Are relationships as we know them under serious threat?

Obviously there will always be 'proper' relationships but will our generation see a world where these are oddities rather than the norm? I came across an article about relationships in Japan and how the sex, birth and marriage rates there are declining and was suprised by how depressing and how familiar the situation in Japan was.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/young-people-japan-stopped-having-sex

Basically it descibes how changing gender roles, financial problems, techonlogical changes and poor social skills are leading to a situation where both genders almost give up on romantic relationships.

  • Yes, relationships as we know them are under serious threat and what is happening in Japan can and possibly will happen here.
    26% (16)56% (37)42% (53)Vote
  • There are issues that are discouraging people from relationships but things will continue pretty much as they have before.
    54% (33)29% (19)41% (52)Vote
  • No, that will never happen here and things will continue as they were. There is nothing wrong with modern relationships.
    20% (12)15% (10)17% (22)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy
Updates:
1. Obviously humanity won't die out but we may see a decline in romantic relationships that will make socialising and finding love much harder.

2. For men, the issues are rebelling against gender roles and using other outlets that are easier. For women, the issues are again, gender roles and focusing on careers, as well as other alternatives.
Both of these are issues here that seem to be getting worse in my eyes.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I chose B. If you are very strict and go by the definition of relationship as we know = marriage.. yes, it's going to change, because more and more long term couples do not get married. They're single on paper, but they're not alone, they live together and have children.

    Tbh, I think Japan is the exception. You don't hear similar stories from other East Asian countries.

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    • Japan does seem pretty extreme but relationships these days seem to be more short term (divorce over marriage, hook ups over relationships etc.). It's not too unlikely that this trend will continue and relationships will become even more short term. This could lead to some people giving up.

      We've already seen people giving up on marriage as the previous generation put their own happiness above their marriage vows.

    • I think serious monogamy is not a bad thing when you're young. It definitely beats being alone or marrying too soon. If you look at the statistics, the people who divorce soon are those who married young. People who marry in their 30s don't divorce that much.
      Love is like everything else, there's trial and error until you find something that fits you best. The first pick is rarely the best pick. And divorces just used to be throwned upon. It doesn't mean people didn't cheat or people didn't hate each other after a few years and didn't just stay together for the kids or because they feared social and economical repercussions.

Most Helpful Guy

  • The rapid changes in modern society mean that yes, relationships as we know them are under threatl
    But is that always a bad thing? A lot of feudal prejudices in 'relationships as we know them today..'' Hopefully Don Trump won't be a sex symbol in the future, for one thing..

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What Girls Said 15

  • i think B is the most suitable. there will always be people who wanna b exceptions, so as long as they're around [which they always will be], then relationships have the potential to survive.

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  • I think people put far too much emphasis into marriage, relationships and children in the first place.

    So the fact that it's becoming less common is a good thing, it means people are exploring their options, being open minded and choosing what they want to do with their own life instead of what society thinks we should do.

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    • I'll respond to your point here about:

      ""Women seem like ridiculous contradictions that I can only disappoint whichever route I take."

      How does that only apply to women lol."

      Men are simpler in my opinion while women's wants are more complicated. Women seem to want a dominant guy that is sensitive, a professional, career man that has loads of time for them and a guy who takes the lead in the bedroom but wants to please them too. It just seems contradictory and confusing. Most guys I speak to seem to think that you can't really satisfy women, just keep them happy enough to keep the relationship going.

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    • Yeah lol I know :) but it seems to be a common theme, so I just had to point it out. I hope you work on yourself and feel better though and find a great girl.

    • Thanks. :)
      I hope so too.

  • Japan may be the exception, but everywhere else they're procreating just fine, and people are still getting married so i wouldn't worry to much about it.

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    • Not true actually. The west is not procreating just fine.

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    • Most people who reproduce, shouldn't anyway.

    • I'm probably wrong about this, but isn't the planet supposed to be overpopulated at this point? Like not just the west, but the whole planet. And didn't China have like a 1 or 2 baby rule a while ago? That's what i meant when i say i wouldn't worry. Unless your concern isn't the species dying out, but rather that there won't be enough young people to work in order to support the larger older demographic of the population. In which case i wouldn't worry about that either, by then there will be robots to look after us lol.

  • He problem in Japan is that there are too many males. People will abort females or kill them when they're born in order to have a boy who they don't have to give away to a spouse with money.
    A lot of people cannot find mates and that's why it's a problem over there.

    Here it's the opposite, people are free to live and now marry whoever they love and I think the general happiness level is at an all time high

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  • Not relationship, but families.

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  • Whatever. The world is overpopulated anyway.

