When your options are endless, it’s harder than ever to find The One. Rob Henderson makes the case for old-fashioned commitment.
I don't think we can understand the "EPIDEMIC OF LONELINESS" until we look at how "us being CONNECTED" has really made us MORE DISCONNECTED than ever before.
Humanity was never meant to keep in contact with THOUSANDS of people. We were designed to only CONNECT with those 50, 100 people that we are within our TRIBE, our CITY, and so forth.
In this way, TECHNOLOGY has greatly damaged our society by destroying our ability to make and keep meaningful, lasting, relationships.
"43 percent of young women say they have no interest in dating whatsoever". Go figure......the corporate media, social media, university/political leaders and social justice warriors have spent the past 10 -15 years telling men that they are the part of the oppressive patriarchy and responsible for most of society's problems. They've discouraged masculine men and the byproduct is physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally weak males. Just go to any concert, mall or large gathering and look around. Is it surprising to anyone that women having sex is also in decline.....I mean how could it not be? Masculine men are a dying breed IMO.
I’ve been out of the dating pool for 40 years but have multiple single friends of both sexes in their early 30’s. When I am around them, I feel like Margaret Mead observing a new species.
A few comments.
1) If you seek something too ardently you will make compromises and be disappointed in the result. Live an interesting life and your life will put a better choice in front of you. Your partner will find you.
2) Many singles now are just plain uninteresting. They check off societal boxes ( career, education, political beliefs, etc) but there is no person behind the facade. It’s like everyone in the dating pool is an avatar with no real person behind it. There is no actual conversation when they meet- just a series of checkbox questions. And the answers are almost always predictable.
3) They travel too frequently in groups. Gaggles of women and groups of men. When alone, especially women, they are fearful of any interaction. Basically without the support of a group around them, they are social cowards. Women believe every man is a potential rapist and men believe every woman will wrongly accuse them of rape.
4) Social media and dating apps are less than useless. They are harmful. They magnify they checkbox mentality and create pretend lives. Why is anyone surprised that they also create pretend relationships ?
5) Public space, especially in cities, is not safe enough for social interaction now. I met my wife by casually speaking to her on a street corner waiting for the light to change. We were both on lunch break in Center City Philly. I walk by that same corner now. The homeless have made casual interactions like that less likely. Social space, not the person involved in the meeting, is too threatening.
6) Work from home jobs, which for some reason every young person seems to want, eliminate a significant social network. It’s not just the young potential mates that you would meet. It’s the Aunts and Uncles of potential mates who you work with as well. An Aunt has a more serious interest in the relationship success than an app that just wants to keep you engaged with a continuous flow of partners.
So, who would have thought that working in your apartment alone, surrounding yourself with a same sex peer group that is basically competition for you and developing no social skills outside your narrow world would all have hurt your potential for happiness? What a surprise.
The good news of this story is that liberal women will not produce off spring.
Sad commentary on modern life after the "Sexual Revolution." Women are less satisfied with cohabitation arrangements (POSSLQs, People of Opposite Sexes Sharing Living Quarters, as we used to call them) than men? Well, of course! After all, what legal guarantees does a woman have that her man will be there when she needs him, like to help raise children. I think we can agree that marriage is more about protecting women and children than sex and companionship, and the declining birthrates around the western world may be the result of women losing faith in men and men able to find short term "hook-ups". So glad my wife of 51 years and I grew up in a different, "old fashioned" era. As the wife of a couple who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, responded to a reporter's question about whether she had she had ever contemplated divorce, "Divorce? Never. Murder, frequently," the marriage contract once was the glue that maintained families and society at large.
Smoking, drinking and gambling used to be vices for which your grandfather was accountable, now they are "illnesses" to be treated medically. The medicalization of behavior does away with the sense of personhood leaving people without soul: that is boredom, loneliness.
My husband and I grew up super Mormon, where dating and marriage are still alive and kicking. We dated for two months before we got engaged, then married two months later, at the ages of 21 and 23. We now have four kids and will celebrate our 20th anniversary in March.
I know dozens of LDS couples with similar relationship timelines. Are our relationships perfect? God, no. We have our problems. Are there people who may have been a better match for each of us? Absolutely. But who cares? Life is about building and learning and loving, not about the hunt for the perfect partner. Do some marriages that begin like ours end in divorce? Of course they do. But not any more than any other marriages where people date for years, live together for years, and THEN spend a solid year planning an elaborate wedding.
