A brand new robot, which you place in different parts of your house, to monitor you and your needs, just came onto the scene. You can say, as you arrive at your home, “Hi, Jibo, I’m hungry. Will you order some take-out for me?” Jibo replies, “Sure. Chinese, as usual.” And the menu flashes up on the screen. You can put Jibo by a child’s bed to watch her while she’s sleeping. You can put her in the kitchen with you, while you cook, read it your schedule, and give it reminders. Jibo is similar to Siri, but stays on all the time and has this ominous eye that moves from left to right, tracking if anything is going on around it. I don’t know whether to be frightened or intrigued, now that I think of it. What is the world coming to? Will we be developing personal relationships with these computers and giving them names? It actually looks that way.
Check it out! What would you rather do: come into your home, kiss your partner and ask what we should do for dinner OR command an object to do exactly as you ask, with no questions asked? I’m going to choose the computer. People are way too emotional and indecisive. I’ll keep my intimacy for humans and give my daily chores to a robot. Maybe we’ll all have better intimate relationships as a result.
This computer reminds me of an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” The dorky character, Howard, builds a robot with hands to go into space. He, then, decides to try it for a personal, intimate task. It gets stuck on his junk, and his friends have to take him to the Emergency Room. There, the attending nurse announces over the loud speaker, “Attention, all doctors! A robot is stuck to a man’s penis!” I’m laughing just thinking about it. What humans won’t do to circumvent dealing with relationship.
Relationship involve transparency, so creating one in our lives takes making room in our hearts and lives and requires emotional connection. How many people do you know—who are single—actually have that kind of time? I had been speaking to a guy I met on-line for about two months, who appeared, at first, to be looking for relationship. We actually met on a dating site specifically dedicated for relationship-oriented people call: OkCupid. We had gotten along really well for the first month. In fact, he and I had moved to Facetime every evening, before bed. Our conversations would last about 30 minutes a day, which is longer than most couples communicate face to face. So, as you can imagine, the relationship evolved into a deeper place, which is unusual, having never met the man in person.
Both of us, maybe not at the same time, came to the realization that having a relationship in two different cities wasn’t a good idea. Though, I enjoyed the expected, nightly companionship, much like having a computer talk to you, two dimensions wasn’t enough. So, we went back to texting and talking about every three days over the phone, as a healthier way to relate before actually meeting when I move to Florida.
What I realized, after this man wasn’t making his best effort anymore, was that he really didn’t have any time for a relationship in his life. He was tied to his job in an unhealthy way. One phone call a day was about all he had to offer in his life—that, and maybe the occasional weekend day to have a little down time. For me, that is not enough for a relationship. I need more connection. Most people don’t. In fact, I would probably fall into the Anxious Attachment category, because my heart needs a commitment from another person to establish any kind of intimacy. One who would need very little time for personal relationship and much more time for work, would fall into the category of Avoidant Attachment.
A therapist friend of mine and I were just talking about this on Skype this morning. He lives in Thailand now, because living in the U.S. was becoming too expensive for a man on disability. Both of us agreed that we have been far too demanding about how sexuality and relationship connect in today’s world. Most people we have dated simply feel that sex is just another step toward love. Where as, both of us had believed for quite some time that by the time a relationship reached sexual intimacy, a commitment should be in place. This, we also agreed, we had been demanding from our partners to protect our hearts. My friend has the great chance to see sex, now, the way other countries view sex, with a lot less condemnation and acceptance. So, having a casual sexual relationship may be a possibility, if we could separate our hearts from the sexual experience.
I’m still not sure how it will work out with me. Perhaps, I just need a robot!
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