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The Relationship Corner: "Americanized Dating" and Its Effects

How  “Americanized Dating” is Adversely Effecting The Quality of Your Life
By @JustKels88

Everyday, there is another discussion about dating woes in our current time. Unlike most of these discussions, I’m not interested in focusing on the way Instagram likes or Twitter follower counts lead to unhealthy dating and eventually relationships. Instead, let’s take a different angle and explore what I like to call “Americanized dating”. With or without the element of social media being involved, dating has become a reflection of America: over processed and generic. We function as if ease is more important sustainability.

Similar to canned meat and artificial sweeteners, dating has succumbed to a process created out of want for convenience with the illusion of being beneficial. While these things may be easier to come by and seem to offer some long term viability, they are unnaturally created. Not to mention, harmful to your well being. Instead of taking extra time and putting forth the maximum effort to create organic relationships, we are led to value what is put together, boxed up and marketed to us as a solution to our wants and needs. What we completely ignore in this equation is the fact that these processed relationships are not self-sustaining and lack everything necessary to provide actual fulfillment; thus perpetuating a dating cycle that leaves people reliant on all the wrong things and constantly looking to fill a void.

Aside from being processed for the masses, dating too often becomes generic. Americans love generic, right? The problem with generic dating can be summed up with a comparison to taking generic prescriptions, which are only required to contain 80% of whatever specific drug the original contains. There is an underlying message that in order to make things easier, we should be willing to take less than 100%. We are told that products designed to be a “watered down” version of something more powerful are not only acceptable but, preferable. I don’t know about you but, dating and building relationships is one of those aspects of my life where I am not willing to compromise on that other 20%. That 20% is where the nuances of others’ personalities are found. In that 20% is all the elements that are conducive to fulfilling, healthy relationships.  As dating becomes more and more non-specific, we lose appreciation for and stop seeking unique characteristics in people.



The awkward phases of dating have been all but eliminated. With the ability to constantly (virtually) communicate and keep tabs on each other, nothing is mysterious. I know, you're asking why that is a bad thing, right? You might even go as far to say that it has streamlined the process. Plot twist, dating should not be streamlined.  Similar to how you have to take time to feel out a dance partner, take time to do so with dating. You might misstep at first. You might wonder why this person hasn’t called you recently or isn’t replying to your texts the moment they see them. Let that happen. Let relationships grow organically. I’m not saying that it should be overly difficult but reality is that easier to come by rarely ever equates to quality product or long-term sustainability.

In a time where everything around us has been made “easier” through over processing and “simpler” via generics, why don’t we keep dating genuine? For once, let’s slow down and consider value and worth before we consider cost. Much like we should consume better quality foods and seek better quality solutions for our well being, we should partake in better quality dating.

-Kels

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