One of the most disturbing trends in modern western society is the tendency toward not maintaining anything, finding most things to be better replaced then repaired. Nowhere is this philosophy more disappointing then when applied to relationships. The trend to run away from or abandon difficult relationships is widely practiced and an absolutely terrible practice. Hook up culture has us viewing each other as a widely available commodity, and the ease of which folks are sliding in and out of romantic entanglements is a huge part of the problem.
Building and maintaining a relationship takes much work and effort, like most things however, what you put into it is what you will get out of it. Sure, new love is exciting and novel, but love hard won and tried in the fires of tribulation is a much finer thing indeed. The tendency to balk at difficulty is common enough, but courage is expressed through our ability to fight in the face of fear and adversity. If love isn’t a good enough reason to stand courageous, what is?
The crux of the situation seems to be the ease by which new relationships are formed, contrasting starkly from the struggle of growing together, or overcoming the tumults of life as a unit, i.e. moving, having/raising children, etc. when we find ourselves in conflict, disengaging is a natural, and often healthy choice, but separating entirely is taking this tool to an unhealthy level. Positive/healthy coping mechanisms are an overlooked skill-set in our educational system, and as we grow we often have to strike out and find these on our own.
In the ‘good old days’ marriage was sacred, irrevocable, and imposed by both family and society at large. Sure, affairs and other extra-marital events happened, but not anywhere near the scale we see today. This casual disregard for marriage as an institution, and commitment as a whole appears to stem for our lack, as a culture, for a standard moral compass. Now the idea of a strict morality may seem stifling, but many a child has avoided the pain of burned fingers by strict adherence to moms ‘stay out of the kitchen’ rule.
In general our society encourages many forms of distraction to deal with the rigors of life. Be it television/movies , video games, or sport-based diversion, they all have their place. Too much avoidance of our issues however, solves nothing. The number one tool one can cultivate to nurture healthy relationships is critical thinking. Critical thinking is defined as’ the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement’. Developing this all-important tool will allow one to navigate the perils and pitfalls of life much more successfully, especially our important relationships. Obviously it is extremely helpful if all parties involved can draw on this skill.
In conclusion, don’t quit on love, for there really is nothing worth fighting for if not your love. Spend the time to develop positive coping skills, and most importantly, your ability to think critically. Some things are easily replaced, but you and I are not.
Steven Robinson 2019