I believe the hashtag #foreveralone is a reflection of the growing angst among the younger generation's frustration with knowing how to establish intimate relationship with others. Read More
The only reason I see for the necessity of a romantic relationship is that once two people legally joined at the hip, when they decided they don't like each other that much later on, they feel obligated to hire people with lots of letters after their name to fix their challenges through counseling. That bodes really well for the psychology industry but not for much else.
Young people are using the hashtag #foreveralone probably because the don't see the advantage of having intimate relations but certainly see the downside: The the pressure to stop socializing, the pressure to give up friends, family and interests, the pressure to isolate and the pressure to marry. Once one is married they are expected to have children, buy a large home and find a boring stable job. That might thrill some people but not others. For some, the idea of coupling up is no fun.
Adding a hashtag about staying single is probably young people's way of putting a stop to anyone bugging them about getting a significant other. It says, "Hey, I'm single, this may last a long time so get used to it". This is probably sending shivers down the spine of every couples counselor in the land.
Obviously, some people don't feel the need for a romantic relationship. However, given the number of businesses that have been set up to prey upon the insecurities of the lonely singles, I think we can safely say that people who do not desire a significant other are in the minority.
For many people, a romantic relationship fulfills (or would fulfill) some basic human needs for intimacy that platonic friendships simply can't. Additionally, many of us wish to feel desired, wish to feel singularly important in another person's life, or wish to feel like their life has value to other people. Furthermore, the fact that most people form exclusive romantic relationships with one another puts pressure on singles in two ways. First, there is the idea of simply wanting to fit in. Second, the fact that so many people seem to find relationship partners so easily makes those of us who haven't been in a relationship for the past 10, 20, 30 years or longer feel singularly worthless, undesirable, and unimportant. Simply put, that is not a fun way to feel.
Socially awkward teens whining on the internet is all it is. I'm pretty in toon with that group being I work with highschool kids daily and am one of those internet geeks even though I'm 40+.
The main difference is that when I was a kid and socially awkward, I didn't have the internet to run and whine to with other kids like me, I had to actually do something directly about it.
This isn't some new trend, or new issue, or new reality. This isn't people who want to be alone and not seeing value in relationships.
This is young men who still haven't figured out how to get laid mostly. Note the tears in the "forever alone" meme, these are not people who WANT to be alone. I was there myself, it took me till about 19 to figure the whole thing out.
And you walked 10 miles to school, uphill in a blizzard everyday.
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Sean Seepersad, Ph.D. is the President/CEO of the Web of Loneliness Institute, Inc., adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut, and author of The Lonely Screams.
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