“Mum, how did you and Dad manage to pull through four decades of this seemingly abtruse marriage thing?” I asked.
She burst out laughing heartily. Her shoulders constantly moved up and down as if she were dribbling a ball coinciding rhythmically to the high and low pitch of her voice. Probably that’s the background beat accompanying her laughter, I thought. Her chubby cheeks formed beautiful dimples as she smiled gleefully. Her perfectly round-shaped owl-like eyes meekly stared at me. Some utmost satisfaction set in as the laughter dwindled. Dumb-founded I stood there, with a stern face, waiting for the BIG SECRET.
“It’s easy son. When we grew up, if something broke, you’d fix it, not throw it away. We appreciated the fact that every good and beautiful thing comes through patience and hard work. Unlike in this Dot Com generation where, if you experience a slight challenge, you just put a Dot and COMmence on something/someone else.”
As the reality of her words pierced through my heart, I was embarrassed. I felt like a fat kid stripped naked in a stadium full of teenagers. Living in this generation which boasts about being the most knowledgeable human beings in the history of humanity and yet it is shameful that we have failed to grasp the most basic of human emotions, Love.
We’ve made relationships hard. We’ve continuously failed at love. Humans have suddenly become inept at making relationships last. We’ve forgotten how to love. Or worse, forgotten what love is.
We’re not prepared. We’re not prepared for the sacrifices, for the compromises, for the unconditional love. We’re not ready to invest all that it takes to make a relationship work. We want everything easy. We’re quitters. All it takes is a single hurdle to make us crumble to our feet. We don’t let our love grow, we let go before time.
It’s not love we’re looking for, only excitement and thrill in life. We want someone to watch movies and party with, not someone who understands us even in our deepest silences. We spend time together, we don’t make memories. We don’t want the boring life. We don’t want a partner for life, just someone who can make us feel alive right now, this very instance. When the excitement fades, we discover nobody ever prepared us for the mundane. We don’t believe in the beauty of predictability because we’re too blinded by the thrill of adventure.
We immerse ourselves in the inconsequential of city life; leaving no space for love. We don’t have time to love, we don’t have the patience to deal with relationships. We’re busy people chasing materialistic dreams and there’s no scope to love. Relationships are nothing more than convenience.
We look for instant gratification in everything that we do – the things we post online, the careers we choose, and the people we fall in love with. We want the maturity in a relationship that comes with time, the emotional connect that develops over years, that sense of belonging when we barely even know the other person. Apparently, nothing’s worth our time and patience – not even love.
We’d rather spend an hour each with a hundred people than spend a day with one. We believe in having ‘options’. We’re “social’ people. We believe more in meeting people than in getting to know them. We are greedy. We want to have everything. We get into relationships at the slightest attraction and step out, the moment we find someone better. We don’t want to bring out the best in that one person. We want them to be perfect. We date a lot of people but rarely give any of them a real chance. We’re disappointed in everyone.
Technology has brought us closer, so close that it’s impossible to breathe. Our physical presence has been replaced by texts, voice messages, snapchats and video calls. We don’t feel the need to spend time together anymore. We have too much of each other already. There’s nothing left to talk about.
We’re a generation of ‘wanderers’ who don’t want to stay in one place for too long periods of time. Everyone is commitment phobic. We believe we’re not meant for relationships. We don’t want to settle down. Even the thought of it is scary. We cannot imagine being with one person for the rest of our lives. We walk away. We despise permanence like it’s some social evil. We like to believe we’re ‘different’ from the rest. We like to believe we don’t conform to social norms.
We’re a generation that calls itself ‘sexually liberated’. We can tell sex apart from love, or so we think. We’re the hook-up-break-up generation. We have sex first and then decide if we want to love someone. Sex comes easy, loyalty doesn’t. Getting laid has become the new getting drunk. You do it not because you love the other person, but because you want to feel good. It’s all the temporary fulfillment we need. Sex outside relationships isn’t taboo anymore. Relationships aren’t that simple anymore. There are open relationships, friends with benefits, causal flings, one-night stands, no strings attached – we’ve left very little exclusivity for love in our lives.
We’re the practical generation who run on logic alone. We don’t know how to love madly anymore. We wouldn’t take a flight to a far-off land just to see someone we love. We’d break up because of the long distance. We’re too sensible for love. Too sensible for our own good.
We’re a scared generation – scared to fall in love, scared to commit, scared to fall, scared to get hurt, scared to get our hearts broken. We don’t allow anyone in, nor do we step out and love anyone unconditionally. We lurk from behind walls we’ve created ourselves, looking for love and running away the moment we really find it. We suddenly ‘cannot handle it’. We don’t want to be vulnerable. We don’t want to bare our soul to anyone. We’re too guarded.
We don’t even value relationships anymore. We let go of the most wonderful people for ‘the other fish in the sea.’ We don’t consider them sacred anymore. Even though we promise to be together ‘Forever’ we actually mean ‘Till we meet someone better!’
There’s nothing we couldn’t conquer in this world, and yet, here we are ham-fisted in the game of love – the most basic of human instincts. Evolution, they call it.