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Chivalry's Dead

Chivalry's Dead

Photographed by Sheila Knowles of Joshua Swathwood, Brady Pitcher, & Elxavier Caldwell
Stylist: Brady Pitcher, Izzy DeMers, Elxavier Caldwell
Director: Gabby Morris

By Jordyn Damato

Let’s be honest, we all know a couple (or two) that does at least one of these things: spends every month breaking up and getting back together, fights constantly, cheats on one another, or acts controlling and/or manipulative. We don’t want to admit it, but it’s the sad reality we’re living in. It takes extra work in today’s society to build a relationship that will last, and why is that? It can be summed up simply with one word: lacking.

Relationship’s are lacking vital core values that promote healthy habits between two partners. The first value that is totally lacking today is the Lack of Empathy. This may come as a surprise to some, and make complete sense to others. Being committed to a partner means to love them in the ways THEY need to be loved, not the way YOU need love. This is a big reason relationships fail—someone’s needs aren’t being fully met in the relationship. Today, people yearn to be “in love” simply so they can feel like they’re worthy of love and not because they’re actually in love.

This is why so many men use women as “stepping stones” for their own self-growth, the only way they believe they can achieve real self-actualization is through the lens of someone else. Of course women can do this too, and it shows when you see someone jumping from relationship to relationship, searching for the next best thing. Once you get into a relationship FOR the other person and not to prove something to yourself, your relationship is already sturdier than most. Another value lacking in today’s relationship that is crucial to maintaining a love that lasts is a Lack of Comprehension. It seems that nobody is listening these days. Whether that be because of social media and the endless ability to doom scroll or the fact that people have become much more self-centered now-a-days, it’s like nobody listens to one another anymore. Part of being in a relationship and especially when it comes to handling conflict, one must actually listen and understand where their partner is coming from in order to strengthen the relationship.

Not only does one have to listen, but they have to create a comfortable space where both parties feel safe enough to share their feelings and past experiences with one another. Comprehension is the key to understanding, and understanding your partner is one of the most important things you can do for them. If you’re not aiming to fully understand them, then you’re not a team, and relationships are all about acting as a team, not separate sides fighting to win. The way to win is by coming together. This next core relationship value aligns closely with the first two, and that is the Lack of Effort. The hard truth is that relationships take work. It’s expected for partners to have bad days, to go through difficult experiences together and/or alone, or to hit natural lulls in the relationship. A lot of couples break up because no one wants to put in the work it truly takes to serve their relationship. Whether this is the lack of date nights, the lack of engaging with your partner’s interests and hobbies, or the lack of non-sexual intimacy, a relationship needs a sturdy foundation to last and that’s contingent on the need of both partners putting in the maximum effort. The final value that is lacking in today’s relationships is a Lack of Appreciation. Because of all the reasons listed above, people continuously take their partners for granted. This could be as simple as the lack of compliments or quality time together or be more severe like cheating on one another. Your partner is a gift and should be treated as such—otherwise why be in the relationship to begin with? When you’re in love, you should be making your partner feel that love every single day. It should never be a question. Conflict is natural in a relationship, but conflict should be handled with as much love as an anniversary celebration

Of course this is easier said than done, but when you’re in love you should never intentionally attempt to hurt your partner, you have to honor them even on your worst days. Having genuine appreciation for your partner and the relationship you’re building together is crucial to keeping that relationship alive and healthy. All in all, it’s a lot more difficult than people think to build a strong relationship in today’s society. Hook-up culture has become much more prominent, as well as cheating, whether that be physical or online, or betraying a partner’s trust in general. So here’s the key to getting into a relationship: don’t do it if you’re not certain you’re 100% ready and doing it for the right reasons. Here’s an extra tip: if it’s an “I don’t know” then it’s most likely just a no. Otherwise you’re wasting your time, your partner’s time, and who knows, maybe you’re missing your real soulmate in the process of seeking fake love for its benefits. So as of now, chivalry is dead, but it doesn’t have to be forever. It becomes alive again when you do, too.

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