Why is dating so hard today?
The Pitfalls of Modern Dating & Hookup Culture
What do toxic masculinity and modern feminism have in common? They both share common ideologies when it comes to love and relationships. They both promote unhealthy lifestyles and encourage emotional immaturity, leaving behind detrimental effects to our emotional and physical health. The sexual revolution that began in the 60s played a huge role in discouraging both sexes away from marriage into favoring instant gratification. The result of this is what we know today as 'modern dating.'
Let's Define Toxic Masculinity
What we call "toxic masculinity" is the result of some men refusing to emotionally mature, in other words, it's the absence of maturity. Leading men to behave in immature ways without a sense of accountability. Toxic masculinity is largely the result of men playing into their egos and placing their sexual desires above all else, which is why they view sex and emotions as separate entities. This behaviour is encouraged by other men and viewed with a sense of pride. Leading men to "play the field" in favor of dedicating time to cultivate real intimacy.
For this reason, women often complain about the lack of maturity, communication, emotional support, unwarranted advances and the unwillingness to settle down. Many also lie about their intentions which leaves very little trust in the dating space. This is why dating can be a complete nightmare for women who are looking to marry and start families.
Let's contrast that to the messaging that mainstream feminism promotes to young women as "empowerment".
1. The encouragement of extreme independence.
The "I don't need anyone" mentality, commonly referred to as "strong and independent".
2. The encouragement of emotional repression.
Like men, women have been told to neglect their emotional needs. So much so, that most women are too afraid to vocalize their desire for solid commitment and their aversion to hookup culture, all out of fear of being alienated or viewed as a "prude".
3. The encouragement of promiscuity.
- The idea that pleasure and convenience are to be put ahead of self-control and real intimacy. Women, like men, have been sold on the idea that they can survive off a paycheck and casual relationships. While that might work for some, it's not practical or healthy.
- The issue with promiscuity is not the act itself, but the consequences of it:
>> According to the CDC, one in every five Americans has an STI.
- Some STI's can result in infertility and other long-term effects, as well as higher chances of contracting HIV.
- There is also growing concern of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea known as 'super gonorrhea'. Other STDs, such as syphilis and chlamydia, have shown early signs of antibiotic resistance.
- Every year, at least 2 million people in the U.S. pick up these difficult-to-treat infections.
>> Having an STI during pregnancy can cause:
- Premature labor (labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Early (preterm) birth is the number one cause of infant death and can lead to long-term developmental and health problems in children.
- Infection in the uterus (womb) after birth
- Some STIs, such as syphilis, cross the placenta and infect the baby in the womb.
- Other STIs, like gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and genital herpes, can pass from the mother to the baby as the baby passes through the birth canal.
- HIV can cross the placenta during pregnancy and infect the baby during delivery.
>> The harmful effects to babies may include: Low birth weight , eye infection, pneumonia, infection in the baby's blood, brain damage, lack of coordination in body movements, blindness, deafness, acute hepatitis, meningitis, chronic liver disease, which can lead to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) and stillbirth
- Unstable relationships cause mental and emotional distress.
- Promiscuity has caused a breakdown in family structure, leading many women to raise children on their own.
- Abortion has been normalized with little mention of the physical and emotional toll on women.
As far as I can tell, the message being promoted by mainstream feminism is that to be a modern woman is to emulate the immaturity of men and this is supposedly a mark of "equality". The emotionally void woman who has no desire for commitment is the picture that the media paints for women as the epitome of "female empowerment", but isn't the feminist message strikingly similar to what women denigrate as "toxic masculinity"?
Thanks to mainstream feminism the desire for emotional intimacy is now viewed as weakness instead of it being a pillar of strength, making it very evident that our latest brand of feminism is indeed toxic. It's costing our mental and physical health and destroying our ability to form deep, healthy and lasting relationships. It's no coincidence that stable men and women are often overlooked in favor of those who are non-commital, it's because most have not emotionally matured. Some women have become just as reckless as the men they claim to hold so much anger towards.
Instead of feminists encouraging women to assert their needs with confidence, they are telling women to embrace the same carelessness as a form of revenge. This completely disregards the reality that most women have a need for connection, support and safe physical intimacy. If modern feminism is supposed to be a push back against toxic male behaviour, how does it make sense that women are now actively participating in the same recklessness? At the core of these movements is an underlying immaturity — a tit-for-tat mentality that is only keeping us stuck instead of making any real progress at calming the flames between the sexes.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE FAILING FOR TWO REASONS
1) Firstly, we have sworn off morals and standards because it's apparently uncool to be a decent human being? As ignorance shows, many believe that morality is religious dogma, when in actuality it's universal law. The further we stray from codes of conduct that are created to protect us, the more pain and suffering we experience in this life. If the term "universal law" doesn't sit well with you, feel free to replace it with "common sense".