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    • t's not just about kids, it's about love and relationships. They can be enjoyed without kids.

  • Financial problems and the responsibility of being only two people to full-time raise kids AND full-time work is what puts the more intelligent off. Becuase they try to wait until they can provide for their children, rather than just have sex and be surprised.

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  • I dont care and I'm not worried about it

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    • Why don't you care?

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    • True. Odd then that guys seem angrier with the current state of relationships than women.

      The situation here is different than in Japan. There women seem to avoid sexual intimacy while here, many men are opting out more for legal and social reasons.

    • Well its a diff way of thinking over there.
      Yeah I'm not worried about it. Most guys will marry you if they seriously like you where I am from. If I want to get married I will. Its not really something I care about.

  • That will mostly only happen to the people who hate the opposite sex or feel like they can never get into a relationship and constantly beat themselves up over it.

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    • Some of the guys feel that marriage mainly benefits the woman. Do you agree?

    • Only if they make it that way. I don't understand it, my parents got divorced and my father obviously benefitted since me and my mom live in a small apartment with barley any money. It's never okay to generalize.

  • I hate stereotypes but yeah sometimes they are

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  • Online dating + social media has impacted EVERYTHING = YES!!!

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  • Only the brain dead allows society to dictate their personal relationships. Those are fears of the weak. If everyone thought like that we would have never had interracial couples or gay/lesbian couples.

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  • I regard this development as positive because of the world's overpopulation.

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    • It actually kind of 'fits', now you mention it.

    • Newest statistics state that now Germany has an even lower birth rate than Japan. It has begun...

  • yes i think so.

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  • Yes actually im grateful to be a bit older when i look at you youngsters its worse than when i was younger.

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What Guys Said 33

  • Most people fail to realize just how significant and FAST the changes that technology has brought since the middle of the 20th Century (which have not only continued, but have accelerated) have changed human behavior. Simply, prior to WWII, change came much, much more slowly to the world, and as such, societies's rules and expectations were able to keep up.

    Most of us have grown up being taught the same rules of society that my grandparents, born in the 1920s, were taught. Those rules still applied to "the greatest generation", but were already changing for the Baby Boomers. By my generation (Gen X), so many of those rules no longer applied, and people who followed them were largely set up to fail. Whether that meant "go to school, get a job at a good company, and stay loyal to it until retirement" or "find your soulmate in your late teens/early 20s and start a family" - those concepts were mostly out-of-date in western culture.

    Technology in various forms (including medical tech) has allowed feminism/equality (compared to "traditional" or "1950's" gender roles), and that has caused massive changes (and mass confusion) when it comes to relationships, and we're still trying to figure it out. One thing that's becoming increasingly clear: while women definitely want the choice between a career and being a homemaker, by-and-large they want a much more "traditional" relationship in the bedroom, with the man being dominant and "in-charge" and the woman being submissive (there are exceptions, of course, as there have always been).

    Many men have trouble wrapping their minds around that duality (and women as well), but that's the world we live in today.

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    • I totally agree with what you said, in fact you took the words right out of my mouth. The duality even seems to enter into the long term relationship even though it may have initially been more traditional. Marriage definitely seems to follow a series of cycles or phases which leave us with opportunities to evolve into different people. Unfortunately we may be "evolving" into people or partners our spouses or we as individuals don't necessarily like anymore.
      that is precisely where the "duality" can really start to erode your marriage and the things that formed your initial bond as a couple.

    • "Women seem like ridiculous contradictions that I can only disappoint whichever route I take."

      How does that only apply to women lol.

  • I skimmed through the article and the western civilizations suffer similar issues although the weird fetishes vary. I've not heard of guys wanting robot power ranger porn or whatever but I'm sure there are guys wanting that.

    Overall what I'm noticing is people wanting very "specific" relationships and this turned me off from dating. When I moved into a new county I went online and I remember one girl even telling me on the phone that I had not met in person yet her future goals in a relationship from the get go. It's stuff I don't see couples talking about until months in... yet on the phone without meeting face to face yet. It's like "don't waste my time meeting me unless you're prepared to do this this and this." It's clear to me how conditional relationships have become with stuff like this.

    From what I remember, relationships were about things like devotion... like staying together during a tough time. Now if a guy loses his job, it's all his fault and the woman leaves him and he's regarded as a failure. Yet when I grew up it was always taught that the couple stays strong and stays together and they work through the tough times together. Now, it's not about that at all. You're either the "perfect" person, or you're outta here! Either you want the exact same thing I want, or we're "not compatible."

