WHAT REALLY IS THE PROBLEM?
The question was posed on Facebook: what are the biggest challenges you have experienced with dating? Nearly 300 comments came in. There are a few notable common struggles in dating today, but they all have the same root:
Unfortunately, current, or “neo-feminism” is no longer what feminism started out to be. But it’s a popular trend for Millenials.
It began as a movement for equality, and has morphed into a push for a society of elite, educated, career women. Not inherently bad, except for the negative net that has cast on those who don’t conform to that mold–especially stay at home moms and men.
Neo-feminism has lead to a phenomenon: The Dumb Dad. This is the type-cast portrayal of the working class father figure in many, if not most, tv shows, as idiotic or incapable.
A Washington Times article mentions that “in particular, children and youth watch a lot of television, and the ways fathers are depicted can both influence how they will think about themselves as future parents and reinforce what they already believe about family roles, she said. “We are likely to watch things that match with what we think.””
Which is to say that television is a direct reflection of how society sees fathers. Such a mindset has taken a drastic turn from pre neo-feminism shows (The Andy Griffith Show, Leave it to Beaver, and Father Knows Best,) to the modern shows that depict fathers as “bumblers,” (i.e. The Simpsons, Family Guy, Modern Family, Married with Children, etc.)
“A study by the National Fatherhood Initiative found that fathers are eight times more likely than mothers to be portrayed negatively on network television.” The New York Times
What does this really have to do with dating?
This shift in gender roles and how society views men and women has lead to a lack of appropriate role models at home–how a mom and a dad are supposed to act and function.
We get a society of broken homes where men/boys are no longer respected or even required in a family so they don’t know how to be fathers, or how to treat women.
Children are being raised in broken homes. Dad’s are missing, women are pulling triple duty as provider and both parents. Or, both parents work, so they start replacing time should have spent at home, with things.
Someone once said “kids need to come home from school and talk through their feelings with mom, get some healthy interaction with dad, and [learn how to work for what they have and generously give.]” So often, kids are taught that love equates objects, and how to have sex or not, but not how to have conversations and spend quality time with other people and build healthy, lasting relationships.
So they grow up entitled to the newest, most expensive things (because their parents just gave them the newest iPhone or xbox,) as a replacement for social interactions. They didn’t have to earn them.
And that entitlement leads to a whole group of Millennials and Generation Z who never need to work hard for things.
Therefore, if a job, relationship, person, etc., doesn’t just fall into their laps, they move on to something or someone else that is easy. Which, more often than not, leads false and fleeting gratification.
People look at their parents’ marriage, and think of how lonely they felt growing up, so they don’t have any interest in getting married themselves. Because “love” is lonely.
Party scenes and social media profiles have become a source of validation for so many who lacked that at home. Getting 1,000 likes feels more like love than the idea of marriage. Plus, it is much easier to obtain.
The more we change gender roles, the more confusing social constructs become, and the less love is felt in homes.
Nobody wants to put themselves out there, and no one wants to commit.
We have cultivated a society where egos are so fragile, that one failed relationship, or one rejection is enough to incapacitate someone in the dating game for months…even years.
So we do what is easy. Rather than going on a date, we post another Insta. Because it’s much easier to get likes on a picture than to talk about your feelings.
There are men who view dating roles as obsolete (because neo-feminists have declared it) so they wait for girls to ask them out…but are often put off by such forward behavior…or put so little effort into the relationship which is driven by the girl, that they eventually get bored and move on.
And the women are so confused by why men don’t ask them out, that they stop paying attention to men and focus on their careers or education, and perpetuate the idea that they don’t need a man.
Can you see the vicious cycle?
What can be done to fix it?
How can we get better at dating? How can we get better at loving?
Well first, STOP pushing the agenda that women are better than men, and that we don’t need each other. WE DO. This elitist, “I’M A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN WHO DON’T NEED NO MAN” mindset is far more damaging than most people realize.
Equal but different is how we were created, and that is not a bad thing. Gender roles are not a bad thing. And they are pertinent to the core of functioning, healthy families and society.
Then, start turning to real, tangible relationships. Serve another person. Read a self help book. H*ck, get a therapist!
Are you so afraid of rejection, that you are willing to stay single and miss out on what it feels like to be loved by another human so fully that you can stop depending on fake, cyber attention?
Your “likers” have largely never had a conversation with you about your hopes and dreams, your fears and insecurities. And when it comes down to it, you are just another number of countless profiles they mindlessly double tap on.
When we pay more attention to ourselves, and the “mark we can make,” we have less time to love other people.
“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”- J.E. McCulloch
Your challenge now is to ponder on this post, and do some experimenting. Spend some time off social media and engage. Meet someone new. Extend a compliment. It’s time to take a risk and have a difficult conversation.
Rather than posting something today, reconnect with an old friend or family member. The more effort we put into fixing broken relationships, the more naturally (and EFFECTIVELY) we will be able to build new, lasting relationships.
You may be surprised at the difference it will start to make.
PS. Don’t forget to share your own stories via email! Or leave them in a comment. Visual aids always help. With your help, I know we can make Provo Dating Great Again!