems that even with endless resources, blogs, books, podcasts, videos, and everything else in between we still get stuck along the way. Without getting into the nitty gritty details or blaming one of the sexes, here are six reasons why we are hitting road blocks instead of building blocks in love.
1. We have stopped wanting to try
Most of the time we want a quick fix, because, let's face it, no one wants to do the hard yards. We are offered diet pills to help us lose weight, credit cards to solve our lack of cash and takeaway meals to keep us full. Society isn't exactly encouraging us to take the long way around, and this attitude has seeped into our relationships. When we start to look for a quick solution instead of choosing to work through the process, we initiate the expiry date. The thing is, relationships don't just happen -- they are built over time and it is our mutual effort that will make them great or not.
2. We think love is about convenience
If there is one thing I have learnt, that is that relationships and love are not built on convenience. Compromising, forgiving and communicating aren't exactly the most exciting activities. However, if we base our actions in a relationship off how we feel, we are sealing our fate.
Just because social media has given us permission to express what we feel and stand by our #empoweredfeelings, it doesn't mean that you can sustain your love life off emotions alone. Because trust me, there are going to be days when you won't feel "love" for your partner, but this doesn't mean you should leave them. Does the inconvenience of love and what it actually requires give you permission to just give up? (Hint, the answer is no!)
3. We have become so busy we have lost sight of what is important
It's not hard to do when there are so many things that crowd our daily lives. From work, to social media, gym, food shopping, kids, you name it. Life is hectic and it's no wonder we push our relationship to the back. However, relationships require consistent attention and work, simply because they involve two people. Spending quality time with your partner or communicating in depth about your day is not always convenient, but it's vital to the health and success of your partnership.
4. We've become more selfish
Unfortunately, this self-empowered movement has also meant that we have become more self-focused. This isn't a bad thing, but relationships aren't about ourselves. While it's important to have healthy boundaries and understand your worth, we also have to remember that loving someone is about being selfless. We have developed an attitude that we are "owed" something and that any "injustice against us" is a crime that must be paid with fire and brimstone. Well yes, it's important to be respected, but let's not become so consumed with what we want that we forget what others need.
5. We have a disposable attitude
With some many options and upgrades in life, it's easy to just have a disposable attitude to the people we date. After all, a simple swipe or click of a button and you can have your next hot date waiting for you. But quantity doesn't equal quality, and if we never learn to develop what we have and face our fears then we risk the chance of repeating the same pattern of broken relationships over and over again.
6. The internet has taken over our lives
The internet really is a love/hate thing with me. On one hand, it gives us the chance to educate ourselves on love so easily. On the other hand, it allows us access to temptation so readily. Social media has taught us to overshare, get in touch with the past, create secrets and blur boundaries. Don't get me wrong, I think there are many positive things about the influence of the internet and social media, but I also think we need to guard the way in which we use it.
Too be honest, the list could go on, and chances are you probably have your own few niggling thoughts as to why you are single or struggling. The point though, is that you are responsible for the choices you make. You can choose to attract successful dates and build great relationships. You can choose not to become another statistic.