Do we leave behind some of the more insidious dating trends, once we get into that sometimes elusive long term relationship?
Over the recent years, in my own dating and relationship coaching practice, I have witnessed and helped my clients overcome every new dating trend, the good, the bad and the really horrific!
The way human beings navigate finding love, and the many pitfalls, no longer surprise me however I was unpleasantly surprised to see these dating trends outliving their seemingly obvious expiration dates, by showing their face with the couples, I work with too!
Knowing what I do, of human nature and how the brain easily attaches to both good and bad behaviour, I shouldn’t have been surprised. The following is a deep dive into which dating trends are taking up more permanent residence and how they can adversely affect our romantic partnerships.
Ghosting first came onto the scene as the way the worst kind of people cut off all contact shortly into the dating process, providing no reason or notice to the other person at all. Steadily, ghosting became so common, it became acceptable. Even the nicest of people consider it absolutely acceptable normal dating behaviour.
Our technology, the same one that serves us so well, like apps that allow us to order food, taxi’s, dating, buy shoes, schedule doctors’ appointments all without ever speaking to another human being… is this same technology boom that allows GHOSTING to be such an easy and acceptable mode of operation in today’s dating scene.
As a society, we have so much available to us whose sole purpose is to allow us to avoid uncomfortable situations and avoid having REAL conversations with REAL people in the REAL world. This now very normalized dating trend, has opened more people to avoiding conflict and it is indeed carrying over into our relationships. Don’t want to hear how you let your partner down again, by working late? Send a text. Don’t want to have that tough conversation about how unhappy you’ve been, face to face tonight? Send novel long wassap message! Want to tune out from the conversation that is indeed happening, right now live? Grab your phone and start facebooking!
Going ghost on confrontation and conflict, is very much happening in partnerships too.
2. BREAD CRUMBING
Bread Crumbing, defined by Urban Dictionary as “the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (ie "breadcrumbs") in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort,” equates to leading someone on.
Short bursts of minimal effort in order to keep partners interested and on the line, is a new trend for those in relationships as well. How this typically plays out, is two people who are in a committed relationship, but one partner is really just waiting ‘for someone better to come along’. By taking a hostage, their current partner, they ensure they remain cared for and will show up ‘just enough’ to keep the relationship going. But they aren’t really in it, to win it!
However even in committed relationships, where one person is not waiting for something better to come along, a form of bread crumbing can still take place.
We know our relationship needs work, our partner has been banging on about all the things we need to do, in order to keep the relationship alive and happy. And we do some of the things. Well, really, we do just enough of the things to get them to shut up. We do just enough of the things, to claim a proper defense. To state “Look!! I did this thing!!, You can’t say I’m not trying!!”. This form of behavior isn’t necessarily malicious. Chances are the dynamic has become so threatening, the motivation so negative, that this person is just trying to avoid pain and discomfort. If they were motivated by their partner positively, they would do a lot more of the things, to gain the rewards
3. SPEAKING OUR TRUTH
This trend setter is everywhere we look these days. Authenticity guru’s are abound with the honor and speak your truth. Honest, direct kind communication in a relationship is a beautiful thing. HOWEVER, Honesty without compassion is brutality. Keep it kind, kids!
I have a great filter I offer to clients, that helps to mediate in their own heads, what really needs to be said and when.
Does it need to be said?
Does it need to be said, BY ME?
Does it need to be said, RIGHT NOW?
How many times does it need saying?
If we can pause, long enough to drop our thought through this filter, we can be more sure that what comes out the other side of said filter, is the truth, that needs speaking.
Furthermore, true partnerships cannot have communication, discourse and collaboration without listening too. LISTENING is the other half of communication. If we are spending all of our time, thinking and mapping out responses, how we will deliver ‘our truth’, and real talking ‘our truth’ at every opportunity, we kill communication, dead.
Negging is ugly. REAL ugly. Negging, as defined by Urban Dictionary is the manipulative behaviour of men (#notallmen) by offering up low-grade insults meant to undermine the self-confidence of a woman so she might be more vulnerable to your advances.
If we are in a relationship with someone who is using negging, the more relative term here is emotional abuse. It is absolutely not okay for our partners to be actively undermining out self-confidence and self-worth, to take the advantage. In relationships, I witness both men and women equally negging each other, shredding each other’s confidence and esteem to bits in order to feel better about themselves, be ‘right’ or simply to assuage a long held resentment they have about their partner.
Any relationship expert, counselor or coach will assure you that partnership is about two people bringing out the best in one another, NOT tearing each other down. In my own relationship coaching practice, the bulk of the work done with couples and empowered individuals in relationships is unifying them back to a place of fighting the good fight for their life and dreams, shoulder to shoulder, together!
Can you identify any of these trends in your own relationship? What is one action you can take today, to start moving away from these trends? Let us know in the comments!
It’s time to learn the 'not so trendy' behaviors and techniques that will last a life time of love.