Why is commitment becoming far and rare in relationships? Does it cost an individual’s freedom? Or the unreal expectations from the partner make it difficult to say yes for a lifetime. We are more connected and less committed than ever. Kerby Anderson sees this as a significant reason for the crisis of loneliness in our society.
Recent studies reported that 39 percent of global youth socialize online more than in person; As the famous quote goes about this newest generation, “Whenever I’m bored, I can always find something to do on my phone” As a result, one-third are increasingly lonely. Along with increases in loneliness, mental health experts report increases in depression and other psychological issues. We’ve created a vicious cycle. Social media invites loneliness; loneliness invites depression; depression asks the likelihood that people will close themselves off for fear of rejection, which further brings loneliness and symptoms of gloominess.
#Hesidating, a new dating trend, defines commitment-phobic millennials and Gen Zs. Today’s youth suffer from commitment phobia. Hence, they think twice before stepping forward into an exclusive relationship.
Why some individuals in sure generations might exhibit hesitancy to commit to relationships, it’s important to remember that not everyone in a particular generation behaves the same way, and individual differences significantly shape behaviours and attitudes.
What Is Commitment Phobia?
Commitment phobia can give birth to feeling doubtful about committing to several other relationships, not just romantic ones. It can have a fear of intense friendship and effacing dilemma to commit to a job or career.
Cultural trends and technology have a massive impact on the way people search for love and work. With so many options available, it can be difficult for individuals to commit as they may feel overwhelmed by the abundance of choices.
A comparative study has revealed that individuals from Gen X (between the early 1960s and early 1980s) exhibit less dedication to their workplace and are more prone to quitting than the Baby Boomer generation (taken from the 1940s to 1960s). Conversely, Baby Boomers experience higher levels of job contentment.
Redefining the Concept of Being Single:
The latest breed of daters deliberately chooses to remain single, prioritizing the development of their self-confidence and self-worth over-relying on a partner to fulfill those needs. This new generation
knows that jumping from one relationship to another in search of companionship may expose them to toxic individuals, a behaviour that older generations often exhibit. They confidently reject anything that does not align with their journey of self-discovery.
- Fear of Failure: The world is fast-paced and ever-changing. There may be a fear of making the wrong decision or choosing the wrong partner. Committing to a long-term relationship often involves vulnerability and the possibility of failure. It isn’t very comforting.
- Options and Technology: Dating apps, Whatsapp groups, and social media have increased the possibilities for people to connect almost instantly. The spontaneous dating over a cup of instant coffee rendezvous makes individuals explore and discover their potential partners. Eventually, hesitate to commit to one person as they wonder if someone better might be just a swipe away.
- Career and Personal Goals: Prioritising career and personal goals over committed relationships are no longer selfish. Balancing personal aspirations with the demands of a long-term relationship can be challenging and lead to hesitation. Today my younger cousins call me a fool for leaving good opportunities as an army wife. I preferred to stay with my husband in the remotest of locations in India. Moreover, I never regretted my decision and lived an eventful life. But not in the case of the present generation; they nurture only those relations where they can pursue their dreams. Moving on was not known to us. Long-lasting affairs were the only thing we knew.
- Past Experiences: Negative experiences in previous relationships can leave a long-lasting impact on individuals, causing them to be more cautious about committing again. Trust issues and fear of repeating past mistakes may contribute to hesitancy.
- Changing Social Norms: Societal attitudes towards relationships and marriage have evolved. Marriage and commitment may not be as necessary as they once were, leading to a more relaxed approach to loyalty.
- Status and Financial Stability: Young people are more involved in the search for professional and financial stability. As a result, Gen-Zs and millennials now emphasize the financial health of their romantic relationships. For this generation, finances must be utterly transparent before a serious commitment. Economic uncertainties and high living costs can make individuals think twice before committing to a long-term partnership, especially if they feel financially unstable.
- Independence and Autonomy: Many individuals today value their independence and autonomy. Committing to a relationship can be perceived as losing personal freedom, which might lead to hesitation. “Take life as it comes and make the most of it.” is the mantra for people.
- Delayed Maturity: Societal changes and extended educational pursuits can lead to delayed maturity and a slower transition into adulthood. Some individuals prefer to explore different experiences before settling down.
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): Connected to the abundance of options, the fear of missing out on exciting experiences or potential partners can create hesitation about committing to a single relationship.
- Changing Family Structures: With the ever-increasing divorce rates, Gen Zs have stopped giving undue importance to the institution of marriage. Individuals from families with divorced parents or non-traditional family structures may be more reluctant to commit. Their views about serious relationships are highly influenced by how their parents behave. They start questioning the stability of long-term relationships.
We need real connections — and feel free to provide them for us as long as it increases the bottom line — why can’t we? How does it matter what generation you’re in? Baby boomers, millennials, X, Y, or Zumba? It’s time to trust and commit. Please stop this self-imposed agoraphobia and go outside. Find people — real people — in person.
An impromptu coffee date with a friend is any day better than just texting her. Invite a colleague over for dinner. Call your parents for a movie outing. Just do something with someone in person.
Stop hiding behind your smartphone and start living your life. Your mental health will thank you.
Love from Soul