Is instant gratification really bad for a healthy relationship?
Instant gratification has always been a thing that is possible, but thanks to the online world, instant gratification is more possible than ever. You don’t need to debate things anymore with others. You simply look it up on your phone with seconds and whoever is right gets the satisfaction of knowing it instantly. You don’t need to wait for a big opportunity to come for success. You can put yourself out there online and go viral to get noticed. You don’t need to wait to buy something you want. You can order it online and receive it within minutes if it is a digital service or the next day if it is a physical product. We live in a world where you can get almost anything you want when you want it and it’s hard not to need instant gratification in every area of life.
How Instant Gratification Is Ruining Your Relationships
When it comes to relationships, the need for instant gratification can be a very bad thing. Instead of focusing on the long-term value of a relationship, we focus on what we want, what we are getting or not getting, and where else we could get it. In other words, if we are expecting instant gratification, and someone is not fulfilling that need, then we simply move on to the next person to find that quick satisfaction we crave.
I’m not just talking about romantic relationships. Friends, family, co-workers and strangers who could have a big impact on our lives are all relationships that you could be ruining by needing to get what you want when you want it. So, let’s go through some different relationships and discuss how needing instant gratification is a bad thing and what you should expect instead.
Instant Gratification And Dating
You want to find the perfect person, and you want to find them now! That kind of mentality will cause you to do one of two things: become a serial dater because you never instantly meet the right person or you will get into a relationship with someone who isn’t good for you, but you will think you can make them the perfect person because you want a relationship now.
For example, if you want someone who is going to sweep you off your feet and want to move in with you within a week, then the chances that you are going to be disappointed over and over again are high. If they do not want to move that fast, then you will move on to the next person… and the next and the next. Alternatively, if you want to be in a relationship right now, then you could make the most imperfect person perfect in your eyes. You will ‘see the potential’ and try to convert them into what you want as you hold on to them for dear life because you want to be in a relationship so much that you can’t let them go!
Successful dating is for the patient people. Yes, you can swipe through a group of potential people and get instant gratification in that way, but when it comes to getting to know them and deciding whether or not they are a good fit for your life, that takes time.
The truth is that you can’t expect to find the perfect person right away and instantly get into a long-term relationship. You have to be willing to date, learn more about the people you date, and determine whether or not they are going to be a good match for you.
If you don’t have patience, then you will end up single or unhappy, which is more of a waste of time than waiting to find the person who actually is a good fit for you and then taking your time with them. But, if you do have patience, you will find that you end up getting into a serious relationship with someone who is actually good for you, and they may be the last person you ever have to date!
Instant Gratification And Long-Term Relationships
You’ve heard the statistics for divorce. In the U.S. around 50% of marriages are said to end in divorce, and in other parts of the world, the rates can be even higher. Divorce is happening everywhere you look. And, that doesn’t include the fact that many people are not getting married, but still separating after years or decades of being together. Why is this happening? Could instant gratification be to blame?
Statistics show that there are high rates of success when couples attend therapy sessions. In fact, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists found that over 97% of people who sought out couples therapy got the help that they needed, and most of them had new tools that would help them tackle current and future problems they had in the relationship.
It seems like relationships can really benefit from therapy, but how many people are actually willing to go? Obviously not a lot, considering the 50% of divorces and 97% success rate of therapy doesn’t really match up!
The problem is that therapy takes time. You can’t just get relief from the relationship stress by bailing out of the relationship. You have to make the appointment, talk about your problems, work through your problems, learn new ways to deal with the problems, work on the relationship, and stay committed to making it better. The relationship doesn’t get instantly better, and for many people, leaving the relationship is a much easier choice than working on it.
The need for instant gratification makes people unwilling to work through things and take their time on things, and relationships are one of the biggest things that people need to work on and take their time with. How many relationships could have been saved with just a little bit of patience and effort?
If it is your relationship, don’t take the easy way out and get instant relief from the problems you are having. Work on your relationship before you give up. Expect it to take some time to heal and get better. And, the rewards of being in a long-term and loving relationship will be totally worth your patience.
And, friends and family members can definitely be included in this point. If you want your friends and family members to give you instant satisfaction in your relationships, you are going to be disappointed. And, you may end up calling it quits with them when you can no longer take the disappointment. That could end a long-term relationship that may be very valuable to your life, so think twice before you ditch someone who can’t live up to your expectations. They are long-term relationships too, and you may need to seek out help in order to maintain them.
