Please STOP Romanticizing Your (Grand)Parents Relationships

It seems like every time the topic of love and marriage is brought up, there’s always a group of people who LOVE to propagate the perceived PERFECTION of old school relationships, and how people today are F*^KED because we aren’t more like our parents and grandparents. Even though these people were NOT around back in the day, and clearly have no realistic frame of reference for how things REALLY were, they feel overtly CONFIDENT enough to assert how much we as a society have backslid in terms of loving each other, committing to long term relationship and respecting marriage. Well, it’s about time to be honest as hell and label those anti-intellectual thoughts BULLSH*T.

About a week ago, Demetria L. Lucas wrote an article for Clutch Magazine called “Screw Your Good Ol’ Days” in which she addresses the BS notion that women back in the day had superior motives and values as compared to women of today. Her article was BANG-ON, and after yesterday’s blog post about What Is The Right Age To Marry, I felt compelled to piggyback off her point to address a larger and more IGNORANT issue: The ideology that relationships were so much more substantive than the coupling that occurs today. Times have changed but if you think it’s ALL been for the worse, you are wilfully ignorant.

Let’s talk about some key changes that have occurred in our society that have completely altered the dating scene as we know it:

1. Women Started Getting More Rights & Freedoms

We do NOT live in a world with complete gender-equality, but to compare it to 5, 6 or 7 decades ago, women have made SIGNIFICANT leaps in terms of being granted the basic rights they deserve. Women can vote, be CEO’s of corporations, be professors at universities and even referee NBA and NFL games without anyone making a fuss. This enhanced freedom has allowed women to do the SAME thing most men have always been able to do: Craft what they want their life plan to be.

If you think all, or most, women of your grandmothers generation had that choice you are SADLY mistaken. A lot of women only had the choice in how much children they wanted to have and even THAT was a stretch. Social and family pressure put great strains on women to follow biased gender roles, while restraining them from pursuing the same goals as men. Men had the upper-social-hand, and marriage was a KEY survival tool for many women. What you call loyalty, a sociologist would call lack of opportunity.

2. Dual Income Households Weren’t A Necessity

Ladies & gentlemen, take a look around you and tell me how many “Housewives” you know? Chances are, you know VERY FEW, if any at all. Why? Because we live in an economy that requires TWO fully employed adults to have ANY chance at running smoothly. It’s EASY to find a husband when you don’t have to worry about things like higher education, graduate programs, and building a career. It’s also easier for men to find a wife when you know throughout the dating process she will eventually NEED you, especially taking into account how much easier it was for a young man to purchase a home on his own.

3. Cheating Was Just As, If Not MORE, Frequent

The cheating-carbon-footprint a dude leaves behind in today’s technological world is INSANE. Text, Twitter, Instagram, 4Square, Facebook, Tumblr, Amateur Pr0n sites, Worldstar, etc. there’s MANY ways women and men can get CAUGHT slippin’. And because we see and hear so much first and second hand, we believe that we live in the most TRIFLING era ever – and that’s simply NOT TRUE. Cheating is not a modern day phenomenon and is NOT driven higher by any modern day trappings. It’s just the same old douchebags taking advantage of people, just like we have been doing to each other since the beginning of time.

We are no more or less loyal, committed, idealistic, realistic or hopeful about love and relationships than generations past. Stop idealizing your grandparents generation because a LOT of the things they had, you would HATE, and a lot of the stuff you take for granted today, they would have KILLED for.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

39 Comments

  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    08/21/2012 at 3:18 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Do You Think We Had It Better Off Then Or We Have It Better Now? Or Do You Think It's Neither And Things Just Simply Changed?

