Are relationships the new throwaway accessory?

Sitting in Starbuck's the other day, I overheard a group of guys talking. Apparently, over the weekend one of the fellas had brought his new girlfriend to a party for all his peeps to meet. From the tone of the conversation, apparently she was a dime and a nickel all rolled into one. He was congratulated heartily by all for "pulling that" and asked how the relationship was going.

He replied, "Oh, it's great. I'm going to act right with this one, I mean – did you see her?" I choked on my coffee and they all looked over.

I averted my eyes (while rolling them) and the one guy said, "What? I know you have an opinion." I shrugged and he pressed, "Come on, let me have it."

I raised my brows and said, "You're going to act right with this one because she's hot?"

He had the good sense to turn a little red, "Well it sounds bad when you say it like that."

"Like you haven't been fully committed in relationships before because the woman wasn't hot enough?"

His friend piped in, "Well you don't want to lose the really hot ones!"

I nodded, "Ya'll are 23, 24?"

"How did you know?"

I just smiled and kept sipping, "Good luck with the hot girl."

Youth! I thought and went about my day. But more recently, I was perusing a girlfriend of mine's Facebook page. And became annoyed. Her page was all about her new man. Starting with the announcement, "Have ya'll seen my new man?!" This was linked to picture after picture of the new dude along with his entire resume… look he's employed, look at him in front of his car, look at us on vacation, look he has a house. Sarcastically, I sent her a note: "But how are YOU?" She replied, "Good, have you seen my new man?!" Le Sigh. People, she's 36 – she knows better.

And then another friend of mine, an older male in his mid-forties who divorced his wife of 15 years about nine months ago. He is a vice-president at a Fortune 100 company, triple-degreed, and handsome. He just introduced me to his new girlfriend. Wow. I'm not mad that she's 25. Good for him. I'm not even mad that she's a size two with cosmetically enhanced cleavage. Channel your inner Barbie, boo-boo. I'm only slightly irked at her complete lack of melanin. But what REALLY gets me? This chick is dumb as a box of rocks. He asked me if I was still being split in too many directions and this heffa asked me if I made porn. [Read that again, that sh!t really happened] When I corrected her and gave him the laser beam side-eye; he said, "She's really sweet. I don't need a Michelle Obama. I want a Rihanna. I want someone 100% dedicated to me who just wants to look good on my arm. Does that make me shallow?" I threw up a little bit in my mouth and replied that yes, it surely did.

These instances got me to thinking, how many people are treating their relationships like trophies? Like the next acquisition on a checklist: Job ü Car ü House ü Hot Person on arm ü. Yes, yes – I know you cannot look across a room and be impressed by a person's brain or heart so I recognize where the physical comes into it. But really, at some point are people not realizing that money can go, boobs can sag and hairlines recede? Or when those things happen are we just onto the next? Are relationships the new throwaway accessory? (Get one, use it up, get another? Like Kleenex?)

Maybe (just maybe) this is part of the problem with the general state of relationships today. Are people more worried about who they love rather than how they love? Now before you think I'm all up on a high horse, let me admit to being guilty of this myself. I have definitely overlooked the heart of somebody because I was wrapped up in the packaging and/or the resume. I've definitely worried more about whether someone was GOP and GIB rather than JGP. (Translation: Good on Paper and Good in Bed rather than Just Good People) But I'm working on it. And really, I need to be a better lover (no, NOT like that – mind out of the gutter)… I need to work on (and yes, I read this somewhere) giving out the love I want to get the love I need back in. I've also been known to cut and run at the first sign of bullshiggity. Cause there's always at least one more relationship in the box, right?

A twitter pal of mine, Paul Brunson, is a matchmaker and life coach in the Washington DC area. He has a site called and has a theory about getting the good love. He calls it investing rather than shopping. Here are some of the tips he has to share:

So what do you think? Are people more concerned with the superficial and giving less of a damn about what lies beneath? Comments, thoughts on Paul's video? Could you be happy with nothing more than a shiny trophy on your arm?