“Boyfriend” invites many already established feelings and definitions of the word: A boy who is a friend and/or a guy that is committed to you and only you. Yes, I've had my fair share of boyfriends. I could explain all of the makeups, breakups, laughs and cries that I have experienced. But to me this is irrelevant…those were encounters that shaped how I view relationships, men and what I am seeking.
As a young person in the dating world it has become increasingly difficult to find authenticity. Between dating apps, online dating and the hookup culture, it’s all of us trying to find someone, while having the option of everyone. Our brains are on overload, trying to sift through the masses; instantly connected to thousands of people looking for the same thing.
When you do find that person you connect with and are willing to spend your time with, you must be worried… are they still connected to that constant influx of individuals who are interested in them as well?
Words such as boyfriend and commitment have become toxic in the dating world. Words like casual, hooking up and friends with benefits are all widely accepted and worse…expected!
Why is it that more relationships are lasting shorter and shorter periods of time? Is it because everyone has one foot in and one foot out from the pool of options, unwilling and scared to jump in head first to take a chance on something that may or may not work out?
The amount of dating stimuli that is so easily accessible invites confusion. Young people don't even know who they want or how to find them. Imagine the ability to window shop; although it's not window shopping to be able to buy all you want…but after you bought everything, you have to pick one outfit to wear for the rest of your life. Now, that is pressure!
That is how it feels in the dating world. The experience is confusing, lonely and difficult to make finite decisions. The constant exposure to everything we potentially could have is clouding our vision of what we really need. More so, it is shifting us toward a numb sense of ourselves and threatening the ideals of self-respect many of us have cultivated for the years leading up to this point.
How, did we allow it to diminish so much of our power?