Are We Programmed To Want A Relationship?

I have often asked myself if I only wanted to be in a relationship for the sake of it, especially as some women are prone to think that the ‘pinnacle of success’ is a relationship rather than being independent or working the dream job.

The concept of love and more so finding ‘the one’ is enforced in all aspects of life, it seems to me. There is the obvious like rom-coms, music and literature but also in the way we interact with people. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard: ‘I’m x years old and still never had a boy/girlfriend – what’s wrong with me?’

For some time I thought with the rise of internet dating and ‘sexual liberation’, the values of the younger generations have changed – we strive for a ‘quick fix’ rather than a long-lasting relationship. And statistics seem to back up that fact, with a decline in marriages and relationships. But that makes me wonder, does the decline mean we don’t want it, or we can’t seem to get it? Can it be possible that in the sea of endless possibilities, from dating websites to social media, we are always on the watch for the next thing, the better opportunity, that it is hard for us to settle?

It seems logical that as we are social animals, and therefore have a natural desire for intimacy, to belong somewhere and spread/receive love and care, we also want to be in a relationship.

But is this a blunt assumption or is there rather a gendered response?

I think most all of us have heard of slut-shaming, the notion that having multiple intimate partners is alright and in some cases even celebrated for males, yet is met with shame when a female does it. Does this mean that females are programmed to look for the ‘right’ person to come along, while males are given the option of choosing what they want?

When talking to female friends, I often got the feeling that their standard of what a man has to do to impress her or get her attention even, wasn’t really high. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should expect the impossible – but when females are impressed by a guy being tidy, ambitious and non-violent while drinking then I think we have a problem.

Another issue I have encountered is that we kind of stopped cherishing friendships we have with the other gender. Very often when meeting someone we might straight go to the possibility of dating that person rather than thinking about becoming friends and seeing where it takes us from there. The essence of this notion is found in the concept of the ‘friend zone’, where most males complain about being ‘rejected’ by their love interest to ‘just being friends’. While it is understandable to be disappointed in such a situation, the amount of times when people stopped talking to you after you told them you were not interested in anything romantic is alarming. It seems as if we don’t even care anymore about having a connection with another person, even if it is not in a romantic way.

What we can take away from all of this, is that we should not play into any of this. This February, start to cherish the connections you have with people, try to get to know people first with no expectations attached and truly see if they are a match, before playing into a fantasy in which you two are romantically involved. Think about what you want and more importantly why you want it. And lastly, don’t let yourself get stressed out but rather enjoy where in life you are at the moment.

Still here? Check this out: What Is A Soulmate?