Although we’re in the twenty-first century, we don’t fly around in jet packs or teleport yet. But the microwave generation has taken quantum leaps forward, thanks to the technology that we use to enhance our personal and professional lives. We can interact with people around the corner, or around the world, in seconds. Unfortunately, a side effect of this lightening-quick lifestyle is that we have sacrificed the natural flow of meeting other singles and establishing a bond. Nowadays its not unheard-of to catch feelings before you know a persons middle name, or have sex before exchanging numbers. In that context, its no wonder we have so many abnormalities in our Love.
As with all things, there is a remedy: Talk, and Time. These building blocks of lasting relationships are time-honored and tested. Life may change, but Love stays the same; the same things that worked for out grandparents will work for us, no matter how advanced our culture gets. So lets go back to the basics.
Cell phones and internet has forever changed the way we talk to one another. I remember writing letters to girls I liked, calling them and gushing as she answered. Nowadays, good luck if you can get a woman on the phone for an extended period of time. Everybody is so busy that we just have 45-minute text sessions instead of real voice conversations. This is the greatest tragedy of technology because you cant truly get to know a person through a screen. Words, meanings and innuendos get lost in a text or Facebook message. You have to talk voice-to-voice to find that compatibility that can sustain you two for years to come.
Speaking of which, when I say “talk,” I really mean LISTEN. We are so caught up projecting the best image of ourselves that we neglect to find out about the person we are trying to impress. But no quality will enhance your bond more than active listening. A woman notices when you remember important information about her. She will tell you everything you need to know about her, if you’re receptive. Dont wait until you have to have “The Talk,” before you begin to open your ears to your significant other. And Sistas, give men an opportunity to speak. The easiest way to do this is to ask, “what do you think?”. We have ideas and opinions about things too, believe it or not. Many women talk incessantly about themselves without giving us the slightest chance to speak. Dont dont be surprised if you learn that he has a child–three years into your relationship. You have to give your ears the same chance you give your mouth.
Our time has been hugely impacted by this new high-tech lifestyle. At first we thought that these electric enhancements would give us more time to do things that mattered to us. What it really did was allow us to do more things in the same amount of time. Thats all well and good at work, but Love requires the same time and effort that it did fifty years ago. There are some things that will never move faster. A flower still grows at the same pace, a child still needs eighteen years to reach young adulthood, and our relationships still need a natural flow in order to grow roots and bear fruit. Dont be in a rush to show too much too soon. Give him or her a chance to fall for your good qualities, and they will be more accepting of your negative ones. Its not dishonest; if we told people our flaws first then we’d ALL be single.
Which brings us to Facebook. Understand that FB allows people to showcase the best elements of themselves, not the worst. Very few people are secure enough to share their flaws and insecurities alongside their stregths, so always take online networking with a grain of salt, not the meat and potatoes. We’ve all heard about people who meet online and form a relationship, but that online interaction is done alongside human communication–talking and spending time together. I will look through a crush’s page all I want, but if we havent spoken on the phone or gone out to eat so I can look her in the eyes and talk about things that are important to us, then she’s not eligible for me yet. The key word of Facebook is FACE, not mind, not spirit, and (in some women’s cases) definitely not body.
In our instant-gratification society, finding true love seems impossible. But as long as you are willing to give time to the process, and actively talk as well as listen to a person, you will either find bliss, or avoid a disaster. They say a tiger cant change its stripes–they can blend, but eventually they will reveal their true selves. Just be receptive, and it will be time and energy well spent.