Welcome to another episode of Tuff Love, with Rob Kandell.
This is episode number 71: WTF is up with romance?
In this episode, Robert discusses the concept of romance in the 21st Century. In 1997, David Deida wrote the book The Way Of The Superior Man and gave the reality of how things were becoming fucked up between men and women. He eased people’s souls in reassuring them they weren’t alone in what they were feeling. However, 20 years later things are even worse.
If you Google “Millennial Dating” the first 5 articles suggest negative experiences. Titles like Dating’s Dead: Long Live these 10 Millennial Dating Patterns, Inside the Awkward World of Millennial Dating and Why dating as a millennial is so fucked up paint a fairly grim picture of what it’s like to be a millennial today, or dating one. It’s not just the millennial either—the impact of the dating patterns of this younger generation is filtering through to affect everyone.
Millennial women are looking to date older men because millennial men don’t have the EQ they are looking to date. Because of that, young men are not getting the training of how to engage and relate with women, and older women aren’t getting availability of men their age because of the dating skew. It’s clear that what the millennial have brought to the world in terms of dating is affecting all the generations.
Robert sees a number of obvious reasons things are kind of screwed up in modern dating.
- The cell-phone, which is now our most intimate partner. Everywhere you look you can watch people engage with their phones instead of the people they are with.
- Social media, which sees us put an optimized version of ourselves online. This means people aren’t showing who they truly are, and when you engage in social media you are looking at a fake, optimized version of that person. This makes it confusing and disappointing when you meet them in real life.
- The Tinder revolution has created a “swipe right, swipe left” mentality, which has given people an excuse to bail the second things get challenging.
- The rise of the feminine. Not the rise of feminism, but the rise of the feminine. What’s happening is that finally, after centuries, it’s coming to a place close to you and affecting you. Women are feeling more empowered and this is great but it’s also got flow on effects for everyone.
- Instant communication through electronic mediums means people can portray a kind of intimacy that they can’t sustain in real life.
- Things are moving so fast in terms of sex, and it is seen as the end destination rather than part of the journey. The pressure to get there faster is building even for teenagers.
- People aren’t connecting or staying with each other past that first experience. There is more quantity in relationship experiences, much less quality.
- Men are not willing or able to open up emotionally or sustain the extent of a woman’s feelings and character. There is an underlying communication that she is ‘too much’ and an impatience in men that means they don’t allow women to be the fully dynamic, expansive beings they are.
- Men still feel persecuted for their emotions. There is still a very limited range of when men can actually cry and be approved of in society. You might say we’re evolved—we’re not. We still have viewpoints about keeping men small around their emotions.
Much of this is the core of Robert’s work, and his upcoming book The Unhidden Man deals with this changing situation between men and women. The solution is very simple and very challenging: be nice, speak honestly and listen authentically. This is the step for us to improve romance in the 21st Century.
Robert coaches Dimitra, but it turns into a dialogue about the challenges and opportunities of these changing dynamics in today’s society:
- How can women show up, honor women and the things they’ve gone through, but still show up as feminine?
- Why it’s highly challenging for women to be able to fully say what they want, especially when part of it is old-fashioned and part of it is new age.
- The importance of taking responsibility for your own end of the relationships
- The need to tell the truth in every single instance about every single thing in a relationship. A relationship is a practice, you can not start to withhold or let things slide.
- Why the opposite of love is apathy
- The value in recognizing that men and women all have masculine and feminine in each of us, and we’re looking for a place to be truly heard.
- Some of the reasons people cheat
- The importance of dealing with your stuff so that it doesn’t manifest again in the next relationship, or in the next generation
- Why we need to teach and model this to our children—both boys and girls—so that they can learn how to not personalize it but be authentic and hold space for both themselves and each other.