As you know, I've been following MTV's Jersey Shore since it aired over two years ago. It's so gosh darn bad (in a train wreck sort of way) that I can't help but watch it! Over @ Ferdinand Bardamu's place, there was a post about MTV's hit show. In the comments, a chap by the name of Canon's Canon said that the show is a veritable petri dish for studying 'Game'. While he has a point, that's not the tack I wish to pursue.
Canon's Canon is right about one thing: MTV's Jersey Shore is a petri dish for studying relationships. To me though, it's a petri dish of what NOT to do for pursuit of a healthy relationship. In that show, one can see everything that one can do wrong to pursue a healthy relationship, i.e. one that is a blessing & enrichment to both parties involved.
How does MTV's Jersey Shore show us what NOT to do? Where do I start?! One, both men & women are pursuing relationships based on attraction only. Two, we don't see anyone really getting to KNOW one another-and I don't mean Biblically, either! Three, guys & gals bed down at the drop of a hat.
The first thing that jumped out at me when watching MTV's breakout show, Jersey Shore, is that both the guys & girls are chasing one another SOLELY based on attraction; it's the only litmus test being used by either sex these days! I've seen no attempt by either the men or the women (am I being too generous with those descriptors?) to REALLY get to know their partners on the inside. The only question they ask is this: is he/she hot? Does he/she get my hormones racing? WTF are you doing, people?!
The second thing I noticed is this: the men & women aren't getting to know one another. I haven't see ANY substantive discussions on current events. I've seen no substantive discussions about money & finances. I've seen no discussion or even mention about future goals. I haven't seen any discussions about ANYTHING of substance-nothing! These aforementioned issues are what I call 'make or break' issues; these are issues that can, and often do, sink relationships. Men & women are pursuing relationships with one another while having no idea of who the other is as a person-none!
The third thing I've noticed on Jersey Shore is that guys & gals hop into bed with one another almost instantly. What are you doing, folks?! Ronnie & Sammi, after only a few talks and one date hopped into bed with each other! I'm sorry, but that's way too soon to have sex with someone! Even if one doesn't believe in saving it for marriage, doing it right after meeting someone is too damn soon! If younger men (and especially younger women) are doing this, is it any wonder that STDs are so prevalent? Is it any wonder that there's so much angst about relationships?!
What ends up happening is this: relationships are based on little more than sex. In far too many modern relationships, the only glue holding them together is the physical. There is little or no mental connection made between the man and the woman. There is little or no emotional connection made. Finally, there is little or no spiritual connection made. In order for a relationship to last-REALLY LAST-it has to have all four elements present; there have to be mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bindings holding it together. Only then will a relationship have what it takes to last. When there's only one binding (especially when it's the physical, as is usually the case in modern relationships) holding it together, the relationship simply doesn't have the strength to withstand any serious stress.
Men & women are pursuing one another based on attraction; granted, the attractants are different for men and women, but they're pursuing one another based on attraction nonetheless. Sorry, but attraction != love. It never has, and it never will. I'm not saying that your beloved should be repulsive, but attraction alone cannot and should not be the sole basis of a healthy relationship.
Here's what's happening. Man & woman get involved with each other solely based on their attraction for one another. They do not really get go KNOW one another. The relationship progresses to the point of marriage. The marriage inevitably has tough times, which stress the relationship. Only then do the husband and wife realize that they're complete strangers! Only then do they realize that they do not really, truly know one another. Only then do they realize that they're not at all in agreement on the 'make or break' issues. Is it any WONDER we have so many divorces?! Come to think of it, it's a wonder we have any marriages that survive at all, given the shaky foundation on which they're built.
In closing, MTV's hit show, Jersey Shore, shows us what's wrong with modern relationships, and the way that men & women approach them. Attraction is the only litmus test used to determine who's 'right' for them. It never occurs to men & women that there has to be SOMETHING else to get them through the next 30 years. Because modern relationships don't have that something else to survive long term, they end up being train wrecks, littering the human landscape with hurt, pain, anger, and goodness knows what else. In light of this, it's a wonder there aren't more divorces! Until next time...