Saturday, September 28, 2013

Loyalty is Extinct

My favorite NFL team since 1975.
Things that were once something to be proud of 50 years ago are just simply trendy in 2013.  One of those things is the act of being loyal to something or someone.  We don't do that much any more.  In fact, there are probably a lot of people who may even consider it stupid to remain with something that's not giving you what you need at that particular moment.

We live "in the moment" way too much these days.  Some blame the YOLO (you only live once) mentality, but this mindset was around way before that term.  Somewhere between 1990 and now we completely lost the ability to show loyalty.

A perfect example is in sports.  I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan.  I have been since I was old enough to remember.  I have photos of me around 3 years old wearing Cowboys stuff.  Despite the fact that they haven't won a Super Bowl since 1996 doesn't deter the fact that they're still my team.

I have a nephew who is 13 years old and he is on his 3rd "favorite" team.  Once "his" team goes on a downward spiral, he changes to another one.  He sees nothing wrong with changing of teams because he doesn't understand loyalty.  He doesn't get that there's more appreciation to patiently waiting for things to get better rather than jumping on the next team's bandwagon.  This translates into everyday relationships.

How can someone stick with a significant other through the good times and bad times if they can't grasp the concept of loyalty?

Being in a dedicated relationship means that both people have to show loyalty.  It's the cornerstone of what makes a relationship successful.  It doesn't mean that you necessarily have to stay with that person until the very end because there are exceptions to every rule (abuse, criminal/drug activity, incompatibility, etc.).  However, it does mean that even when things aren't 100% that you should hold out hope that some day they will be.

"Reality" TV doesn't help.  We see The Bachelor and The Bachelorette go through contestants like Kleenex tissues.  Although that's a scripted game show, it gives some viewers the mindset that they always have immediate options.  It encourages the mentality that "if you're not going to do what I want when I want, then I'll find someone who will until you start acting right."

If she's not giving you the intimacy you once shared as newlyweds then try to talk it out instead of creeping with a co-worker.  If he's not giving you the emotional support that you need then communicate that with him before confiding in the guy you see at the gym.  You owe that person that much simply by having the title of "significant other."  And if you don't feel that way, then you're not in a real relationship anyway.

I'm not saying you should never end a relationship.  Sometimes things just don't work.  But, you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't even try.  If you can't feel enough responsibility and dedication to stick with someone that you call a "significant other," then I guess they weren't so "significant" in the first place.

Life won't always be rosy in relationships.  Things happen.  How you respond to those things determine what kind of character you have as a person.  Are you the type of person who quits as soon as something pops off or do you try to weather the storm until things improve?

Through thick and thin, I wear my Dallas Cowboys paraphernalia proudly.  But, my commitment to love extends far beyond sports.  What about yours?

Will you stay or will you go?

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