Love in modern times

By Sarah Peterson

DO PEOPLE always want what they can’t have, and never want what they can?

Is it better to have loved and lost, or never to have loved at all?

And just what on earth is “romance”?

These are just a few of the questions that I’ve pondered during my time spent on the rollercoaster of today’s bizarre dating scene.

Back in the old days, everything seemed much more straightforward. You went “steady,” got engaged, then hitched and popped out a few kids.

Now I know it really wasn’t as tidy as all that, but these days there are significant others, life partners, baby mamas, baby daddies, sanchas, three-night stands, friends with benefits, hookups and open marriages.

Of course, these arrangements have all most likely existed in one form or another since the beginning of time, but with half of all marriages failing and cheating becoming almost commonplace, it’s a wonder anybody still believes in fairy tales.

Friends come to me with their woes, I come to them with mine, and we all take turns playing shrink. We always arrive at the conclusion that no, fairy tales do not exist, but yes, making a connection in this crazy world is possible.

How one actually goes about trying to attempt that, however, is beyond me. We seem to be living in an age where cynicism rules, and sentimentality died off long ago like the dinosaurs.

People can hardly profess their love or even admiration anymore without expecting to be met with a cringe.

It is my belief, though, that most of us put up this façade of indifference to protect ourselves from rejection, not to mention getting burned yet again.

Notions of what romance is have become so blurred in this day and age as to render themselves almost unrecognizable. Friendship is mistaken for love, sex is mistaken for love, and vice versa on both counts.

Have I, in fact, actually learned anything? Some days I feel as clueless as I did at fourteen, let alone eighteen.

But sometimes, usually between relationships, the smoke clears enough to catch a glimpse of perspective.

Sex and friendship do not equal love.

People want what they can’t have because everybody loves a challenge.

If people wanted what they could have, broken hearts would not exist.

Friends with benefits works only in theory, not practice.

Playing hard to get works only in the short run.

It’s not always greener on the other side.

No one is worthy of your tears.

The best things happen when you least expect them.

Expect nothing, and you won’t be disappointed.

A soulmate is not necessarily a lover; it could be your best friend, your grandma or your dog.

And last but not least, geeks are hot.


By Heather Halsey
IMAGINE THAT YOU just admitted that you cheated on your spouse of four years and that you would actually prefer to be married to your ex than your current spouse.

And you willfully agreed to have it televised for millions of viewers to watch on a primetime reality game show.

That is what goes down each week on, “Moment of Truth,” or some sick version of that. Contestants can win up to $500,000 if they answer all of the 21 increasingly personal questions correctly, according to a polygraph test.

It almost makes you queasy to watch the contestants squirm in their seats as they decide if the money is worth possibly ruining relationships with their loved ones, who are seated on the side of the stage. One twist to the show is that their chosen posse, made up of their closest friends and family members, are given a button that they can push once to throw out a question so that it does not have to be answered to win the money.

Watching this show is comparable to the natural reaction you get when you see a couple of mangled cars that have just been in a traffic accident. Your instincts tell you to look away but you just can’t turn your head and neither can anyone else.

What do these contestants think they are getting themselves into? If they had these dirty secrets hidden in their past why do they go on a national television show named, “Moment of Truth?”

Either they are idiots or their consciences were feeling mighty heavy under the weight of all their secrets and this was a way they could unburden them and possibly win some cash.

Call me naïve or old-fashioned, but I believe that there are happily married couples out there who do not cheat on their spouses and are really in love.

These couples would not have all these secrets bottled up to come spilling out on broadcast television.

This may be an over-generalization but it probably really boils down to the type of people that sign-up to compete on this game show. They gamble with their whole lives and put a price on the relationships they have with the people who are supposed to mean the most to them.

For Lauren Cleri, former, “Moment of Truth,” contestant, $500,000 was the price that supposedly broke up her marriage. She answered true to questions that proved her guilty of cheating on her husband and that she would rather be married to her ex-boyfriend.

The irony of the game is that after answering correctly to those questions she was then asked, “Do you think you are a good person?” She answered yes.

According to the polygraph she truthfully believed that she was not a good person.

So Cleri did not win any money, but she did unload her guilty conscience in front of the entire country, or the millions of viewers who watched that night and the thousands more who have seen it on YouTube.

This show creates an ethical bed of nails that contestants must walk across to get to the pile of money waiting for them at the end.

The geniuses at Fox have done it again and created a show that questions the ethics of contestants while luring in millions of viewers to watch.

“Moment of Truth,” is an entertaining yet twisted show and I would never want any one I care about to be a contestant.

If they have deep dark, dirty secrets they are keeping then they probably need counseling and if they are just keeping a few thoughts to themselves than that is OK.

There are certain private thoughts that are meant to be just that, and it is perfectly fine to keep them to your self. Sometimes people should consider this before they speak.

Or maybe I have just had too many people unburden their guilty conscience to me and I am bitter because now I am left knowing all of their secrets.

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