The wellness of coupling, what I mean by coupling is the act of two people pairing with each other in a meaningful relationship. Seems like a pretty straightforward idea, yet it has become one of the most daunting challenges many people of all ages face. It also seems coupling has health and wellness aspects to it that are worth reviewing.
Thanks to a growing trend of using technology as a primary way for social interaction and becoming a disposable sociality, the psychology of finding a mate has changed dramatically. The dating process has become more and more disconnected with advances in technology, only adding to the psychological minefield challenging those of us seeking a meaningful connection.
Science and research are starting to show that the search for a partner may actually be a mentally delicate process. The ecosystem of dating has become so shallow, disjointed and impersonal, some may feel it's more toxic than beneficial to finding happiness.
Perhaps the real question should be, is today's technology-filled social media engineering and dating apps the root cause of the problems and concerns? Coupling through technology certainly can build a damaging mental introspection of our own self-worth as we strive to maintain friendships along with finding a long term or short term relationship.
I have been using way too many analogies lately, but humor me for a minute. Imagine the dating community as a large field of gopher mounds, and from each mound, a cute little face is popping up and down looking for someone. With me so far? Now imagine each cute little face is desperately looking for a partner. Each little face jumping from mound to mound in search of the perfect partner who is deemed good enough. At the same time, doubt is always there: "am I good enough" or "does this one meet my perceived needs" or "do they match my unrealistic list of wants"?
During this search, each new little face is looking back at them applying their own judgment, causing or exhibiting narcissistic behaviors that lead to a lack of affirmation, disappointment, and frustration. Then what often happens is the little face that interests you the most just merely pops down the hole with little more than an obligatory acknowledgment then gone, leaving you mentally unsure, drained and emotionally dinged.
Apparently, many mental health providers are finding that this impersonal, approval or rejection process of one's self-worth when it comes to coupling is taking a pretty big toll on psychological health. There have been some studies that are showing a high percentage of both men and women who are experiencing alarming trends with lowered self-esteem, eating disorders, body image, self-loathing and even suicide.
Even those good looking cool kids that are finding great success and acceptance in online dating space are developing aberrant behavior with narcissistic leanings, self-interest, intolerance and an even destructive tendency toward others. This leads to yet another form of bullying that segments us socially and psychologically.
Over the short term, these issues are not likely to lead to long-term issues, but many people have been putting themselves through this process for years. With the impersonal use of technology to shop at home indeed promotes the idea to always look for that coupling better upgrade. The sad part to this is it even has it's own catchphrase "serial-dating."
Various surveys have the acceptance of online dating sitting at over 80%. No surprise there is a growing increase for psychological services tied to our modern process of coupling. It's also no surprise that depression, suicide, and self-harm is on the rise. The current disconnect with the mating game and online dating seems to bring out some deplorable human behavior.
Is there any good way to make technological dating and coupling healthy? The answer is yes, start by not taking yourself or others too seriously. Relax and know that you have much to offer in a relationship. Also, know what you seek in someone, they are seeking in you. Don't over think soulmate, instead take the perfectly imperfect for each other view.
Don't let others bring you down. Often people apply their own unhappiness to the people around them. Stay positive, if someone has a problem with you, be kind and understanding. Often it is their own self-esteem that is the real problem. Finally, don't rely on remote, disconnected social media or apps to meet people. Get out, be friendly, meet people organically. Don't overuse online dating and keep your online connection short and get face to face in short order.
Overall coupling, love, and relationships can add years to life. The act of coupling can make you immensely happy, fulfilled, balanced and add to your overall wellness. This life is hard enough going solo so partner up, have fun and live life to the fullest, it is an excellent aspect for improved health.
A recognized health and wellness presenter, fitness trainer and now primal health coach in the Inland Northwest. Now in his eighth year of bringing health and wellness through his writing, teaching and coaching, Judd delivers his well-rounded message of mindfulness, nutrition and fitness to readers and clients alike.