The common fallacy is in the belief that the grass will always be greener. It’s not what you can get, but what you make of what you already have.
I had a really great discussion with family a few months ago about the idea of technology and why and how having too much choice has lead to people becoming lazy, choosy and spoiled. It seems for the older generation, the 1960’s and 70’s era was perhaps the best time to live due to less overcrowding, a cleaner environment and a cheaper society.
I’ve often wondered how that made any sense due to growing up with so much flexibility and choice; to be able to communicate with people from all over the world, to call my friends with my mobile phone, online social networking to name a few examples.
How could it be that being so limited would lead to a better and more fulfilled life?
I’m a massive advocate of psychology and have spent the last few years studying about human behaviour and what makes us driven for things. And based on my logic and experience, it seems humans tend to appreciate things that aren’t freely available.
We tend to take for granted the things that are abundant and less so when it isn’t.
In economy, the notion of supply and demand is a massive topic that when studied can lead to a consistent and obvious truth –
We want and value things that we can’t have or have to work hard for.
Dating and relationships are perhaps the biggest culprit when it comes to the above theory. It’s become a common fad in modern society to treat dating like a game of charades between 2 people. A game of cat and mouse where the objective is to make yourself desirable by being aloof, challenging and valuable in order to increase your chances of securing a date or 2 if you’re lucky. Is it no wonder that the divorce rates have become so common versus 40 years ago?
If you look at the comparisons between the times of the older generation and now, it starts to become clear. The older generation had no choice. They had no mobile phones. They couldn’t meet someone at a bar or try to get their number or even secure their contact information for a chance of a second date. There was no internet, so you couldn’t go on Facebook or a social networking site to try and find their name.
It was more common to meet people through family or friends. This naturally leads to fidelity and order in the relationship due to either party not risking their reputation around their family or peers, resulting in a happy long-term relationship and marriage. It literally forced the 2 couples to work on their marriage which is something that is necessary in order for it to work.
Compare this to today where the opportunity to meet a new prospect for a date is around every corner. Want to meet new people? Simply log into your dating profile, see someone you like and try to put your best foot forward for a possible engagement. Or for women, check your inbox for a barrage of messages from willing guys wanting to meet.
Who needs marriage?
I really do believe that while technology has bettered society in that we have options and flexibility. It is also a detriment in that it directly targets a part of the human psyche where it makes for less drive to make something attainable in order for us to truly value what we have.
We no longer need to work as hard to get information, to order food, to buy clothes or to secure dates. We’re now in a consumerist society where the idea of ‘instant gratification’ is much more favourable than ‘delayed gratification’ and hard labour.
We now live in a time where it’s more common to go on a ‘weight watchers’ plan versus getting your butt off the sofa and hitting the gym.
So what can we do about it?
While I can go into political and religious debates about the whole topic, what I will instead say is that in order to truly understand your motivations, you need to first step outside of yourself and truly study your psychology in order to realize what makes you behave in the way that you do.
Why are your standards so high?
Is it really that difficult to sustain a healthy relationship? If so, how so?
What was the last thing you did for your partner that really made them appreciate your relationship?
Everything in life requires work. Whether it’s to sustain a job, a relationship or even the basic necessities of maintaining good health.
Are you taking responsibility for your life?
I read a really great quote a few days ago which really puts all of this into perspective:
When you stop trying to find the right person and start becoming the right person, the right man/woman will find their way to you.
Perhaps that time is now!