Here's Why Social Media Is Making It Hard For You To Commit

Our grandparents’ generation simply found someone from their town, married them, and stayed together forever. Why is it so hard for our generation to find and commit to someone?

By Hannah Leah3 min read
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When choosing a spouse in America, we often look to social media to widen the dating pool. But I think this can actually be a negative thing for us. The reason your grandparents had less trouble committing is because their options were the people who lived closest to them, and once they chose someone, their focus was on that person. But in today’s dating world, many are after the chase rather than the actual relationship. Our online options are endless – we can meet people online and date anyone from anywhere in the world. But sometimes having too many options is actually a bad thing. 

Unpopular Opinion: Soulmates Aren’t Real

Finding someone to date can feel like an overwhelming task. As a single person, you can choose absolutely anyone to pursue. Especially now with social media and dating apps, the dating world is bigger than ever. You aren’t limited to finding someone solely in your town or in your circle, because now you can meet someone online, anywhere in the world. But keeping your options too open can be a risky thing. When I was single, I remember thinking, This guy seems great, but what if there is someone even better out there for me? How will I know if this guy is the one?

A major relationship issue for Millennials and Gen Z is that we base our entire relationship on feelings. I truly believe the idea of soulmates has clouded our judgment. As a young girl, I remember learning from movies, books, and media that once you find “The One,” you will live happily ever after. It sets you up to think that with a soulmate or The One, the relationship should be easy. With this mindset, you will never be satisfied in a relationship. Once that initial spark goes away, people assume that they made a mistake, and didn’t actually pick the right guy. 

In many other cultures, arranged marriages are very common. Your parents basically choose who you will marry, and in some cultures, you meet your spouse at the altar. The divorce rate for arranged marriages is only 4%, compared to 50% in the United States with couples who are not arranged. It’s shocking that people who choose their spouse by themselves are more likely to divorce. But I think the biggest factor that plays into the lower divorce rates is that the people who are arranged don’t think of divorce as an option.

People who choose their spouse are more likely to divorce than those in arranged marriages.

I'm not advocating for arranged marriage (as it certainly has its downsides as well), I just think it shows us that you can be in a relationship and make it work with almost anyone if your values align and you put in the effort. Our mindset plays a big role in how happy we are in our relationship. You don’t need to endlessly search online for the perfect person, you just have to find someone you align with and do your very best to love them well.

Relationships Take Work

Anyone who’s experienced a real relationship has learned that even with the best person, there will be days when you don’t feel intense romantic feelings for them and your commitment to love them has to override your feelings. You have to make a choice to put them first. Jonathan Pokluda alludes to this in his book Outdated, stating, “If your main goal is chasing a feeling, I’m concerned for your relationship – because eventually, the easiest way to get that feeling will be to start chasing after someone else.” 

When relationships get tough, it's easy to imagine what life would be like with someone else we’re attracted to. And disclaimer: Getting married doesn’t make you immune to being attracted to other people. This is why you have to be careful about what you entertain when you’re in a relationship, even when scrolling Instagram. Social media generally only shows us the best parts of people, or only the parts they want us to see, which makes it easier to start romanticizing about someone you don’t even know. 

The longer you’re with someone, the more you see their flaws, but they probably seemed perfect to you at the beginning of the relationship when the feelings were new and exciting. The hot guy you noticed on Instagram has his share of flaws too, you just don’t see them online. Once you’ve committed to loving someone, especially when you do it in the context of marriage, it’s so important that you keep your eyes only on them, even when the spark isn’t there. This doesn’t mean settling and marrying someone who doesn’t treat you right, it just means that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Once you’ve committed to loving someone, it’s important you keep your eyes only on them.

The Impact of Social Media on Relationships

Social media has its pros and cons. It’s a great way to build a community of new friendships, and it also helps us stay connected to people we already know. We might meet someone special who we wouldn’t have otherwise. But it’s not always helpful in terms of relationships. A 2018 study stated, “It is likely for a person in a committed relationship to continue to use social media and dating applications, causing difficulties in relationships, including infidelity, distrust, jealousy, and resentment.” 

The study continued, “Furthermore, even if a couple remains faithful during a relationship, if that couple begins to argue regularly or begins to have conflict, instead of focusing on ways to maintain the relationship, one or both individuals may choose to forgo the relationship due to the many, seemingly more appealing prospects that are readily available at the literal touch of a finger. Also, while in a relationship, one or both partners may remain in contact with ex partners or spouses.” It’s not social media itself that causes our relationship issues, but rather how we utilize the seemingly endless opportunities it presents. 

Closing Thoughts

If you want a love that lasts, you have to make the choice to love and commit, day after day. Social media is an outlet for many to find community, fuel our inspiration, and feel entertained, but be wary of allowing it to cause issues in your love life. Remember that the grass isn't always greener on the other side; you only see what people want you to see, so comparing your relationship to someone else's seemingly perfect one, or romanticizing how your life could look with a stranger on the internet is a dangerous path to go down. Instead of looking for a magical spark with a soulmate, look for a life partner who aligns with your values and goals in life. When you find that person, focus on loving them well.

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