A person with no self-control or standards can easily fall into the trap of addiction and nefarious behaviours. It's generally understood that the excessiveness of anything can hurt us. However, when it comes to the love department, we seem to believe the ultra-progressive narrative that "free love" has no consequences, and yet it's precisely why many are lonely and miserable because we treat each other as disposable.
We are essentially saying that we have no moral responsibility to safeguard our own health and that of others by transmitting STIs. We're also saying that we have no moral responsibility to safeguard a woman's reproductive system which is the source of bringing human life into this world. While women carry the burden of unwanted pregnancies, a man can't get pregnant, but he can spread STIs which in-turn cause health problems to both the mother and the unborn baby. It's reasonable to say that promiscuity is not safe for either sex.
One could argue that morality is relative, but a wise mind understands the truth of objectivity. Looking at the broader implications of our actions gives us perspective as to what is working and what isn't. One can't deny the destruction of a cheating partner, the pain of betrayal or the diagnosis of HIV, which are all the result of a belief system that's adamant that actions have no consequences. Our actions have consequences to each other. Ultimately, what I'm saying is that you can only deny reality, until it catches up to you! We all make mistakes, but it's crucial that we learn from them.
When pleasure is placed as the sole reason of initiating a relationship it leads to destruction. The purpose of a relationship is to build intimacy by getting to know the ins and outs of the person. To understand what angers them and why and to learn how to communicate and care for each other. A relationship is supposed to provide security. It will not be all rainbows and butterflies because nothing in life is, everything has its challenges. If we can learn to master an art form, a sport or earn a prestigious degree, we can surely learn how to build healthy relationships. We need to understand that we're all accountable to each other in this life and that our happiness is dependent on our ability to care for one another.
2) Secondly, we fail to understand the importance of self-development as it not only enriches our personal lives, but it also has positive impact on the collective as a whole. Pain and suffering is a consequence of selfish actions because we live in an interdependent ecology that is governed by reciprocity—every action has a reaction AND in order to receive, someone must be willing to give!
In today's casual dating culture the only thing that we are giving to each other is heartache, shallow interactions, STIs, unwanted pregnancies, loneliness and depression. Not exactly a wise trade-off for a few moments of pleasure, is it? This behaviour is due to the lack of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. The failures of our parent's generation is nothing to be replicated, rather it's a wakeup call to take notes and reverse the damage that has been done for the sake of our own well-being and that of generations to come. Self-control is not easy, but it's required if we want to live in a civil society. Mental agility is fundamental to our health and survival.
In a culture that favors instant gratification, it's easy to see why our cognitive ability to withstand the slightest bit of tension is not there. Repeated poor behaviour only enforces more of it, which is why it's time for a reality check. It's time we stop promoting toxicity as a form of empowerment and instead rethink our ways. If there's one thing I know, it's that everyone has a deep desire to be seen, heard and cared for and we need to start cultivating relationships that embrace this truth by investing in our personal growth. Plus, the more we understand ourselves it enables us to make wiser decisions when selecting a partner. If we don't hold each other to higher standards, I believe that we will continue to suffer immensely.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
The current dating culture needs to change and this will only happen when we collectively decide to raise our standards to work towards cultivating healthy relationships. As women we need to stop conforming to casual dating ideals out of fear of being left behind and instead make our boundaries clear. There is power in numbers, which is why it's crucial that we all grow a backbone and stop lying to ourselves about what it is that we want.
The result of our participation in the toxic dating culture is that we have freed men of all pressure to get serious, resulting in delayed marriage and parenthood, which comes with its share of fertility issues and for many, our shallow culture has resulted in lifelong singlehood. The cost of us not upholding our intuitive desire for deep connection is tragic to say the least. I'd rather live in a society with more happy couples and families than the miserable path we're on now. What is life without meaningful connection?
If we want men to take accountability for their actions, we have to do the same. Men wouldn't be able to bounce from one woman to the next if we didn't allow it to be so easy. Physical intimacy should be based around the understanding that it's reserved for committed men who value our soul and not just our body. Until we have this mutual consensus between the sexes, we can kiss long-term relationships and marriage goodbye! Also, instead of the dishonest, "I don't need a man" lingo, perhaps we should start voicing our need for healthy and emotionally mature men?
If we truly want to be empowered women, we might want to stop stealing from the men's handbook and start writing our own! Ignoring our biological differences is not enforcing equality, it's actually silencing women. This is not a battle of the sexes, it's a wake up call for us all to not only take accountability for our actions, but to ask ourselves what it is that we truly value in this life?
I can only imagine our dysfunctional dating culture leading to unnecessary health complications and broken families, not a euphoric utopia. Our individual actions have collective consequences and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we can smarten up!
Are we going to stop our self-inflicting destruction or are we going to allow this insanity to spread for generations to come?
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