Saturday, 29 September 2012
our parents. us. our children.
It used to be easier.
In Austen's day, the most eligible men were the ones with money. A comfortable lifestyle was more desirable than love. Read Pride and Prejudice... Love didn't concur all, and when love disappointed marriage was made to the next available suitor, with love blossoming in time.
Our grandparents made it work. They married their high school sweethearts, their first loves. They didn't have any emotional baggage, they lived in a time where divorce was frowned upon and they had different morals instilled in them - when they committed for life, they meant it. Maybe they weren't always the best matches, maybe they missed out on greater happiness, but if they ever thought that way, they didn't act on it.
Then comes our parents.
Where divorce is prevalent.
Where the majority of us are from broken homes,
Where those of us with happily married parents are the exception,
Where we have step parents,
Ex step parents,
Our parent's girlfriends or boyfriends,
Our parent's same sex life partners,
Our parent's secret other families that they've hidden from us for years ...
Our parents seem to have had children, hit rough patches and fallen apart. They entered a time where there was more choice and less pressure and their ideas of forever disappeared.
So what can be expected of us? We've grown up in an environment where divorce is normal. Marriage vows have changed from "til death do us part" to "as long as our love shall last". And that's for the ones that make it to the vows... these days it seems that getting engaged isn't even a true commitment, girls rack up engagements like credit card debt.
We seem to suffer a fear of commitment these days... even signing up for a term contract to the gym or a phone company we need to hear the ways we can get out of it early to reassure us before we enter.
We enter relationships and start to think about the reasons it will end before it's even started.
We enter relationships we know will never work out, simply because they are enjoyable.
It seems we're on the look out for the next best thing,
We think marrying young is stupid, yet we look at older singles and think they'll die alone.
We know what we want, until it's presented to us and then we change our minds.
We've been given all these expectations of what love should be like and when it's different we give up.
We have too many options, too many expectations, too much history, too little perception about what is really valuable.
We're screwed up.
What is going to happen to our children?