Liquid Relationships and Fragile Bonds
Liquid relationships are found amongst couples as well as friendships and even family.
What do they have in common? They last a certain amount of time, which means they end sooner than expected.
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It seems like society has changed, and we’ve changed with it. Before, bonds were stronger and more solid. Without realizing it, we now become involved in liquid relationships that sooner or later fall apart over time.
Liquid relationships in society
Affairs, deceit, problems with emotional dependence – all these circumstances can turn a relationship toxic or destroy it. In all of these situation there is an unfortunate outcome.
The ties we form with others are broken sooner or later and turn into memories. The big problem is that when these bonds are torn we are faced with a terrible reality: we are alone.
But how did relationships wind up being liquid? These days we are pushed to satisfy our needs as fast as possible. But once satisfied, we move on to something else. It may be superficial or very egotistical. Many people live this reality right now.
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It’s also important to point out that many people are afraid of the idea of “forever.” We want to enjoy life, living to the fullest and feeling tied to someone isn’t in our plans. Many try to escape the responsibilities that go along with marriage or having children.
Maybe they aren’t ready settle down or they just want to feel the freedom to be themselves without duties or responsibilities. But everything has its price and relationships begin to show some terribly weak links.
Do we know what we want?
Maybe you don’t identify with these kinds of relationships but society manages to push us towards them directly and indirectly. In the words of the Polish sociologist and philosopher Zygmunt Bauman, we feel pressured to adapt to a swiftly changing society. We are expected to be flexible, to adapt and “get used” to these transformations.
That’s not all that gives rise to liquid relationships. According to Bauman, we develop a “liquid identity” with a hardened exterior that we wear like armor. On the outside this seems solid and strong, but the person inside is fragile, weak and torn apart.
It’s true that with all this change, it’s very hard to maintain solid relationships. We need consistency and stability to avoid such weak bonds. But these days it’s impossible.
Social media is an important influence on this new way of forming relationships. Have you ever worried about how many friends you have on Facebook? Have you followed people on Twitter to increase your number of followers?
As you can see, quantity is preferred over quality and that is reflected in your real relationships. The youth want to live lightly, quickly changing friends and relationships, while their sense of family loses importance.
Relationships that become connections
People who have liquid relationships know they can’t make long term plans. Changes from one moment to the next lead to 180 degree turns. This is why they don’t commit and are afraid of their feelings.
They know that feelings cause dependency and they don’t want that. They are also aware that there are many fish in the sea and have no problem replacing one person with another.
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Based on all of this, we can say that connections, more than relationships, are established with other people. We don’t really give ourselves 100% to them and we know they will end sooner or later.
How do we break free from this? Can we return to having solid relationships? It’s important to mention that not everyone goes along with this “liquid modernity.” But if you see yourself in the midst of this and want to prevent this situation, we have three pieces of advice for you:
- Solidify your identity: Connect to your deepest “you” and discover what you truly want and need. This way you will become authentic.
- Change your perspective: Ask yourself if you value quantity over quality. This will change your perspective.
- Learn to commit: Commitment and responsibility don’t have to be negative, so you should be ready to take risks and give yourself completely. Don’t worry, don’t be so afraid. Only those who take risks win.
Do you have liquid relationships? What do you think about it? Even though it seems totally negative, it’s certain that all choices we make have positive and negative aspects. The choice between solid relationships and fragile bonds is in your hands.