Relationships in this day and age can be pretty brutal. Some couples find themselves in a downward spiral toward disaster before their relationship every really even takes off. Why is that? They say hindsight is 20/20, but from the looks of it, this kind of thing used to run a little more smoothly. Couples dated exclusively. They immersed themselves in one another’s lives. They knew each other’s families. Their courtship was pretty lengthy before moving onto marriage and kids.
Things certainly have changed. Couples don’t always wait — for intimacy, or marriage, or kids. Friends with benefits are haphazardly allowed to turn into something more. People long for companionship so much that they settle for someone who isn’t really worth it. In society today, divorce is talked about far more than marriage. Unless, of course, we count the wedding — yet another reason people jump into relationships too quickly.
What’s lying behind all of that? Why does it seem like everyone falls apart as soon as they come together? Just how many people are still holding out for the one, and how do we know when they cross our path? The divorce rate is roughly 50 percent now. Are half of all couples really this confused? Are we really picking the wrong partners? Or are we picking them for the wrong reasons?
16 Social Media Is The Problem, Not For The Reason You Think
With the dawn of social media comes a new age of connectedness never seen before. When someone’s mad at their significant other, they can just tweet a passive aggressive “lol” and instantly be met with an empathetic “girl, what he do?”
And while always having an outlet to vent can be great, subtweeting your significant other might not be the best way to handle conflict with each other. And let’s not forget that once it’s out there, then it’s out there.
Just because you didn’t get the notification that someone screenshot your story, doesn’t mean that he didn’t manage to save it and show it off. On the internet, mistakes are forever, and that can really make or break you in today’s time.
15 Courtship? What’s That?
In 1987, if two people liked each other, they’d agree to get to know one another better over a nice dinner at that fancy Italian restaurant downtown. Twenty years later in 2017, and you’d be lucky to meet up in public for a coffee. In the era of just talking and Netflix and chill, is courtship really dead?
Rather than spending a couple of months learning about each other, millennials would rather spend a couple of weeks talking or hanging out, and then make a complete 180 and jump into a serious relationship.
Gone are the days of taking it slow. Why is this? It is because we live in a world of now. You want a pizza? It will be there in thirty minutes or less. You want to find your next partner? Well, keep swiping left and right from the comfort of your own home. Courtship is dead because we — as a society — just do not have the time for it anymore.
14 Temptation Is Everywhere
A study done by researchers at Penn State University found that a quarter of men and women who were married or cohabiting admitted to either cheating on their significant other or being cheated on by their significant other.
It might not come as a surprise that cohabiting couples are more likely to be unfaithful than married couples. Many people report cheating on their significant others because they’re unsatisfied in their relationship, but not quite unsatisfied enough to break up with them.
As you can imagine, the relationships usually end anyway once they’re caught. While you might think cheating is only for the lesser-committed or immature boys, real life is far different than what we see in films and the media. In short, women cheat, too. So do poor people, wealthy people, and people of all colors and sizes. There’s always someone out there willing to be your SO’s mistress — or in today’s lingo — their side piece.
13 Without Trust, It’s A Bust
Trust is the foundation of all relationships, but trust is also something millennials don’t have a lot of. With everything from scandals, the economy, wars, and increasing detachment from interpersonal relationships brought on by social media, it’s easy to see why we trust less than any generation before us.
When asked whether or not most people can be trusted, only 16 percent of millennials agreed — down from almost one-third of those asked from Generation X. Why is there no trust in today’s time? It is because we can see our trust being broken now, thanks to technology.
Previously, if someone didn’t want to believe their friend when she told them that their husband cheated on them, then they would just say their friend is jealous and making the whole thing up. But, it is kind of difficult to say that friend is jealous when she has receipts of him in her DM’s. This level of distrust for each other wreaks havoc in our relationships — especially in a generation that already has a hard time taking commitment seriously.
