Instant Gratification: Where has patience gone?

I am no more patient than the next person and frequently less patient than most. No matter the repetitious mantras in my head, I don’t want to delay getting what I want if I can get it now.

Trying to teach patience to my kids when I have none is a near impossible task.

Even my posts here at The Forgetful Genius could be better, but I just want to Press. That. “Publish.” Button. I need that rush I get when I complete something of which I can be even remotely proud.

We live in a world of instant contact with people, news updates in seconds, food in moments, and entertainment on demand. What affect is this having on our interpersonal relationships?

We can find dates online. Depending on how selective we are, we can have a date (or two) every weekend. If one person isn’t what we are looking for, back online we go to find another. It seems that if people don’t meet 95% of items on the checklist of criteria we each have for a future partner, time isn’t given to learn more about things we may not know we like.

I’m not innocent of this either. There has to be a physical attraction, first and foremost. If there isn’t that visual spark, then no chance is given. A few badly communicated ideas and I’m done. Sad. I should be ashamed. But, I’m not. If I met someone in a bar or other location where I had a chance to look at them, talk for 5 minutes, I’d know. Online dating just makes everything less personal and easier to get out of.

What makes any of us think that we are so perfect that we can dismiss on what may have been an error or a bad photo?

Instant gratification bites us in the ass continually.

I met someone with whom I had great chemistry. There were a few little things that I wasn’t so sure about, but I was willing to learn more and see where things would go. The vast majority of things I knew about the person were truly wonderful. But there were a few things I wasn’t crazy about. So far… nothing deal breaking.

After a really amazing day together and flying so high, he broke up with me. He found his deal breaker in me. And it was a distance related thing. I wasn’t close enough to where he lived.

To me, distance isn’t that big of a deal. But, I’m also new to this arena. New to this game of dating in my 40s. I’ve never been a good dater. Never enjoyed it. But now we all come to the game with baggage. Some baggage is easy to overlook. Some is ridiculously cumbersome. Add to that the ease of finding someone else. No trolling at bars. No hanging by the punch bowl at church. Logon, catalog shop through the pictures, send a quick email and see if the person bites. Easy.

Are we all so hedonistic now that we need everything in an instant? Or is it just that since we no longer have to stand up from the couch to turn the TV channel that we’ve gotten lazy.

Is it that people are quickly becoming commodities like the items you can bid on online?

Maybe I should start up a new dating site where people bid on dates with one another.

“I can offer you a wicked stir fry. Chicken or pork?”

“I’ll take you riding on my Harley and wrap it up with a nice picnic lunch on the beach.”

“I have a great in ground pool and a PhD.”

“I brew my own beer and can hunt for fresh meat for our dinner.”

“I speak five languages and have travelled the world. I’d like to fly you to Paris tonight.”

Hmmmmmmm… Click on the ones who can continue on to the next round of bidding, dismiss those who don’t strike you as your “type.” It could be like bartering for companionship.

“I’ll sew the hems on your pants.”

“I have 3 sons who can cut the grass.”

I don’t have time or patience to sit and watch “The Bachelorette,” (See? Impatient.) and I don’t think having cameras on you 24/7 lends to reality. (Call me crazy.) But, maybe there is something to speed dating like that. You can see the person, see their mannerisms and facial expressions and hear them speak before you rule them out.

However, I’m still not buying the concept of falling in love with someone you’ve known a week. Or a day.

Yes, it happens. I know a couple of couples who were married within months after meeting and are still married decades later. They must have infinite amounts of patience to work on a relationship. No patience up front, but getting to know a person is tough. And it takes a ridiculous amount of trust, plus dedication to one another. So, we’re back to having patience to learn, live and grow.

I guess I need to have patience to build the “perfect” profile for myself. Have patience to weed through the profiles and decide who I might be interested in. Have patience to learn about the person I meet. Patience to learn. Patience to wait for the right man.

If only life were as simple as the movie I can order on demand where a handsome, independently wealthy man with impeccable manners happens to walk by and fall instantly in love with me and I agree to give up everything and marry him that day.

Huh. Maybe impatience isn’t something new with relationships. We all want someone to spend time with whether we are in a relationship or looking for a relationship. In the immortal words of Harry Burns in When Harry Met Sally, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” So maybe the converse is equally true? But, only with some patience will you find that “right” person, I think…….



4 thoughts on “Instant Gratification: Where has patience gone?

Add yours

  1. I made it to 35 without ever having been in a ‘proper, grown-up relationship’. Now I’m in one and it definitely takes a lot patience and compromise – mainly on his side 😉 Poor bloke! I love ‘When Harry met Sally’ – I guess the good ones are worth waiting for!

    1. 🙂
      I think you have something there! It’s all about patience. I ran out of patience after 18 years with my ex. Sigh
      On to new vistas! Maybe I’ll pick better next time around.
      Just keep smiling and enjoying! And being patient. 🙂

      1. I never had any success with internet dating either. Or speed dating. The one time I tried, some drunk guy spilt his beer all over my table at the beginning so I looked like an alco for the rest of the night. There was one cute Hungarian guy who liked me but he said he wasn’t ticking anyone because he wanted another speed dating night for free – reckon he wasn’t a keeper anyway 😉 I know it works for some people though! Good luck!

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