Are today’s young people afraid of committing?
This is the question that popped into my head as I was watching a not so old movie (Love Aaj Kal which translates to Love these days). The story basically goes about like this- a guy and a girl meet, fall in love, enter into a happy relationship. Then comes the decision-making part.
What do they do?
They part ways.
No space for Commitment.
After a few bad relationships, marriage and a divorce they finally realise that they still love each other. They were okay with being in a wrong relationship rather than being with the person they love. Amazing! After all the drama they did meet in the end. The movie had released in 2009 and at the point of time, the story line seemed fresh and touching.
Cut to 2017, pick up any so-called love story in Bollywood all of them have the same story line – the girl and guy meet, fall in love, have fun, separate as they don’t want to commit, go through a whole lot of drama and come back to each other. The only different thing would be actors (sometimes not even that), the location and the treatment – a little or not.
It really makes me think and wonder why is it that we live in this constant mode of fear all the time? The fear of commitment is not only restricted to relationships or marriages, we are even afraid of committing to our careers or even our hobbies for that matter. Various studies have shown that 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce and today’s newest retirees changed jobs 11 times on average during their lifetime; no wonder that today’s young adults seem to be commitment phobic.
What is the problem afterall?
Is it really the fear, the ego or something else?
According to this article, our generations has a plethora of options and possibilities and are spoilt for choices. Anything that we require is just a few clicks away. With the benefit of vast resources comes the lack of vision and the constant feeling of missing out. For example – if I choose to take up this particular job/guy/event what about the others? I am definitely going to miss on the others. I don’t know what to choose? I am confused. We need to understand that we cannot have it all and that’s something we have to live with.
Ask any youth today and they would say, “I prefer working alone, I need my space” rather than working collaboratively. The whole concept of working as a team is vanishing. Our unlimited tantrums and moods have created a huge gap between our “necessities” and our “requirements.” Our minds are constantly jumping across various options making it difficult to decide whether to commit or not!
Putting deeper thought into it and analysing my own thoughts as well as the youth around me it dawned upon me that there are a couple of reasons why we are the way we are. We are the ones that are extremely fast-forwarded, always running behind ambitions and deadlines. We are driven by practicality rather than emotions, which makes relationships an obstacle; a relationship requires work; we aren’t really up for it. At least most of us.
Let’s not even get started as to how our generation is overly demanding, scared of responsibilities and self-centered. Everything needs to be revolving around their needs, convenience and mood. Gone are the days of sacrifices, today’s generation is obsessed with the idea of success and achievement. As one’s work life is catching pace the scene back home is of loneliness and silence. We just do not believe in the PHILOSOPHY OF GIVING.
The other and the most important reason why we fear commitment is thought of losing our independence. We despise any sort of interference, be it from our family or friends. We live for a good 20-25 years alone and then a sudden entry of someone makes us uncomfortable and anxious. The thought of thinking about someone else’s priorities wants and happiness does not match up to our beliefs. And the never-ending cry of “I need my space,” is a different story altogether.
All this while, as much as I ran away from committing to things, it made me more and more fickle-minded, anxious and unhappy. Guilty as charged – I belonged to the category of people changing multiple jobs and not having a single successful relationship (most of it ended in lies and infidelity). It wasn’t something I was benefitting from. I was then given a piece of advice by someone who said-
“I don’t care what generation you’re in: baby boomers, millennials, X, Y, or Zumba, it’s time to take a stand, make a commitment. It’s time to stop this self-imposed agoraphobia and go outside. Meet people — real people — in person. Make a coffee date with a friend instead of just texting her. Invite a colleague over for dinner. Or, even better, take your parents for dinner. Just do something with someone in person. Stop hiding behind your smart phone and start living your life. Your mental health will thank you.”
Reading these few lines I realised that Commitment is an important and unavoidable part of growing up. It’s time we slow down, make a decision and for once stick to it.