    I do see issues with the career women but I feel that's all about making smart choices. It's hard to see what a person wants when they're young. I remember changing my major in college after I saw what I was in for. Now I'm doing something totally unrelated. To many women I know I don't "make enough money." If they want a family, it isn't going to happen with me. Instead of making a possible friend in the process, I'm invisible to most women that would consider dating me unless they're one of those many toxic types that want to "change" me. These women trying to be moms, career women, homeowners, etc and just tying themselves up in knots with stress.

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  • Yes there are sever issues, originally society highlighted the best (at least interms of benefits to society) attributes in each gender while repressing the worse. Now society is stating that gender is a social construct (despite all biological evidence to the contrary) and that we do not have to abide by these rules tha carried us for hundreds of thousands of years, and then to top it off incourages the worst attributes in both genders and suppresses there best attributeds. This combined with the fact that we have removed all of the built in limitors (predators, disease, available resources) that help keep things balanced, has resulted in a bit of a social dystopia (think brave new world where suffering wise we were great, socially destroyed). It reminds me of the mouse utopia experiment: io9.com/how-rats-turned-their-private-paradise-into-a-terrifyin-1687584457

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  • It's just evolution. To quote Adam Jensen, you can't stop change.
    ... Or was it progress?
    ... Bah, whatever.
    vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/.../latest

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  • The problem with relationships today is the rampant misuse of technology. People "talk" by texting and get asked out on dates through a text. I see young couples on dates and they are both on their cell phones instead of paying attention to each other. They think having sex makes a relationship so they get intimate physically before they know each other. One of them decides this isn't right and they break up in another text message. Later, they wonder why they felt o emotional connection and use the experience to justify having a friends with benefits relationship, which further entrenches them in an emotional disconnect.

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  • I read the same article and was equally alarmed. I think the root of the issues is complex, but has a lot to do with the over use of technology. It seems much of the younger generation spends less and less time engaging in real world physical and social activity and more time online.

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  • Interesting results, most men believe we'll end up like Japan... so much faith they have hahah

    I think things will change, actually they are changing, but we won't turn into a "new Japan", we don't live in a society like that, we are bombarded with sex since we're born. Sure, gender roles will change, and I think it's changing in a much more positive way than negative, but it won't stop us from feeling sexually attracted to the opposite gender and from reproducing.

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    • Wrong. In the modern world sex drive =/= birth rate or relationships.

  • Whats happening in Japan is happening all over the western world, for what ever reason it gets more attention in Japan and perhaps it's a bit worse but it is not isolated to Japan.

    For example, Germany passed Japan for lowest birth rate. Men are becoming more and more less likely to get married, men have always been less likely but the gap is growing wider and wider. The odds of a guy getting married if he is still single at age 30 drop dramaticly and the average age of men getting married is at 29. Men's interest in having a family is lower then it's ever been and continues to drop, while women's desire for relationships keeps rising higher. There is lots of data out there if you google it.

    There are even books poping up about the topic now, some trying to explain it and others glorifying opting out.

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  • I realize that i am late to this party, but im going to answer none the less. in japan the men are meant to focus so much on their career that they have very little time to date and socialize in general (its part of the reason that dating sims are so popular. they are a lot less stressful than a real relationship.) the men there are expected to work roughly 10hours a day and then go drinking till about midnight with the people they work with, eat, sleep, and repeat. people are just finding it so difficult and not worthy to date anymore due to the added stress that they just dont need in their life.

    though for us as people, we have a biologic urge to multiply in numbers and i think that trend will persist until we go extinct.

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    • The men not dating in Japan go's far beyond the problems of being a salary man, it includes a huge percentage of men who are opting out of society and that entails, wife, family career etc.. The trend is seen accross the western world, Germany has now passed Japan for lowest birth rate for example.

      This phenomena actually has striking similarities with this experiment, even after they remedied the situation the problems just continued until total collapse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z760XNy4VM

  • Gender roles being broken down. Lack of commitment and loyalty being repent. Sex being glorified as all else and people giving it up on a whim. High sexual partners. Everyone looking for superficial characteristics for partners (looks, money, social status), instead of characteristics such as loyalty, honesty, integrity, accountability, reliability and support that would endure the relationship.

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    • Aye you're that one dude that had that hair cut tutorial on youtube right?

  • it's happening everywhere with different individual realistic dilemma. Population aging is qute severe in japan, so is china. the problem we need to concern is way out of sex or relationship or romantic or dating, is the stability of the whole society. who cares the young men being happy or not.

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    • What would your solution be?

    • no efficient solution, maybe a war can make people cherish each other with the sacrifice of billions of life, or we could only wait ( you and me maynot live to see that) untill the population declining to very low amount , hope it will bounce again since things will get easier when there're less people. it's a cycle.

