RIA NOVOSTI (Full Story)
"In Moscow, everything happens so fast, especially relationships," a French top-notch businessman complained to me over our recent lunch together. We were comparing Paris and Moscow’s love and dating scenes, and my vis-à-vis wasn't giving the latter the most complimentary marks. In Paris, he insisted, people tend to take things slower, treat relationships more seriously and make sure they have found the right person before they get steady. Meanwhile, les parisiens of both sexes are generally okay being on their own, my friend observed. "And in Russia, there’s a much more rushed and consumerist approach to how people get together," he said.
At first I was offended, but the word "consumerist" stuck in my mind. After a bit of thinking, I realized my French friend might be right. Consumerism is the zeitgeist of our era, and I don’t only mean the compulsive itch to acquire material things. In today’s world, we are what we own and there’s not much we can change about it unless we choose life in a convent. But with the nearly dissipated social and biological pressure to settle down for good, I think many of us tend to consume and accumulate relationships as well. We test-drive relationships and often speed carelessly knowing we are not really committing. We don't risk taking full responsibility. And even if we do, there's no obligation to get married and to stay married today. There’s a free entrance and a free exit. Relationships have become scarily easy.