Dating Culture: Do We Treat People Like Products?

by Faith & Life, Family, Love and Relationships, Self-Knowledge

When was the last time that you were honest, truly honest? How many of us keep holding onto that delusional aspiration of a safe and comfortable relationship built on external smiles, hollow dialogues, and cheesy silence-fillers. Isn’t it obvious that it is destined to fail? How many times are we swayed and dominated by the stupefying fear manifested in the recurrent thought: “What will he/she think of me?” And why is it so difficult to present ourselves openly–without recurring to a variety of masks and camouflages that are so common in our daily interactions­– to the other person?

We all tend to cast out towards the others, hoping to find some source of self-affirmation. We look for a reaffirming smile, look of understanding, an encouraging nod. But, what is it that we are really seeking? Do we even know?

We are all seeking acceptance, friendship, and, ultimately, love. In the end, nothing else will satisfy us. It is a desire that permeates everything we do. Unfortunately, the answer to that desire has been advertised as a 99-cent, caffeine-free, no calorie, no sugar, great-tasting beverage that includes free refills. It is supposed to be something pain-free, low-risk, and full of smooth sailing.  And we gullibly believe it.

Fr. Leo On Treating People As Products

But, in reality, every authentic relationship requires those tough and uncomfortable honesty moments, those moments when the mask is removed, and the real person comes out into the light. It is a moment of risk when we sacrifice all control over our image and offer our true identity to other people, placing ourselves vulnerably in their hands, knowing that they are free to accept and love or to reject and despise. It is a moment of courage and sacrifice that is absolutely indispensable. 

Those who are unwilling to take this step must resign themselves to daily superficiality. They must become chameleons, changing their colors according to the desires they perceive in others. Every gesture, every look, and every laugh is organized and used to reconstruct themselves so as to incarnate the other’s expectations. And while this road might promise an active social life, numerous acquaintances, and plenty of text messages, it is, nevertheless, one of inner loneliness and great sorrow, as one day you must face the fact you sacrificed your true self for a delusion of approval.

Let us then take advantage of today’s video’s message: the only relationship that’s really worth it, is one based on truth. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must recklessly blurt out all sorts of private information to everyone we know. Rather, between the two extremes of an inflated self-exposure and a lock-tight self-enclosure, we need to live a healthy openness whose ultimate criterion is charity: revealing our own interior, our weaknesses, and our strengths, to those who are adept to receive and to whom such action would be beneficial.

Questions for Dialogue

How many of my relationships are based on the truth? Do I tend to be honest with those around me? Do I tend to demand the same of my friends and loved ones? What fears or defects keep me from being real with others? What do you consider to be a model relationship? Is it one based on the worldly values, or those found in Christ?

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Catholic-Link Donations donate donation donor
  • How Are Catholics Portrayed In “The Wonder” On Netflix?
    The Emma Donoghue novel The Wonder is the inspiration behind Netflix’s recent release of the same name.  Set in 1962, on the heels of the Irish Famine, a young girl named Anna has drawn the attention of the town and other devoted miracle seekers. From her 13th birthday to the opening scenes of the film, Anna had gone 3 […]
  • Why Are Saturdays Devoted To The Blessed Mother?
    In the third apparition at Fatima, the Blessed Mother told the little seers that, to save souls and avert war, she came to request not just the praying of the Rosary and consecration to her Immaculate Heart, but a “Communion of reparation” on the first Saturdays of the month. In 1925, in a later vision […]
  • Movie Review: I Heard The Bells
    Church bells will soon be summoning worshippers on Christmas Eve and Day. All types of believers will fill church pews for one of the holiest days of the Christian year. Some will be regulars, others occasional, and some will be those who attend only on Christmas and Easter. Each believer will bring their own unique experiences and past […]
  • Christmas Symbols Everywhere Point To Jesus
    In my book, Christmas Blossoms, an old Chinese craftsman has earned his living painting beautiful Christmas ornaments.  His co-workers like to hear him explain what Christmas is about. He alone among them can tap into treasured Christmas memories, because he was born into a Catholic family before the Communist Revolution. After the Cultural Revolution in the 70s, […]
  • Family Issues? Don’t Let It Ruin Your Holidays (Here’s How!)
    A common complaint I hear around this time of year is that people are struggling with family members. Old grudges are present, new additions may not be accepted, some family members may choose not to be present, and tensions can be at an all-time high.  When these struggles are present, they can take away from the […]

Keep Searching, Keep Learning

Our Newest Articles:

Catholic Christmas Gift Guide | Over 150 Catholic Gifts For Everyone On Your List!

Catholic Christmas Gift Guide | Over 150 Catholic Gifts For Everyone On Your List!

Every year it is incredible to see the creativity that the Holy Spirit lavishes on the artists, designers, authors, and entrepreneurs featured in the Catholic-Link.org Catholic Christmas Gift Guide. It’s an absolute joy to put this list together because Catholic-Link...

Catholic Men’s Gifts

Catholic Men’s Gifts

Our favorite Catholic gifts for men are sure to be favorites of the men in your life too! ENTER TO WIN all these Catholic men's gifts HERE. When you shop with House of Joppa, not only are you supporting our small family owned Catholic business, but also 20+ other...

Catholic Gifts For Women

Catholic Gifts For Women

Each year it is incredible to see the creativity that the Holy Spirit lavishes on the artists, designers, authors, and entrepreneurs featured in the Catholic-Link.org Catholic Christmas Gift Guide. This year's Catholic Gifts for Women list is astounding. The beauty...

What Is Memento Mori?

What Is Memento Mori?

Author’s note: Are you contemplating taking your own life? - Please call or text 988 before you do anything else! There is always hope and always a better life just around the corner! You are not alone. Death is a Part of Our Fallen Reality Human beings are no...

Catholic-Link
catholic christmas gifts and giveaway

Subscribe to our weekly email for a chance to win!

You have Successfully Subscribed!