As our society becomes increasingly digital, we seem to struggle to make connections with people in real life. Here is a list of 12 reasons why meaningful, real world, relationships are hard to come by: 1. We're looking for relationships as though they are something you order. We view people as consumable commodities. We value only what people appear to be, not what they are. 2. We regard love as something you “have” not something you “experience.” We may not be conscious of this but we tend to desire love only for what it says about us and our worthiness of it. It is something you use instead of something you experience. 3. We’re the generation of disconnect, ironically enough in the age of nothing but connection. We live our lives through images on screen instead of through real human contact. We seem unable to put our phones down long enough to have a meaningful conversation with someone sitting across from us. And yet, we think we can find a deep, loving connection? 4. We think “meaning” is something we find, not something we create. Meaning is not something that actually exists. It isn't something you find. All things have meaning if you open yourself up enough to look at your experiences and learn what life is reflecting back to you. It is internal awareness and choice. It definitely can't be found in a partner. 5. There’s simply no need to be emotionally vulnerable right off the bat. There is no timeline for life. You do not need to get married and have children by a certain age. Take your time until you reach a point when those things actually matter to you. 6. Online dating is (unintentionally) reinforcing the idea that we should evaluate potential love based on appearances. And this includes the really short list of interests. Those hobbies and ideals that person claims to have are far from their sum total as a person. Nor are they really any way to determine if someone will be compatible with us. Pretty meaningless, really. 7. We have an apprehension about finding love while young, so we inadvertently keep ourselves from it. There is a difference between settling down prematurely and committing to the right person but when we're young, we have a hard time seeing this difference. 8. We’re more self-obsessed than ever, yet most of us have no idea who that “self” even is. You have to know yourself before you can know and love another person. Mostly, we adopt temporary titles that fit based on what we do and who we are to other people. 9. We’re the society that learned to edit their lives. We don't have to accept the unfiltered, complexities of personhood in our lives so why do we expect to accept it in others? Changing your status, only post flattering photos and controlling what people see turns us into fragments. No one can love a fragment. 10. We’ve seen too much heartache to put ourselves on the line. We're scared. With good reason. We've all seen nasty breakups, horrific divorces and we don't want it to be us. We're hopeful, but skeptical. 11. We’re warier of how we’ll be judged not for the relationships we’re in, but how well other people would understand why we’re in them. We know that every move we make is open to scrutiny from all of our online 'friends' so we need to make sure that everything looks a certain way so we don't feel judged when we should probably just be spending the energy trying to find a relationship that is a better fit. 12. We’re obsessed with the joy of being shallow. We sense a lack of meaning in our lives so we only skim the surface. We focus on the outside and what looks right instead of what feels right. It leaves us with an emptiness and very little to bond over. Not much on which you could hang a meaningful relationship. Do you have a hard time connecting? How do you search for meaning?