When did relationships get so difficult for people?

Shae Slaughter

Break-ups, we’ve all been there. They’re a dime a dozen for a lot people in fact, but is this really surprising? No. Nowadays divorce is the end result of half of all marriages, but the real question is why? Years and years ago, our grandparents were married and they managed to stay together this long so why can’t people our age?

When it comes to relationships we’re selfish and lazy. Not all of us, but some of us. Not just romantic relationships, but familial ones too. For some reason, relationships dissolve more quickly than cotton candy in water. Why is it that these negative attributes have become seemingly stronger within the last 30-40 years? No, it’s not just because millennials are the spawn of Satan so let’s stop jumping on that bandwagon. I would argue that it’s just a general change in society itself.

Modern day society is driven by a need for success which is wonderful, but also terrible. We’ve been conditioned to thrive, grow and win at all costs. Often the cost is the people that we love. All of a sudden we don’t have time to pick up the phone and call mom, or to stop by to visit our grandparents and we sure as hell don’t have time for a date night with our significant other.

We’re more important, our needs are more important. Right? Wrong. While our own personal needs and goals are extraordinarily special, we are not any better than our loved ones. In fact, we wouldn’t be where we are without them. So we’re just being selfish, let’s be honest, we have time we just need to prioritize it.

Fifty years ago, when the family structure was a much simpler structure than today, relationships and families lasted. People prioritized hard work and their family, not one or the other. While I would never suggest returning to the admittedly patriarchal, mainly heterosexual structure that once existed, I would recommend a reminder of the ‘classic American values.’ No they didn’t have it all right, but they definitely didn’t have it all wrong.

For one thing, if we look at the work ethic of our grandparents, we can learn a lot. They worked hard and they struggled through many things. Life was not easy for them, but they did it. Life is not going to be easy for us, but the solution is to work harder. Giving up on our relationships, on people, it’s not the way to do it. It’s lazy.

Taking the time to stop in and visit your sister at work, sending your dad a letter in the mail or grabbing flowers for your girlfriend, all of those things are important. Don’t get me wrong, studying for your test, having an internship and working are all valuable things too. The point is to not forget the value of relationships, support systems and families. Stop being lazy, stop being selfish, 50 years down the line you want to be surrounded by loved ones, not by your degrees.