Be Better Than Our Generation Of Grinch Hearts: Don't Compromise Your Relationships

Attention-seeking behavior and a steadily declining ability to meaningfully connect may be the demise of our generation.

I don’t understand girls. I don’t get boys, either. The amount of people who seem to fall into and out of love with little trouble at all is baffling.

I find that many of us are analytically minded and have a tendency toward cynicism and an aversion to vulnerability (we overthink everything and ultimately, have no idea what we are talking about).

How do two people like one another at the SAME time and in the same WAY and then decide that they are together? Furthermore, since when is the status of “together” the most difficult thing to admit?

We’re seeing each other. We’re a thing. We’re dating. We’re mutually hooking up. He’s my boyfriend. She’s my girlfriend. I’m single. It seems that our generation requires 400 shades of gray before we can admit that we may like someone enough to give vulnerability a shot.

My dog communicates his feelings for me better than the majority of young people I know. I also know that my grandma’s cat is not one of my biggest fans. These animals cannot speak and yet, they manage to never send mixed signals.

The reverberating nostalgia for the simpler times of our grandparents — and even parents — is palpable. They didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder, Kik or Snapchat to use as flirting platforms.

If you wanted to see someone, you would have to call him or her up on the house phone, give his or her parents some lame excuse, wipe your sweaty palms on your pants and ask for a good, old-fashioned date.

The Trend

Relationships have become overused and undervalued. Too many people settle and the art of seduction has turned into a game of who-can-care-less. There is a saddening lack of loyalty. Maybe someone likes you, but maybe it was insincere and the suitor said the same things to three other people.

Girls are crazy. Boys are confusing. He’s a player. She’s a tease.

Maybe YOU are the problem. When was the last time you were completely honest with someone about what you wanted, regardless of what it might have been? If someone is going to judge you for being clear and forward, you are better off without the person.

Communicating honestly and treating everyone with respect make up the foundation of trust. No one likes to feel used and constantly searching for greener pastures (someone hotter, cooler or more thrilling) will only earn you the label of a flake.

Taking eight hours to reply to a simple text message, only initiating conversation or making time to hang out when something else falls through and talking to 10 different people at once will ultimately allow unhappiness to fester.

If you aren't interested in someone, politely (and as nicely as possible) say so. If you are interested, don't be hot and cold — make your intentions clear. Inadvertently, you will hurt someone's feelings at some point. Someone will probably hurt your feelings, as well.

Many of us have a bad habit of being closed off and overvaluing our pride. We have this built-in defense mechanism that tells us that if someone wants to see you, he or she will make the time and effort to make it happen.

Generation-Y has cultivated an attitude that people who are direct, friendly and forward are “creepy” and that openly caring about someone qualifies you as “clingy.”

The Solution

Make time for the best people in your life. The individuals who stick by you, take an interest in what you love and the ones you can depend on in any situation. Gratefulness is an underrated quality. There will always be people who are really good-looking and fun to talk to but who will ultimately let you down. Eliminate them.

They are like re-reading an old book: You already know how it ends.

The happiest, most successful people will always be those who are kind to everyone, grateful for what they have and not afraid to pursue exactly what they want. Do not fear failure or rejection; they are natural by-products of a full life. This modern, busy, technologically ruled generation can make spending time with a special girl or boy complicated and hard to keep private.

I encourage you to take a chance. Maybe it’ll blow up in your face; maybe it won’t. Either way, you still have those awesome, dependable, caring people I mentioned above to help you through it.

We have countless weekly interactions with people we value: texts, tweets, emails, phone calls, conversations and shared photos. Yet, when was the last time you had a meaningful conversation or thanked someone for just being an awesome part of your life? People always say that honesty and communication are essential in a good relationship.

What people don’t realize is that the very best folks in your life probably hear it the least often. You just assume they know — how could they not? Obviously you love them. Tell them.

The Message

Social media has cultivated a generation of Grinch hearts. Be better than the assh*les. Be better than the complainers. Accept that you control your happiness and the integrity of your relationships.

If you are feeling thankful for a friend or for a family member, let the person know. If you are interested in someone new, don’t "like" six of his or her photos from 43 weeks ago.

Send a friendly message. Dare to be honest about what makes you happy.

Worried about that tightness in your chest? Maybe it’s nerves, heartbreak or an underlying heart condition.

Or maybe, your heart just grew three sizes.