Love has always been an abstract concept but the complexity of the subject has seemed to increase over the years with advancement in technology and changes in dating culture. It seems as though the notion of ‘love’ has been mystified, and between the epitome of ‘feeling love’ and ‘recognizing love’, there lies a whole drawn-out process that requires meticulous calculation and programming. Recently, I came across this article that talked about dating concepts that one needs to know in this era of love; it went on to describe the terms such as Benching, Fencing, Ghosting, Zombieng, Stashing, Breadcrumbing, Sidebarring and wow the list went on and on, I could barely finish it. I don’t particularly know why, but it reminded me of computers; coding, decoding, programming, deprograming. The analogy in my mind seemed too convincing for me to discard. Moreover, with Valentine’s day around the corner or may be the memes on facebook that did not let me forget about Valentines, I started to ask myself, ‘What does love mean to our generation?” “Are we programmed in a certain way to deal with love?” Well I don’t want to risk sounding like a grad mum here but the curiosity has always stayed with me and it amplifies every time I engage in a conversation with someone about this, and end up with different point of views but all boiling down to one same conclusion: We are all confused.
Last week with one of my friends who is also my colleague, during our usual session of evening coffee, we happened to tumble upon this conversation again. We started talking about our college days, our crushes and relationship. We were laughing at how seriously we took everything back then and how we thought love had only two simple steps: 1) Do you love me? 2) Will you marry me? Everything was black and white then, either you love me or you don’t, if you love me then you want to marry me and if you don’t want to me marry me then you don’t love me at all. But I guess with time we have learnt that there are so many blank spaces between these words and so many steps to love; 1) I think I like you 2) I like you 3) We are just talking 4) We should go out 5) I love you (May be) 6) Let’s get married… and these are just basic steps I am talking about, of course, it is always different depending from person to person. However the journey between going out and ‘I love you’ seems to be the longest because there are so many external factors one needs to take into account. Is he/she compatible for my future? Do we share same interest? Do I really feel as intensely for him/her? Am I ready to commit yet or do I still want some time to keep swiping right? And what is scariest of all is that while treading along this stretched out path, there is always a chance that one among the two, or both may already get distracted. My elders would often tell me, love seems to have lost its essence in your generation. There are too many options and too much abundance; youngsters spend more of their time trying out and less of it actually feeling anything intensely. You are always on the lookout for the best, willing to give up so easily and too fast to jump to the next because all it takes is to swipe right, Right?
Of course, I don’t want to sound like an eighty year old, struggling to keep up with the fast pace at which things are changing but my question always remains unanswered amidst the air of confusion hovering around us, ‘Are we programmed to love this way’? It’s quite understandable that our dating culture now is more rational and practical. All of us want the best companion and take all the time we need or we think we need and there is nothing wrong with pursuing it. We know it’s logical, all of it makes perfect sense, but I guess that’s the problem. Is love supposed to make so much sense?