Instant Gratification And The People You Work With
Whether you work indoors, outdoors, or online, you work with other people in some way. They are the people who can help you learn more about your job, help you finish tasks that you need to get done, and even do some tasks for you. They are an important part of having success in your career.
We all want to get along with our co-workers and have them respect us, but people who need instant gratification will definitely have many more problems with their co-workers than people who understand that other people simply don’t run on their schedules, think like them, or do things in the same way.
For instance, wanting a co-worker to do a task quickly in the exact way that we want it is unrealistic. They don’t work the same way we do. They don’t approach tasks the same way we do. So, when they don’t give us the instant gratification that we want, we get upset with them. That affects our relationship with them and our work. They may be unwilling to help out in the future or they may just be purposefully slow or off track because they don’t want to please us, and that can affect our ability to have success at work in a big way.
You simply can’t expect your co-workers to always satisfy you in the way you want quickly because of your expectations. It’s very important to remember the following things:
– Your co-workers don’t run on your schedule.
– Your co-workers forget things you request because they have other priorities in their mind.
– Your co-workers have different plans in place and go through their day differently.
– Your co-workers are more willing to help out people who appreciate their approach rather than criticize it.
– Your co-workers have a life and often their life priorities will come above your work demands or expectations.
– Your co-workers work through problems differently.
You may think that avoiding a co-worker and finding a new one to work with will solve your problem, but it won’t. That’s because it’s YOUR problem, and no matter who you are working with, it will still be there. Humans all work on their own schedules and have their own way of doing things, and you are not going to find the perfect co-worker no matter how much you want to. Instant gratification and co-workers don’t go together – at all.
It’s very important to recognize that other people have a different way of doing things and work with those differences to get what you want. It may not be instant, but if you are patient and understanding, your co-workers will help you advance get things done.
Instant Gratification And Strangers
If you ever want to form a new relationship or benefit from someone you don’t know in some way, then you need to let go of the need for instant gratification with other people you don’t know. More often than not, you are not going to get it.
It is human nature to react positively to people who are patient and understanding and ignore or ‘punish’ people who are demanding and think they should be a priority for you. In other words, your need for instant gratification is going to piss a lot of people off, and you are going to end up getting less of what you want because of it.
This is especially true when dealing with people in the service industry. They have their work routines and they have to deal with people, and sometimes they can’t drop everything in order to please you. They have to finish their tasks or do something that was a priority before you came along, and if you are not willing or able to accept that you are not their number one priority, you could get treated very poorly and come out of situations feelings bad about yourself and the people who were in it.
For example, I have a friend who expects all people to drop what they are doing and pay attention to her. When we go into a store, she feels bad when the workers help other people first or take too long to come and help her. She has boycotted many stores because the employees don’t live up to her need for instant gratification, and in the process, she has limited her options for where to get stuff that she wants or needs. In fact, she has started fights with employees of certain stores and they are unwilling to help her out at all when she comes in because of it.
But, it’s not just employees that you have to worry about. First impressions with people will determine how many relationships you have in your life. If you meet a friend of a friend and your need for instant gratification comes out either towards them or towards something you are doing, you can come across as needy, demanding, and annoying. That will not draw people towards you, and you will end up losing out on relationships that could have a very positive effect on your life.
For example, one of my friends had a friend who always needed instant gratification. Everything had to be her way and it had to be done quickly. When we would go camping, she would complain about the lack of comfort or lack of attention, and if she wasn’t getting noticed, she would throw an outright tantrum until we all paid attention to her. Needless to say, I never had any desire to form a relationship with her, even though she had a lot going on in her life that was attractive to me. Her personality was so annoying and overwhelming that I didn’t even try to be friends with her.
The Need For Instant Gratification Is Terrible For Your Relationships
There are plenty of things that you can get instantly, but you may want to drop the need for instant gratification if you want your relationships to work out for the best. Your desire to have things your way and quickly is going to put a damper on your success in relationships and could wind up causing you to be alone and miserable.
Always remember that other people don’t work on your schedule and that your patience and understanding is imperative to keep your relationships healthy and on track. When you can exhibit patience in your relationships, you can still get rewarded, and you are going to maintain the relationships that are beneficial to your life.