By John Michelson

The more our world evolves, the more our individualities get pushed forwards.

When looking at relationships, people now want to get married because of what they want rather than because of traditions or family values. This is all well and good as it allows us to develop a personality, but are we getting a little too self-centered?

Is our need for individuality making us forget the important things? We’re only asking that because when it comes to dating, it certainly feels like things have changed. Now that we can just have sex on demand by using adult dating sites, do we really still need the companionship of our partners, or is getting what we want when we want it becoming the way of the future?

Individuality first: We need people around us, they keep us sane (and insane at times), and they give more purpose to our lives. Sure you can just live for yourself only, but you will feel emotionally more complete if you do things for others. The issue seems to be that the media keeps pushing individuality as a way to sell us cars, phones, clothes… pretty much any item we can consume is there to make us feel like we are doing a personal decision when we go out and buy them.

This ‘me, me, me’ culture takes us away from the true team spirit that being in a couple can bring to the table. Even when people get together, it can be seen as an extension of their ego and pride rather than two different people getting together to make a whole being. But as much as this individuality is pushed, we still need companionship in our lives. It is not quite lost, but certainly can feel like a distant concept at times.

What I want when I want it: The dating scene is a good example of how people are now being commodified. Rather than going out and reach out to new people, we can now use dating sites and look through a whole list of them to make the choice we want. It almost sounds like we are making a purchase of sorts.

In fact, it seems to be more so the case with adult dating sites like where you can just browse away at people who just want sex or want to chat online. It all feels like a long way away from the old traditional approach where people where courting one another.

Lack of time and money: People these days are in a rush, they don’t have the time because of work or they simply cannot afford a relationship because of the lack of work. In fact it is cheaper to use online dating than going out in bars and nightclubs spending money in expensive drinks.

But you’ve got to wonder if lack of means and time is just an excuse. In the past, even if people had no money, they would still try to date in a traditional sense. So is the commodification of people giving us excuses as to why we cannot be bothered with companionship anymore?

Maybe if it wasn’t so easy to reach out to people, we would still make the effort to date properly.

Falsely connected: There’s another aspect to consider: that good old social media.

Using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn might make you feel like you have a lot of connections around you, but how often do you actually sit down in the same room as those people? Perhaps the problem is that we now see connections as just sending messages and reading status updates, maybe we are moving away from what really connects two people: being together in the same space and coexisting with one another.

So the bottom line is this: try to spend more time with people, in the same room of course. Be in each other’s space, accept each other’s qualities and defaults rather than moving on to the next most convenient person that just tells you what you want to hear.

Companionship is about being there for each other, both for the good times and the bad times.

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