Choosing the Easier Way Out!
The period of one’s life that is in recent times being referred to as “emerging adulthood” is often a tricky, deceptive one, one that throws many questions, confusions and dilemmas on one’s way. The current crop of youngsters have changed drastically, from what their predecessors were, even a few years ago. Their goals, lifestyles, priorities, beliefs and almost everything else has undergone a metamorphosis.
It is often perceived that the present generation tends to be commitment-phobic. Of course, individuals may take different stands and argue subjectively, but as they say, exceptions prove the rule. With the changes evolving in culture, relationships too are often seen as more of an obligation or a “burden”, leave alone marriages. Marriages are no longer being considered as an essential milestone of life, nor is it being revered as a divine institution. Young adults are more and more getting vulnerable to their fears of rejection, responsibility and mistakes, and consequently, are inclined to avoid commitments.
The ages between 18 and 25 is a distinct and separate life-stage, a “strange, transitional never-never land between adolescence and adulthood…” Earlier, marriage was viewed as a lifelong union of two souls, one that claims highest priority in life. But today, statistics reveal that only 32% of high school senior girls agree that marriage will ensure a happier and fuller life than singlehood or live-in relationships. It is also alarming to note that in the last 40 years, the number of marriages has decreased by half, while in the last 30 years, the number of cohabiting couples has increased 4 times. This shift itself serves to demonstrate that young people are consciously maintaining a safe distance from commitment.
Psychologists, sociologists as well as many other researches have probed into this and have come up with hypotheses such as young men and women shy away from commitment due to financial pressures, being unsure of their decisions etc. Somewhere, they have become fickle-minded in general and they do not have a clear idea of who/what they want. This explains why most youngsters are unable to be with one partner for long, and thus many relationships die a premature death, before they culminate into the commitment of marriage. Perhaps the young people suffer from an intense fear of rejection, which is why they are being driven more into “trial relationships” than traditional dating. Of course, the heartbreak and dejection that follows is mostly shouldered by most young people, who have now gotten more synchronised with the idea that it’s better to keep things at a superficial level, so that there are no strings attached.
Youngsters these days mostly like to live the moment, going by the ‘carpe diem’ principle, and therefore often avoid delving deep. The very style of initiating and maintaining relationships has changed, thus relegating commitment to a backseat. It is now mostly about “hanging around”, having fun, and not sparing a thought for tomorrow. No one is ready to make sacrifices or compromises or adapt according to each other. Everyone is more or less, occupied with oneself, and the way of world now is such that we hardly have time to “stand and stare”. Perhaps the young generation wants to lead a life like the eternal child Peter Pan, with no accountability or answerability. They are subconsciously afraid of not being able to fulfill expectations, of themselves, their partners and of the society at large. Redefined perspectives have led to such changes, and the younger generation must consciously put in efforts to overpower its demerits.