  2. petersburgh

    08/21/2012 at 6:52 AM

    Yeah I think the big difference between the generations are technology, getting caught and tolerance. Technology makes it easier not more likely, it makes it easier to get caught and the older folk used to tolerate infidelity more than this generation

  3. BADDEST

    08/21/2012 at 9:30 AM

    You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned choice….or the lack of it.
    Choice is an interesting thing for the human mind, while it offers great opportunities it also adds complexity to our daily existence.
    I think the real reason people are nostaglic and reverent about their elders relationships is because they secretly long to not be confronted with so MANY choices….so youre right….nothing has changed as far as the standard male/female challenges and divides within relationships. The only notable difference is the SCALE of the material we have to choose from…..whether it be literal people we're choosing from or the length of time a woman should be career focused, or hell even where a couple should settle and make their lives in the WORLD….couples today need to realize the REAL reason behind their difficulties may not be their personalities but rather how their personalites adapt to combinded CHOICE

  4. John J

    08/21/2012 at 10:13 AM

    LOL, I don't know about "we", but women definitely have it better now. I agree with you and have been saying the same things for awhile now. Every time someone wishes they had what their grandparents had (mostly women), I just think that "Your simple butt couldn't handle that nightmare." The only things that's changed is that women have the freedom to be who and what they want and no longer depend on a man to make that happen, and that people put their business out more than the older generation; maybe technology plays a role in that, but I'm thinking it's more so just lack of couth with today's generation. Granddad and the granduncles may have had a side family in the next town or two over and you didn't find out until he passed away or you was about to date someone in the family, then you get hit with the "You know that's yo cousin, right?" or some family reference. These days folks don't even "try" to hide the side piece they smashing the next door down. Another great post, man.

  5. Jessica

    08/21/2012 at 1:50 PM

    I really enjoyed this post and I read the article by Demetria. You made some great points and I agree that while the way in which we do things may have changed, the things we're doing haven't.

  6. Jessssss

    08/21/2012 at 2:26 PM

    I have no special grandparent memories. My maternal grandmother was a hustler, a mother and a woman of the world. So I never had a grandpa that I knew. She had more than one man that fathered her children but she was never ashamed of it. She was born into a sharecropping family and was married and had her first baby by the time she was 12 yrs old. He began to beat her and by the time she was 15 she had 2 kids, a 6th grade education and train ticket to Cali. She never looked back. So there was no romanticizing marriage. She always told me it was hard work and I should never ever forget how hard it could be.

    That has always stuck with me. Every couple that I know of that has been married more than 10 years are more partners than husband and wife. They understand balance and the fact that irregardless to if I hurt your feelings… we are in it for the long haul. Giving up is not an option.

  7. Candice

    08/21/2012 at 3:24 PM

    This post hits home because I have my grandmother from Trinidad staying with me. I don't know how long she was married to my grandfather before he died, but it was a long hard road. My grandmother had her first of eight children at 15 years old. She had to stay with her husband because there was no where else to go. My dad told me of stories of when he was younger and there wasn't much money to buy groceries or anything else. My grandmother stayed home and took care of the house. On top of all of that my grandfather had a love child with a different woman and one of the 8 children died when she was 2 from illness.

    Although people get divorced more nowadays but I would rather have my freedom than to HAVE to get married to someone because that was the thing to do and out of necessity.

    So yes it's true that people back then stayed together longer but their marriage was not all sunshine and lollypops.

  8. Diana

    08/21/2012 at 5:04 PM

    I think one reason we "glorify" the past and I say this half-jokingly, mostly serious, is because that generation knew how to keep a secret boy! It is not until you learn the intricacies of your family cause some great auntie is murmuring in the back of the reunion that 'he/she ain't even really kinfolk anyway' that you be like say what what? In a world where everyone knows everyone's business, things come to the light way quicker and become less tolerable.

    There are a lot of things my granny will gloss over and she is the current keeper of the family legends. Idk what will happen, how much will go unknown, when she is gone. For good, better or worse, there was a lot of sucking up of stuff (that today's generation might balk at) and doing things to keep a semblance of family intact, lives on track, and doing what was needed to just get by: accept a cheating man, raise an outside child, raise your teen sibling's child, and on. It is like noble, mind blowing, admirable, and confounding all at the same time.

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