I’m technically a millennial, which means I was born into a generation of youngsters who struggle with self-confidence and “image”. You guys, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of seeing young people get into relationships because they seem “fun” and two weeks later ranting on Instagram and posting candids with several new boys because it’s time to move on. Something is wrong with this philosophy of constantly chasing something new for the fun of it.
Getting into a relationship (no matter how old or young you are, really) requires grit. It means you will choose that person on a rainy day when you want to push them away and eat ice cream in solitaire. It means on the good days when everything is going well, you won’t take them for granted and kick them to the curb. I remember learning this for the first time. It was inconvenient.
Our world chases convenience. We choose the fastest route home. We opt for the self-checkout lane to avoid eye contact. We cancel plans last minute because we “don’t feel like it tonight.” How many times have we emailed or texted instead of calling? I’m not saying we shouldn’t use the technology available to us, but where does it end? When do we say “enough is enough?” When do we stop valuing money, work, and convenience over relationships?
Dating someone, or even being friends, is not convenient. I learned that early on even in my first friendships. Listening to someone rant when their day is awful is not convenient. Taking a Friday off work because your person needs a good hug and a shoulder to cry on is not convenient. Sometimes having someone who wants to spend their extra time with you doesn’t even feel convenient. Confronting issues like sex or jealousy through conversation is especially inconvenient. In my opinion, this push to avoid inconvenience causes a lot of relationships to fizzle out. I say it’s time to get over convenient.
I think healthy relationships bring to surface the things you struggle with. It will hurt and it most certainly won’t be convenient. I’ve been learning a lot about myself since the start of my current dating relationship, and I’m working to change parts of me because they do not reflect who I want to be. I want to love people better. I want to stop chasing convenient and chase real instead. I want to have the hard conversations. I want to value the future over what feels good now. Can we stop opting for convenient all the time? I want to see people stay together through the hard stuff – even when the feelings fizzle out. Feelings change all the time.
I suppose what I’m saying is that I believe love is a verb. If you want to love someone well, do something about it. Love is not a collection of feelings that go away after the honeymoon phase ends. I want to see more of that and less of the convenient relationships that seem to litter my timeline all the time. Take an extra two minutes and ask the grocer how they’re doing today. Keep the plans with that person even when you’d rather watch Netflix. Open your wallet and pay for someone’s dinner. Let’s start chasing authenticity and not convenience. That’s not what real relationships are, anyway.