12 People Won’t Mind Their Own
Let’s face it: we’re all nosey, and we love a good drama. Anytime something goes down on our newsfeed, we instinctively screenshot it and send it to our group chats to discuss the current events of the day. But as entertaining as it may be, it can be hard to deal with problems in a relationship correctly if everyone involved feels like they’re performing for an audience.
We are all unique individuals who have different levels of shit we can forgive. For some people, if you cheat, it’s the end of the relationship. For others — like Beyoncé — they can learn to forgive their significant other. But, when you confide in your best friends and both of them hate your boyfriend now because he cheated, it can be hard for you to forgive him when their opinions mean so much to you.
11 He Can’t Take Her Success
For as long as history can record, men were supposed to be the providers and the leaders of the house, but with gender equality front and centered, many men are starting to worry what that means about their role in the family. This leads to spouses feeling like they’re in competition as opposed to working as a team, and often a bruised ego when a man’s wife can perform “his role” better than he can.
Even for the men who are not conscious that this is impacting their mood and feelings in the relationship, this can still manifest. We all like to feel that we are contributing in some way to the overall success of the relationship and the building of a life together.
For someone who has been instilled their entire life with the idea that they’re the breadwinner, and they should be providing for their women, feeling like a failure when it comes to whose paychecks gets rid of more bills can really cause one to see the entire relationship as dysfunctional.
10 Shacking Up
With more and more marriages ending in divorce, a popular alternative for many is just simply co-habitating. Why waste the money on divorce lawyers when you can just enjoy the married life without the legal commitment?
Although this may sound like the perfect plan in theory, many studies from the last two decades suggest that this causes both parties to take the relationship less seriously. After all, it’s a lot easier to break up with a roommate than to settle a divorce in court.
However, a lot of new research from recent years is showing that maybe this alternative lifestyle to a traditional marriage isn’t as bad as we thought, which is great news, because cohabitation rates are only going up. It’s all about mutual commitment. For some people, a ring helps.
9 First Comes Love, Then Comes Babies
Even though children can be one of the most beautiful gifts to bring to the world, nothing can be a greater test of commitment than raising a child together, but nothing spells disaster like having children without commitment.
Children born outside of marriage create a greater financial burden on the parents. This in turn causes more stress and conflicts over money — the number one conflict in relationships — which often leads to breaking up and maybe even the absence of one of the parents. That definitely doesn’t create a great environment for the baby.
Of course, many single mothers not only succeed but truly excel at raising children on their own, but not everyone can be so lucky. Plus, having to deal with baby mamas and baby daddies can really put a strain on any relationship.
8 Domestic Issues En Masse
When we think of domestic violence, our minds nearly always jump to images of Rihanna and Chris Brown or Tina and Ike Turner, but domestic violence — often called intimate terrorism — can be more than just physical abuse. The sad truth is that many young people today just don’t know the other forms domestic terrorism can take.
Intimate terrorism is the use of fear-based or manipulative tactics to gain control over one’s partner in a relationship. This can include emotional abuse and spiritual abuse. When the victims are young and still in high school and college, they often don’t know before it’s too late and feel like they have no one to turn to. They feel like they can’t get out.
Females aged 16- to 24-years old experience the most violence at the hands of their significant others — at nearly three times the nationwide average. Furthermore, just one-third of teenagers involved in abusive relationships confide in a friend about it.
7 Broken Homes Breed Broken Homes
A child of divorce is twice as likely to endure a divorce later in their lifetime. If both people standing at the altar are children of divorce, then that number goes up to four. As we grow up, we learn a lot just by watching our parents. Especially conflict management.
So, it’s no surprise that children of divorce often pick up some unhealthy tactics to approach conflicts with their friendships and other relationships. Because of this, many of these children wind up suffering the same problems that drove their parents apart. Unfortunately, this cycle often continues. That’s not to say that there aren’t many other factors involved, but it can be hard to unlearn habits you picked up at a young age. Likewise, every time those grown-up children of divorce fight in front of their own kids, they’re reinforcing those methods of conflict resolution for themselves.
