If you watch older (pre-2000) TV, movies, and music, you will notice there used to be a very different attitude and vibe about dating and relationships. It seems in earlier times, there was a much more positive, hopeful, exciting attitude toward dating as well as the opposite sex in general. Today, largely the opposite exists. So, what happened? Why the negative change? There are numerous theories out there and probably multiple contributing factors. In my opinion and from my observation, there are several notable factors that have eroded away at the positive societal attitudes against dating and committed relationships. These factors are reviewed below.
Factors Souring Dating and Relationships Today:
The internet effect: First, with the advent and spread of the internet and smart phones, the last 2 decades have introduced social media, online dating, and a constant flow of videos, articles, and podcasts. These media sources tend to put down the opposite sex, dating, relationships, marriage, and commitment in general. Instead, narcissism is promoted, along with an antagonism towards the opposite sex. With so many endless competing voices out there in the media today, every voice needs to sound louder, be more negative, and act more extreme to get attention for viewers and ratings. These negative voices include regularly putting down relationships and pitting the genders against each other in general. As if the opposite sex were the enemy.
FOMO: Furthermore, with so many apparently options available online in social media, online dating, etc., it because increasingly harder to choose and be satisfied with just one person. Fear of missing out (“FOMO”) and the illusion that better dating options are always out there make it harder to choose and stay with just 1 person before wanting to bail and look for better. Hence the temptation increases to end whatever relationship a person is in and jump to another in hopes that that one will be better. The specter of “better” out there makes it harder than ever to be happy with whatever relationship a person is currently in. The result is that many good and promising relationships are abandoned and treated like they are disposable.
Immediate gratification society: Whatever we want nowadays, it is available now. We can order our groceries and fast food to be delivered to us, as well as anything through Amazon. We can look up any information we want online immediately. There is a cell phone app for most anything we wish as well. Don’t know how to do something? Just look up a You Tube video to tell you. The idea of waiting, being patient, and having to go without for a while is a lost art that is becoming increasingly rare today. Yet with successful and healthy dating and relationships, they require time, energy, effort, and some money. So when singles encounter setbacks and frustrations in the dating/relationship process today, there is commonly a lack of patience to deal with the process. Many today are taking breaks or opting out altogether.
Money: a long time ago, a family could be reasonably supported by 1 spouse (usually the husband). He could graduate high school, go and get a job, work there for 40 years, retire with a good pension, and support a wife and kids well along the way—including buying a home. Today with inflation and prices for everything going up, it is increasingly difficult to marry and have a wife at home with kids. Today both in and out of the church, financial requirements often dictate that both spouses work. Having and supporting kids becomes more difficult as well. Financial pressures has led to delays in marriage, delays in having children, and having fewer children than previous generations. In short, everything costs much more today, relative to true earning and buying power. The impact and effect on relationships, marriage, and kids has been devastating.
Satan: Long ago when prophesying about the last days, Isaiah stated the following: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
In the last days, good will be called evil and evil will be called good. We can see this in many segments of society but especially with relationships with the opposite sex and marriage. Every alternative relationship besides marriage between a man and a woman is emphasized and encouraged today, while traditional marriage is mocked, put down, and persuaded against. But remember that marriage is ordained of God and the opposite of worldly trends.
The last days were prophesied to be this way. Nevertheless, we can have successful dating, relationships, and marriage experiences. It just takes time, adjustments, and a commitment to the process. In other words, being different than the world is today. I encourage you to approach relationships and the opposite sex in a positive, hopeful, optimistic way. Cynicism will get you nowhere. Look for the best, seek to choose a quality person, and be a quality person yourself. That is the formula. Do not look to the world and worldly ideas to help you hear. They won’t help. Look to the scriptures and the words of the modern prophets to lead the way. Reread The Proclamation to the World from 1995. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).