Since I have nothing much to write about today, I thought I'd share one of my academic essays. This is an example of my work while writing essays and research papers. If you are interested in hiring me to do a research paper or essay, use the contact form provided in the Contact Me tab.
Relationships can be very difficult and stressful. Romantic relationships especially demand attention, time, care, and responsibility. Living as we do in a society that prizes a successful and loving relationship above most things, it can be very hard at times to live up to the standard. The desire to succeed at love has fueled a whole industry of self-help books that are geared towards people who want to be in a steady and loving relationship. Some books, such as The Rules tell women that they must make an extra effort to attract a man and keep him interested. Meanwhile magazines such as Cosmopolitan give hundreds of inane tips in each issue on how to keep a relationship from going stale, from “He Shares the Details of His Day, Therefore He Must Be Hiding Something” to “If He's Happy, He's Cheating” (Dennis and Smith 2011). With all these challenges and pitfalls and bad advice, it is unsurprising that modern relationships are a great source of stress for all involved. The best way to understand modern relationships is to examine the relationship portrayed in this generation’s most popular romance novel, and study how the characters display an unhealthy dynamic in their relationship.
In pop culture and amongst our peers, we often encounter the influence of several pieces of bad relationship advice. Women are encouraged to be borderline obsessive about her boyfriend. The way it should be, he is the center of the universe, and no one else matters. While this is not, by any means, a new phenomenon, it is one that has become more prevalent since Stephenie Meyer published the Twilight series. The heroine of the series, Bella Swan, is shown to fall in love immediately with the main hero, Edward Cullen, despite the fact that he was rather unpleasant to her at first and implied that he might accidentally kill her on their first date. “She loves Edward so much after a very short period of time (weeks if not a month or two) that she is willing to die for him” wrote one reviewer after reading the first book (Bruce 2008). The review continued on to reflect on the dangerous picture of love that Twilight paints: “Reading Twilight, the message is very clear. Love is obsessive. Love is dangerous and the danger is thrilling. Love is controlling… As long as he loves you (and is good looking enough), his hurting you is acceptable.” Many couples like this stay together a year or two years – certainly longer than the time it took Bella to fall in love with Edward. However, the urge women have to put their boyfriends first in their relationship has a feel of the same obsessive love that is portrayed throughout the novel.
It is a common thing to cry and be depressed for a little bit after a break up – everyone does it, for about a week. However, once such a toxic relationship ends, we often see a kind of deep depression that a woman probably won’t snap out of after a week. A deep depression could lead a young woman to skip classes or work and drink a lot, delving further into a self-destructive pattern. One Twilight critic notes that Bella curls up and cries for several months when Edward left her, and jumps off a cliff to attract his attention. She then questions, “When was it acceptable to start encouraging self-harm just because a guy left you?” (Choi 2012). It is a terrifying and dangerous reaction, and the loved ones witnessing such a breakdown should consider finding her some psychiatric help. This reaction is by no means unique, or even rare.
The fact is, though Twilight shows us an idealized love, we are not living in the world of Twilight. Most men, when they encounter a woman who takes her cue from Bella Swan when it comes to relationships, know to turn around and run away screaming. Relationships are difficult enough as they are. People are pressured to pair up despite having little or no chemistry, to the point where some couples are so incompatible that you have to wonder why they were together in the first place. On top of this, women are also expected to obsess over their men constantly. It is unsurprising that relationships are a source of stress for most people – we, as a society, are taught the exact wrong way to go about it by media and pop culture. Though Twilight is by no means the only culprit, and the attitudes it perpetuates come from a distant past, it is a great study of why relationships are so difficult. “In the end, a relationship should never make you feel like crap. If it does, it’s a strong sign the compatibility is poor. It doesn’t matter how much you love one another – love is not enough to repair poor compatibility” writes one behavioral scientist (Hartman, 2011). It is far easier to paraphrase a popular saying most netizens offer as a show of support on relationship related forums – if he makes you cry, he isn’t good enough for you.
Bruce, Nya. "Twilight: Does It Portray an Unhealthy Image of Relationships?" Yahoo! Contributor Network. Yahoo! Voices, 26 Dec. 2008. Web. 28 July 2012. <http://voices.yahoo.com/twilight-does-portray-unhealthy-image-relationships-2367855.html?cat=38>.
Choi, Ivy. "Why I Hate Twilight." Her Campus. Her Campus LLC, 10 Apr. 2012. Web. 28 July 2012. <http://www.hercampus.com/school/virginiatech/why-i-hate-twilight>.
Hartman, Christie. "Relationships: When Is Stressful TOO Stressful?" Relationships: When Is Stressful TOO Stressful? Dr. Christie Hartman, PhD, 01 Nov. 2011. Web. 28 July 2012. <http://christiehartman.com/blog/?p=759>.Hong, Dennis, and Katherine Smith. "7 Psychotic Pieces of Relationship Advice from Cosmo." Cracked.com. Demand Media, 06 Apr. 2011. Web. 28 July 2012. <http://www.cracked.com/article_19066_7-psychotic-pieces-relationship-advice-from-cosmo_p2.html>.