We just chose each other and jumped in. The quote that has governed our marriage is one that a former leader of our church shared years ago that he had hanging on his own wall: Choose your love, and love your choice.
We left the Mormon church a couple years after we got married, which is complicated, but I’m so grateful that the values we were raised with around marriage and family run deep.
“Women’s self-reported happiness has plummeted. While today both men and women are less happy, men report higher well-being than women.
How can this be, when women now make up 59.5 percent of college students and earn the majority of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees?“
How can this be? Ummmm…..because conservatives were right and feminism is terrible.
I hear things from my 20 yr old daughter that makes my head want to explode sometimes. She shares the “requirements” list young women spout off about on social media. 6’2 -6 figure income (at 26-30??) 😂 They are crazy. I believe every pot has a lid. But the young are stuck on stupid. Personally I pray she meets a carpenter or plumber with a good head on his shoulders.
Delete the apps? Yes.
But it needs to go further. I’m putting my money on:
(bought my first house)
Taking responsibility for 100% of my health
(physical, mental and spiritual)
Creating the life that I want for myself (
rich with connection, friendships, mentors and community)
(letting go of the patterns, behaviors and beliefs that no longer serve me and instead exploring and embracing what does)
I was in the first ever ad for Tinder...10 years ago. I've been on every app for a decade and so tired of the game. Especially in the gay world, it's rare to even find someone who even wants to go out on an actual date (dinner?) at all and not just "spontaneously" end up meeting out at a club one night after following each other's whereabouts on Instagram. I was set up with someone who wouldn't even go on a first date without the mutual friend also being there as a "buffer". God forbid taking a chance and just meeting someone new for an hour. We had to reschedule 5 times between our three schedules and it never even ended up happening. Dating in the 21st century is an absolute mess
There's a lot more to this than just liberal vs. conservative politics. It's the new reality of life in general.
Many young people today don't even bother saying "hi" to their co-workers or neighbors -- it's simply considered to be socially unacceptable. They just walk past each other with their faces plastered in their cell phones without even looking up or smiling.
If I look back to the dating relationships I was in prior to getting married almost 40 years ago, every single one started out by me saying "hi" to someone that seemed interesting. Most took place at work or in social settings (like bars or events). For a short time I dated a girl that I first met in a grocery store. And I never would have met the woman who eventually became my wife if I hadn't gathered up my courage to say "hi" to the pretty girl sitting on her front porch across the street from where I was living.
As a married, lifelong feminist with two adult children and a grandchild, I can tell you that feminism is still very much needed - for both men and women. Just not the feminism promoted today. Third wave feminism has been co-opted by big porn and predatory capitalism which indoctrinated women into turning their bodies and sexuality into commodities for the benefit of men. Essentially destroying what the feminist movement was about. Fighting against the sexual objectification if women. Patriarchy rears its ugly head and both men and women are exploited for the benefit of the oligarchs who are - you guessed it - mostly men.
Think about it -feminism simply would not exist today if everything was peachy keen for women 100 years ago when working women, and their children, had no vote, no reproductive freedom, no financial independence, no basic human rights or even bodily autonomy. They lost their children if they left their husbands due to abuse. I could go on, but suffice to say it was a hellscape for women and girls. Men were not always the providers and protectors the way we're told they were back when the suffragettes began the women's liberation movement. They were treated as chattel no matter how destitute or abusive their husband.
Fast forward to today, there are women and girls still suffering in extremely patriarchal cultures with sharia laws, female genital mutilation, menstrual huts, no education, inadequate maternal care. This is what women endured globally with the exception of wealthy women. We forget just how bad things were then when we encourage women to become trad-wives and men to become 'protectors and providers'. It's so tiresome having to remind people of just how bad it was and could be again.
