Close relationships can fritter and dissolve. The reasons seem numerous. One of the ways relationships tend to be measured is through sex. In human experience, few things bond two persons more than intimate coupling. What happens though when what helped fuel a stronger connection between two people is no longer a part of how they correspond? A few are asking Why Americans are having less sex? A similar situation is observed in Japanese men and women giving up dating and marrying friends. The reality is that modern life has better informed people about age-old patterns of coexistence.
More people are aware that 40 – 70% cheat; most formalized intimate relationships end in dissolution; and that modern careers require more including higher commitment to a work situation than a close partner. The linked articles do show that modern technology is a factor. People ignoring each other to stay glued to a cell phone. However, the fault is not the cell phone. The problem is communication and connection.
When direct and solid communication between two people has died, more than likely so does the relationship. A cell phone then is a stand in for the absence of direct, solid communication between two people. What people underestimate is the high likelihood that people grow apart. It actually happens. One person gets more out of their career that changes their life situation which puts them on a different course than the other. The two become unequally yoked and that leads back to a widening divergence in communication.
More than anything though, modern sexuality and relationships are defined by love versus security. Often, people choose their immediate or long-term security over all factors. The modern world is like the old world in that survival is a huge concern. Though stated with humility, people often want the nice, clean car, the nice clean house, to have somebody nearby and to hang out with while traveling. That somebody does not have to be someone they love but merely a person who helps fulfill the criteria for a successful modern life as it takes two incomes to live the dream.
People end up dissatisfied after they check off the boxes on the list. Something is missing. What they have does not satiate the appetite. After a time what can follow is infidelity, indifference, neglect, and a well-disguised coldness symptomatic of a relationship that is not true. Yet, I think the Japanese are on to something. I’ve known people who eventually connected on a deeper level with someone who was their friend for a long time. Connection, communication, natural willingness to endure despite fear of the world, all based in real love instead of throw away sensual pleasures. I think that is the issue with relationships today.