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Does the 21st Century Care More About Relationships?

Updated on August 31, 2013

A member here on HubPages asked the question:

Anyone Noticing Our Generations Downfall Involving Relationships ?
"I've recently noticed on most social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.) people aged, as young as twelve through mid-twenties, seem so concerned with relationships. From being lonely to judging the opposite gender it doesn't end. What ever [sic] happened to worrying about college or their future goals? Every post I see is "Guys are cheaters" and "We don't love these b******."

- For original question & answer page: click here.

So do we care more about relationships?

The short answer for women is: no.

Why? Because it would be almost impossible for a woman today to care more about relationships than, say, girls born in the 19th Century, who were taught that if they didn't marry they were social outcasts, and that if they didn't live to please their man - they were immoral.

The amount of time those women spent thinking about relationships is much closer to 100% of the time than any woman today who devotes her life to snagging the best guys on one-night stands and dreaming of marrying Ryan Gosling.

The fact is that today most women are given the option of doing what they want with their lives - no marriage necessary. Of course, traditions are hard to break and the paradigm of relationships as we have known it for the past 500 years is changing slowly - this means that a minority of women are still being raised to view relationships with men as their most important aspect to life.

After World War II, women were finally given the choice to do many jobs that men previously did (that now both men and women dislike doing). Yay?
After World War II, women were finally given the choice to do many jobs that men previously did (that now both men and women dislike doing). Yay? | Source

Breaking News:

Boobs, butts, thighs + muscles, height, confidence are still 'in' season after 200,000 years!

Everyone Else

Aside from the new acceptance that women have the choice to make relationships their primary life goal or not, almost nothing else has changed over the past 200,000 years that we modern humans have existed.

All that has changed in this time frame is the way that we relegate our efforts in relationships - there is a lot more time spent on getting to know a person and it's not all about who has the highest testosterone in their body odour or the largest child-bearing hips. That's great, but why?

Genetics Fool!

Believe it or not, 200,000 years is actually a very short time for any major evolutionary changes to occur within the human genome (consider that dinosaurs were around for around 200,000,000 years).

All this means is that we're still using the same genetic programming for important relationship related matters like our levels of sex hormone, innate monogamous/polygamous mating patterns and sexual selection criteria. This is clearly shown by the universal sexual selection criteria still in use today.

As already touched upon though, it is now a necessary part of being a human in Western societies to get to know the person you're going to spend the rest of your life/rear children with.

Teenagers Now and Teenagers Then

Teenagehood is that wonderful period of time where children transcend from that blissful stage in their lives where (hopefully) they do not need to worry about 'fitting in', to the adult stage and the realisation that it's one of the most important things ever (sad, but true).

That definition of teenagehood has been around for a long time (perhaps forever) in the history of humanity and it applies very much so today. Tenagers have always made it their primary concern to be socially accepted, and part of that has always been the process of acquiring, and keeping, a socially accepted relationship.

What's changed, is that nowadays they're posting their problems/wishes/opinions on social networking sites for everyone to see - that's a big difference since many teenagers would never have told their great aunt selma that "omgz my boyf is so not into Biebs and now we're lyk, ova" before the advent of Facebook and Twitter.

There's nothing to suggest that teens are spending anymore time on relationships than they were in other time periods though...

Through ogling each other from windows using telescopes, throwing primordial pebbles at each other and giggling - right down to even further back - listening to Taylor Swift albums and expressing to each other how she 'totally got what they were going through'.

Neanderthal see, Neanderthal get, Neanderthal forget.
Neanderthal see, Neanderthal get, Neanderthal forget. | Source


As for men, it has always been seen (at least since we could grunt insults at each other through early language) that if you (a man) don't have relations with women there must be something intrinsically wrong with you: whether it be that you are physically not attractive enough, ill or psychologically damaged.

Now of course it is even harder for men because on top of being attractive you must have a good personality too in order for ladies to become interested - Phew! What hard work - I envy you, prehistoric humans. In this regard you could say that men need to think about themselves more before putting themselves out on the 'market' (as if we're selling ourselves like fresh grapes).

After all, to be perceived, or worse yet to perceive yourself, as someone who is not 'good enough' for the intimacy of another human being is a large burden to carry. Naturally, then, many people will overcompensate: whinge, cry and overall express their disdain for their situation all over the internet (and I'm sure to anyone in real life that they can get their hands on).

For the people such as myself and the hundreds of millions of other people who are in long term relationships, this problem is forgotten and we don't cry on the internet (about that, anyway)! But that's not to say that if I find myself single again I won't go ahead and talk about how horrible women are to all my female friends on Facebook!


All in all, I do have to stress the idea that humans are social animals: sex and relationships are a BIG part of our lives and will most likely always be that way forever (archaic form of: 'forevz m8').

And personally, and this is obviously biased coming from an actual human, I don't see anything wrong with that.

© 2013 DK


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    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 4 years ago from London

      Here here Borsia, and so is the amount of time spent!

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 4 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      These things haven't changed over time and never will.

      Relationships have been the bedrock of mankind since we came into being. The tribal structure was based on relationships the community and the nuclear family are all based on relationships.

      So it is only natural that relationships are so important to us as individuals. Whether it is man / woman, boy / girl or child / child it is in our basic wiring.

      Speaking of being wired; that is the only thing that has changed. In the past we didn't have the electronic connections we do today. The internet didn't come of age until the mid 90s and personal computers barely existed until the late 90s. Even in 2000 most people didn't have a home computer and cell phones were just starting to catch on.

      So how we communicate and keep in touch within relationships has changed and with that change came the ability to connect and have relationships with far more people and over greater distances.

      But what we communicate about is still the same today as it was in the past.