  • Well considering the divorce rate is close to 50%, that about 700,000-1.2 million pregnancies get terminated yearly in the US, and that we're heading for overpopulation anyway, I'd say that a decline in sex, birth and marriage rates sounds like it'd be a great thing.

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  • I think it makes it easier to filter out all the crap and find someone that's actually worthy of having a committed relationship with. Dating as a whole is harder but actually finding someone you want a long term relationship with is easier.

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  • Its not true if you meet a compatible person at the right time... and take correct decisions together and plan everything out with better communication.

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  • Lol like ill still fuck women and be cool with them but that's about it

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    • What is it that you don't like about the way things are changing? What is it about the way women are changing that makes you not want a relationship?

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    • It has everything to do with gender roles. The only reason you're calling me a pussy is because I don't meet your arbitrary expectations of what a man should and shouldn't be, and that threatens your fragile masculinity. I'm perfectly confident with who I am, but apparently you are extremely insecure. Because otherwise you wouldn't be insulting people who are different.

  • I think people are dumb azholes that don't know what they want from life period.

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  • I will never give up on finding the woman of my dreams. I'll know when she's the one and I know it will happen.

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  • Well, I don't see the importance of romantic involvement anyway if you put aside procreation. Society will find an equilibrium point with this modern relationships and things will keep going.

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  • I think we all know that the culprit is feminism

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    • Yes, I agree... although it has helped women gain more respect and freedom, it has also gone too far... Both genders just really need to find a good balance here each are doing their jobs with each other as men and woman yet with mutual respect and equality.

  • Yes, what is happening in Japan is already happening in the West but at a slower rate.

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    • Do you think there is a reason for the girls different responses?

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    • It does bother me as a woman... because of woman now being much more independent, many don't like to be treated special and delicate (ex: guy holding the door for her, guy doing sweet things like that to show he cares etc) and that ruins it for the few of us who still want that type of romance in order to start a relationship and for it to feel special... Many women no longer want to be the "nurturer" of the relationship because they believe it is weakness (even though its not), they want to be equals and so they just have sex whenever they please instead of keeping it special for a loving relationship. In result of this, men don't value relationships the same way. They don't make the same types of efforts to make the girl feel special and want to be with only him, and they expect sex without putting in much effort. Men are also much less protective of woman and so we tend to get into more trouble. We are no longer using our strengths to balance each other off...

    • Also, men expect sex without there being any form of commitment... that makes it very hard for a woman who only wants sex to be with a special man who offers her commitment, safety and love in return.. Many men don't want to court with a woman if she is not having sex with him. Woman often cave because they long for love, but then when things don't turn serious this is hurtful for a woman. Men can be real hypocrites too because after all this, those same men claim that any woman who has had sex with more than 5-10 men is considered a slut of someone they would never want to be in a serious relationship with. Women have it very hard in today's world too. Trust me on that one, especially the really good woman who just want to find a good man to love and be very good to in return... they get taken advantage of the most...

  • I feel like many young people are confused about relationships/marriage because of the feminist movement. It's quite sad to be honest.

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  • I will say B. There will be people that just want to be together regardless so yeah there. is my two cents just for the question. :).

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  • Japan will die out if they do not start having children.

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    • One comment was 'fade into extinction' I believe. Their debt is huge too and their economy is stagnating and has for years. Plus China is rising and challenging them. Their future doesn't look too bright. :/

    • They will reap the consequences the next 20-40 years.

  • Traditional gender roles are dying, and that is a good thing.

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    • True but masculinity and femininity are also dying and that is very bad

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    • @dudeman so I'm a pussy for not agreeing with you? Okay then.

      The only pussy here is you. I was being 100% civil, and all you do is insult me. You must be such a nice person.

    • @dudeman it has everything to do with gender roles. The only reason you're calling me a pussy is because I don't meet your arbitrary expectations of what a man should and shouldn't be, and that threatens your fragile masculinity. I'm perfectly confident with who I am, but apparently you are extremely insecure. Because otherwise you wouldn't be insulting people who are different.

  • Yeah, the relationship's natural habitat is being devastated!

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  • Society knows what is best for itself. Humanity will inevitably reach utopia or be destroyed in the process.
    But seeing as how we are significantly hard to destroy, the first option seems more likely.

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  • nothing is normal. and nothing surprises me in the human condition... NOTHING.

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  • i agree isis is bad

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  • Where is "here" even at? I'm not worried about it. I never wanted to get married anyway. Maybe a sign that it's already happening?

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  • I hope vote A happens soon.

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