Feb 1, 2016

The Shifting Role Of Relationships In Modern Society

Something’s happening… and I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed it too.

The role of relationships in our lives, and the reasons that people get married have shifted. Slowly at first, and now more rapidly.

I believe that the primary reason that people have gotten married over the last 150 years has transitioned from survival, to love, to self-actualization (or the fulfillment of one’s destiny).

The Primary Reason Behind People Getting Married Has Transitioned From Survival to Love to Self-Actualization

Our great, great grandparents got married primarily out of survival.

Marry a wealthy family (or at least someone of equal economic status to you). Have as many kids as possible (because someone might die young, and we need people to help around the farm). Marry the most widely respected person possible so that the community will always take care of you if you ever fall on hard times.

Our parents married out of love and survival.

If our great, great grandparents put love 10th on the list (after financially stable, mature, kind, honourable, etc.), our parents might have put it in the top three spots.

They still want to survive (as all humans do), but advancements in medicine, technology, and the overall quality of life made them have a wider safety net of feeling secure in their lives.

So survival necessity went down the list, and romantic love, connection, and alignment shot up the list.

Here’s where things get interesting…

Now we get married out of self-actualization first, and romantic love second, and survival a distant third.

What do I mean by self-actualization?

I believe that we all come to this world with some unique gift to offer it. And the single greatest magnifier of our gift is aligning ourselves with the right romantic partner.

The more our society moves up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into the self-actualization region, the more we prioritize this kind of connection for our romantic lives.

marriage, relationships, maslow's hierarchy of needs, simplified hierarchy of needs, simplified maslow's hierarchy of needs

“The defining characteristic of soulmate relationships is shared purpose.” – Carolyn G. Miller

Instead of “I want someone who is dependable,” people now say “I want someone who inspires me every day.”

And while there can obviously be a point where our expectations of what our partners can do for us is unrealistic and potentially unattainable, wanting a partner who understands you, your deepest gifts, and your unique way of being in the world in a way that makes you shine even brighter is totally do-able.

It just might take a bit longer to find someone with that kind of a connection.

Here’s Why You’re Allowed To Wait To Find This Kind Of Connection

I’ve heard a lot of people currently in their 40’s-80’s complain about how people are so picky these days when it comes to finding a partner. They say that we’re fickle, indecisive, or our standards are too high. And I get it.

When the criteria that your generation went off of for selecting a mate was “someone who also wants to have kids, lives close, and is kind” then the potential dating pool for you is relatively large.

But nowadays people have a laundry list of non-negotiable’s for their partner-to-be that would put a spoiled rich-kid’s Christmas wish list to shame. As they should.

To draw an analogy, imagine the following scenario.

You are the head of human resources for a massive tech company based out of San Francisco.

You need to fill two positions as soon as you can.

The first position requires an employee who can type 80 words per minute, is polite, shows up on time, and has at least two years of experience in working with code. Because the pool of applicants is so vast, you fill this role in one day.

The second position needs to be filled by someone who intuitively understands and lives the company’s mission statement at a bone deep level. They need to understand HTML, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, C++, and Python. They also need to motivate the other employees around them by their sheer talent, motivation, and overall energy. The ideal person for this position is a total A-player. In fact, they’re likely being headhunted by a few other companies at this precise moment.

Because this set of criteria is so unique, it takes you one year to find and hire this employee on a full-time basis. And after you have, the trajectory of the entire company takes off like never before. It was a position that you needed to fill well, and when you finally did fill it, you know that it was absolutely worth the wait. You sleep easier at night, the business is booming, and you get to have sex with this employee all the time. Wait, what? I’m crossing analogies again.

So back to the relationship part.

If you’re frustrated with people you know who seem to be too picky when it comes to who they’re willing to settle down with… they might just be going off of a very different (and necessary) set of criteria. Allow them their own journey.

If you’re single and you’re waiting for this type of soul-expanding relationship and you’re unsure as to whether or not you should just grin and bear it with whoever you can find, wait.

Give your gift to the world, do the best that you can while single, and stay open to the right partner when they do come along… knowing that they will aid you in giving your gift in an even bigger way.

There’s no rush. You’ve got this.

Want somewhere to start your journey of cultivating a relationship that expands your soul and brings your gift to the world in a bigger way? Start by reading How To Find And Date An Exceptionally High Quality Partner.

Dedicated to your success,




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