Millennials Less Promiscuous Than Any Generation for 60 Years. Here’s Why That’s TERRIBLE.

Relational Anorexia

The fact is, the need for connection with others is a more basic human need than the need for food.  If babies are not given adequate affection, they will develop a condition called Failure to Thrive in which they will literally starve themselves to death.  The need for human connection, for relationship, for communion is hard-wired into the person.  The fact that Millennials are experiencing this level of radical detachment is an indication of a deep existential wound,  a kind of relational anorexia that is killing the most basic human drive.  The drive to be in relationship with others.

The Diagnosis

In psychological terms, the name for this condition is avoidant attachment.  The following excerpt describes what this looks like in practice…

“People with an Avoidant Attachment Style can feel overwhelmed by the closeness that a partner seeks, especially when the newness of a relationship wanes. Also, as a relationship matures, increased closeness is necessary for it to continue thus challenging the Avoidant’s comfort zone. Their insecurity is more about how relationships will be too demanding and that they won’t have enough “space” in the “relationship.” Out of their history, they don’t have the expectation that their wishes, needs, feelings, etc. will be recognized and important. Hence, they often don’t have the skills to present their wishes, needs, feelings, etc. to their partner so they keep these inside until they get to a boiling point or to the point of feeling the need to distance to get “space.” They are the folks that “close the door” which often inspires their partners to “knock harder” on the door they have closed. Once this has happened, the Avoidant can interpret their partner’s escalation as excessive neediness or out of control anger, thus justifying their withdrawal and completely miss the point that their withdrawal is the point of origin. Research indicates that getting the Avoidant person to open the door and step back into the relationship is the only way to shift this dynamic. 

Avoidant people often long for relationships when they are alone although they use “Deactivating Strategies” to cope. “Deactivating Strategies are those mental processes by which the Avoidant person convinces themselves that being alone is just as good or better than being in relationship. This can include review of the benefits of being single (i.e., only one schedule to worry about, not having to deal with someone else’s needs, etc.). Further, the Avoidant person may long for the ideal lover, reviewing how all pervious potential partners fell short of that ideal, thus rationalizing their high standards and single status. These deactivating strategies also get used when an Avoidant is in a relationship. They may prioritize things that take them away from the relationship and mentally dismiss the importance of the relationship. They may focus on their partner’s shortcomings and all the ways the relationship isn’t ideal. This helps them reduce the anxiety they feel but are in denial about. Ultimately, it leads to conflict and disconnection. The Avoidant person sends mixed messages, fails to say, “I love you” and is very hesitant to commit. These tendencies are likely to show up in non-romantic relationships as well although they are most noticeable in romantic relationships.”

The Culture of Death on the Atomic Level

Sound familiar?  This kind of  detachment is the Culture of Death on the atomic level.  And here is the really scary part.  If Satan can kill the basic human need to be connected to or feel connected with others, he is able to kill marriage, empathy, and morality (because having a moral sense requires to be able to feel your pain and care that you are hurting) in one fell swoop.  Think this is all theoretical fear mongering?  Asia is a perfect case study. Japan is about 10 years ahead of us in this problem. Their horrifying present may very well be our future.  

The Answer

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