6 They’re In It For The Wedding
Americans love a spectacle and what greater event than a wedding? In a world obsessed with appearances and cinematics, the pressure to have a huge wedding has never been greater. But we get so caught up in the perfect dress, the perfect reception, and the perfect food, that we tend to not really focus on what really is the most important part: the perfect spouse — or rather, the perfect marriage.
So, it’s no surprise when the greatest stars rush into monogamy and have less-than-expected outcomes. The infamous 72-day Kardashian-Humphries union serves as a testament to this. Sure, no marriage is perfect. They all have their flaws. That’s the whole point — to learn and grow together. That journey bonds the couple. Those who think they’re starting out perfect because they have the best wedding cake have a rude awakening that lies ahead.
5 Money, Honey
The number one cause of stress for couples as reported by the American Psychological Association is money. The APA found that almost three-quarters of Americans are experiencing financial stress in their relationships.
More than 50 percent of millennials surveyed reported that one of the biggest obstacles they face is combining finances with someone who saves differently than they do. These statistics are out there and most of us are aware of them. That’s why we make it into even more of a big deal.
More importantly, money can lead to many fights, especially when you talk about moving in together and splitting day-to-day costs. The idea of what’s fair is different between the two and the relationship tends to nose dive. From the price of her new shoes to how much he spent on that video game, couples start fighting over trivial objects, but at the heart of it, they want to make sure their hard-earned dollars are appreciated.
4 They’re In It For The Kids
Baby fever can be a very catastrophic change a relationship — especially with babies being born without planning and preparation. Some women will want a family while they’re young and intentionally get pregnant. Some of them do this without the man even being in on the plan, but other women don’t want a family and the men do. It takes all kinds.
A lot of people get married just because they think it’s the next necessary step before they have kids. Some people also stay in unhappy relationships and marriages because they already have said children and don’t want to rip their home life apart.
Many couples even agree to part ways behind closed doors. They’ll both continue living with one another in the family home in order to deter any suspicion from their kids that there’s trouble on the home front. But outside of the white picket fence, they’re both dating other people and counting down the days until the kids go away to college.
3 Mister Right Now
One of the most beautiful parts of a relationship is the experience of watching each other grow and change and enjoying the journey together, but unfortunately, this can also be the most devastating part. As the time flies by, many of us are struck with the painful realization that who we’re dating now just isn’t who we fell in love with at the beginning of our relationship.
For a generation that thrives on convenience and living for right now, that can be a tough reality to face. No one wants to see all of that time and effort amount to nothing and have to start back at square one. So, often times we try and replicate the atmosphere we were in when the sparks were there, but the fact of the matter is that one of you may not like that atmosphere anymore.
2 Commitment Is A Thing Of The Past
With the advent of no-fault divorces in the West, we’ve developed a culture of serial monogamy” We like the idea of being committed to one person for life, but that’s a lot easier said than done. And when all you need are irreconcilable differences to end a marriage, commitment becomes a lot harder to define for many.
That’s why many people aren’t committing, and when they do — they don’t — they do it halfway. We’ve all seen the TV episode where two people — typically platonic friends — who don’t love each other get married for some wacky reason. Maybe they’re a Canadian immigrant, or maybe they need insurance for a root canal. The bottom line is that it isn’t something that we in today’s time deem as necessary for a functional relationship.
1 No One Is Sharing The Household Burden
With both partners often having to work fulltime jobs to pay bills, it’s easy to fall behind on housework. This generation prides itself on defying gender norms and expectations, but it seems like the division of housework didn’t quite get the memo.
The Council on Contemporary Families found that women do as much as three times the amount of cooking, cleaning, and laundry as men, while men typically have at least an hour more of leisure time that women.
Not only does this put more pressure on the women in relationships, but also when men aren’t pulling their fair share in the relationship, their self-esteem can suffer. And let’s face it, no matter what gender you are, if you come home from a full day of stressful, understaffed work to a messy house, you’re going to be upset.