Where is your soul mate these days? Is the idea of true love exactly what it is – an idea? Is today’s generation incapable of love? While the whole world is going mush on Valentine’s Day, Sounak Mukhopadhyay throws at us some practical questions
Let’s start with the triangular theory of love. According to this theory, you need three components to be successful in love: Intimacy, passion and commitment. You must feel connected to each other, be physically attracted to each other and be committed to keep the relationship going, no matter what.
But, things change. So do relationships. You used to feel connected to your partner. You don’t anymore. You found each other alluring, not anymore. You thought this was your ‘forever’. You have now become skeptical about it.
Love Needs Patience
We often hear it from the older generation that the youth these days don’t know what true love is. They just move from one relation to another. Just like our mobile phones, we are always looking for more upgraded version of a partner. We want immediate results for everything, and love is no exception.
Business owner Bimal Agarwal, 51, believes today’s generation lacks the perseverance that is required to keep a relationship going. “Earlier, people used to think long-term for everything. From furniture to cars, they bought things that would survive a lifetime. We get bored easily now. We want new things and new experiences around us to keep the thrill going. We have learned how to live in the moment. Even modern-day Bollywood movies promote similar ideologies. People today have neither the time nor the patience to work on a relationship,” Agarwal says. “In addition, they are quite egoistic. It often fails relationships.”
Love and Feminism
Some believe the so-called change is not exclusive for only love. The society has been changing, which has a lot to do with it. Seerat Mehar notes how ‘the standard of love’ has changed over the years.
“Love was intense when it could break empires. But times have changed, and so have the standard of love,” Mehar says adding, “Dynamics of the world have changed; more effort is required to bring more happiness than ever before.”
The 46-year-old homemaker believes women have become more independent. And that has made all the difference. “Women are searching for their own position, which becomes difficult for a man.”
Mehar’s views have an uncanny resemblance with Sadiya Khan’s. The 23-year-old management trainee believes the concept of love has changed over the years as women have become more independent about their career choices. “How many men move from one place to another after marriage?” Sadiya wonders. “It’s the women who have always sacrificed their career for marriage and relationships. Now, women are no more satisfied with jobs as their pastime. They have serious career ahead of them. Love, relationships and marriage do not top our priority list,” Sadiya says.
The Monetization of Love
Some may blame consumerism has heavily affected relationships. Now your love for your partner is judged by the price tag of your gift. In older days, people were happy with fewer possessions. The demand was less, so there was not much pressure for supply.
According to Vrinda Binani, love may have become more materialistic these days. The concept of ‘you cannot plan falling in love’ has become ancient. People rather decide to fall in love with certain people. “More than having feelings for a particular person to start with, people look at their status, looks and various other exterior aspects. Then, they decide if that person is suitable to be their partner,” the 26-year-old event manager says. “Earlier, small acts of love used to impress people. Now people get impressed only with material things like gifts and all.”
Meanwhile, the dating scenario has changed with apps like Tinder. Millions of singles around the world are using this app to choose their dating partner. More than 50 percent Tinder users login many times within a single day. It generates 1.5 million matches on a daily basis. Today, it has become much easier to find a dating partner.
But, does it make it easier to find love? Anindya Chowdhury clarifies. “People are mostly into casual relationships. They are seeing each other or dating each other,” the 28-year-old assistant manager says. “They are basically trying to have a good time with their partner. If it doesn’t work, it’s easy to move from one partner to another.”
The Expression of Love
We do not love the way our parents used to. Or, should we say we do not express love the way they did.
Psychologist Shahnaz Rahman believes the concept of love varies from one person to another. “Even though the concept of love hasn’t changed over the years, the expression of love has definitely changed,” say Rahman.
We are no more the mythical ‘prince charming’. We are not even the ones who are waiting for one. But, that does not mean we have abandoned love.
Sadiya says her generation has a more practical approach about love. They want to be financially secure before getting into a relationship, because it is not going to work otherwise. Agarwal, who talked about the lack of persistence in the present generation, still believes in love. “Love does not belong to a particular decade or century,” he says. “There was love when the civilization started. There will be love until the last day.”
Chowdhury believes love is a serious concept and should not be confused with casual relationships that most people are involved in. “When you have serious feelings for a person, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to move on. People take years, even decades at times, to recover when their true love remains incomplete.”
Rahman thinks today’s generation is more open about their feelings. “Partners have become more accessible to each other nowadays. They can express themselves more openly now.”
Even Mehar admires the youth today for their honesty. “They are unapologetic about gratification and do exactly as they please,” she says.
The End Note
Maybe today’s generation has become more conscious about its career, ambitions and goals. But, what’s criminal about trying to establish ourselves as an individual! They have kept love safe inside an iron box. They have locked it and thrown the key into the sea. And, they are waiting for a champion swimmer to find that key for them.