Love in the Digital Age..
“Love makes the world go round”, as the old saying goes. Love does make the world go round and round. Humans are social beings and we need daily interactions to keep us grounded and feel a sense of well-being. Love can be in any form, whether from parents or family or friends, animals, pets, nature, art, spirituality, or romantic relationships.
Love gives us a feeling of belonging and the will to go on. Everyone desires love and intimacy. Romantic relationships, are like a fine thread, ready to break at the drop of a hat. It requires a lot of nurturing, care, time, effort, and tons of patience. Individuals involved in a romantic relationship have certain needs that require to be met. Accordingly, they seek out partners who meet these needs.
Falling in love is the easiest thing to do but maintaining a long-lasting relationship requires a certain amount of maturity. There are certain pillars of a relationship, that act as a foundation for it grow. To name a few- communication, trust, commitment, and respect. All of these are inter-related. Communication is a must if you wish to be understood and similarly to understand your partners’ needs as well. It is a two-way communication. Both must respect each other and give each other a safe space to speak and to be heard.
Face-to-face communication works the best and is the healthiest option. But in today’s world, it is not always possible. In an era of digitization and social media frenzy, communication has become somewhat skewed. People prefer to hide behind WhatsApp and Snapchat and just say whatever they are feeling without considering others feelings. Social skills have been affected drastically, especially for those who are hooked to phones, devices and gadgets constantly and seek solace in them.
Social media (such as WhatsApp, for example) was primarily meant to reach out to people across the globe or for a quick chat with someone when you do not have time. Unfortunately, due to its convenience and ease of use, even members of a family seem to communicate with other on a WhatsApp group chat. The typical scene in many homes these days is everyone being busy on a phone or device while eating or doing common activities. Nobody wishes to speak to each other anymore. The older generation easily adapted to this norm and the younger generation do not know of any other way to communicate now.
Relationships are not far behind in suffering the impact of social media. People easily find a partner on one of the dating apps and then ‘hook-up’ and just as easily the relationship fizzles out. It is not just digitization, but the lack of patience, financial independence and instant gratification that has gotten to the youth and the populace. If the trend continues, it could make marriages obsolete going forward.
A strong need in today’s time is to cut back a little from the digital world and communicate verbally, like it used to be. Spending quality time together, going out and appreciating the world around you, reaching out to friends and family physically and not just virtually are the need of the hour. Even among friends, calls are reduced to text messages as it helps not facing or listening to someone for hours. This is not a solution. Listening is an integral part of communication. Listen, speak, express, touch, embrace, hug each other; these are acts that bring you closer to one another like nothing else can. A hug a day can build bonds between parents and children, siblings, couples and so on. All it takes is a hug and expressing your feelings for each other.
Work must be put in if you expect any outcome. Nothing comes easy and that makes sense too as you may not be able to value it if you get it easy. Learning to talk, help and express also builds your own character. You understand yourself better too. Learning to keep boundaries, to respect each other’s feelings, time and emotions will go a long way in building a strong foundation for a healthy and long-lasting relationship. Self-love is very important before you seek a meaningful relationship that can lead to a life time of commitment and joy. Make memories together, grow old together and help each other grow. These are the truest joys of experiencing love.
About the Author:
Ms. Heman K
Ms. Heman is a Counsellor. She has worked with individuals and corporates, and has helped clients with work-life balance, communication issues, relationship issues, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, anger management, parent guidance and much more.