Here's a thought: Why not teach BOTH men and women that they have options and let men and women sort it out for themselves. Men will likely be drawn to do the protecting and providing and women the bearing and nurturing of children. Feminism when I was young was my way of escaping the trap of abuse and destitution that my mom and her generation were forced to endure because virtually ALL the men of her generation were drinkers, wife-beaters, rapists, child molesters. All my mother wanted was to be a homemaker and raise children. She had FIVE children by the time she was 25 years old. She dreamed of living the perfect life with my father, but after 12 years of his drinking, violence, rape, child molestation and lack of financial stability she finally kicked him out. I was 9 at the time. She fought to keep us and to keep him out of our lives - unsuccessfully. He never paid a dime in child support.
So, she made her way, without child support and with the church she loved abandoning her and telling her she should continue to endure this despicable man who did not 'protect and provide'. Oh, but he was masculine, tough, charming. This was NOT the exception in my extended family. It was COMMON.
So, bash feminism and feminists all you want, but today I'm a successful, confident, happy, healthy 64 year old grandmother who once had a married life with 2 children. Due to her strong example, I made my way in the world and provided for my children in a way I never could have because, I, too, ended up with an abusive, irresponsible husband from whom I separated after 19 years together.
I don't see men or women/feminism as the problem here, I see the entire economic system as exploitative. The problem is not that men aren't masculine enough, or women feminine enough. The problem is that the traditional stereotypical roles defined for human beings just isn't working. It's designed to serve the powerful. It's designed to restrict and control human beings and their sexuality into rigid behaviour that keeps the predatory capitalists happy working away making them billions in profits, while the average man and woman struggles to create and maintain a family. They're siphoning off our life energy to make obscene profits while degrading our land, food, air, water making us sick and dependent on a medical system that extracts the last bit of profit from our bodies until we finally expire from exhaustion.
This current predatory capitalism economic system was/is designed to serve the oligarchs - the alpha males in our culture. (BTW: Communism did the same thing). This economic system is what gave rise to the need for women's liberation, then feminism, which was women's way of saying - "We can't care for ourselves and our children like this!" - and it pitted men and women against each other instead of seeing who our real enemy was/is - the billionaires who set up this system of economic dependence which robbed us of our humanity, dignity and connection to each other as men and women.
I have a vision of a world where men and women are raised as children to love and respect each other AS INDIVIDUALS and allow them to pursue their goals unimpeded by rigid gender stereotypes WITHOUT the feminist propaganda that's promoted today. Today's 'feminism' is so far from what the original goals were that you cannot even call it feminism. I call it 'porn feminism' because it's based on the sexual objectification and exploitation of young women's bodies, minds and hearts.
We cannot create a healthy culture when women are valued only for their bodies and sexuality, and men only for their wallets and muscles. Could we not simply encourage and support both men and women to be kind, responsible, healthy and wise? Could we not recognize that the SYSTEM is the problem and it serves only the oligarchs. This should be a class war, not a war between men and women. We should be fighting together to take down an economic system which treats men and women as commodities, not human beings. That's the future that I'm working towards for my children and granddaughter. Bashing feminism and by extension, women who strive to be whole, independent human beings only serves to imprison us all back into gender stereotypes which serve the oligarchs and create division where there should be connection.
Just my take on it. For the girls whose genitals are being mutilated as I write, I must continue to work to free them and all women from male supremacy.
Isn’t it fun living though civilizational collapse? At least it’s almost football season. Too bad modern bread sucks, though.
“according to Pew, the majority of young liberal women are mentally ill (!). And as one of my heroes, Nancy Pearcey, explains in her latest book, the highest rate of happiness among any group of American women is found in those married to regularly churchgoing men (more Pearcey: “Compared to secular men, devout Christian family men who attend church regularly are more loving husbands and more engaged fathers. They have the lowest rate of divorce. And astonishingly, they have the lowest rate of domestic violence of any major group in America”).”
More, from Brad Wilcox:
“The problem facing liberals, then, is that too many of them have embraced the false narrative that the path to happiness runs counter to marriage and family life, not towards it. They think independence, freedom and work will make them happy, which is why significant portions of the popular media are filled these days with stories celebrating divorce and singleness. […] The secret to happiness, for most men and women, involves marriage and a life based around the family.”
Why are women less happy today? One way to think about it: Miss Havisham has gone from over the top villain… to cultural hero. Don’t be like her! More here:
Great essay topic, thank you!
“She replied that she had three requirements for him: stop smoking, stop drinking, and stop gambling.”
His requirements: start cooking, start cleaning, stop talking.