Haven’t we all heard already one of our older relatives, an uncle or our grandmother say “Love has changed. In my days, relations were much different”. Some of us, annoyed by those claims, might say that they simply do not remember. After all, Alzheimer’s can strike at any age… But others might wonder, have romantic relationships deeply changed over time?
If we refer to the multitudes of recent studies on young people’s relationships, our attitude towards love has evolved to a much more realistic approach. We are no longer like our parents and grandparents tended to be, looking for our soulmate, the one to which we will commit forever. This can be explained by our vision of the world and what we expect from life. We are a generation who grew up in a globalized and interconnected world where all adventures are to be lived. And surely, adventures are synonymous with experiences. Those experiences have become a source of adrenaline without which this new generation who sees everything and gets everything so easily cannot live. Consequently, we often hear people in their twenties say they don’t want to meet their soulmate in a near future because they aspire to live different experiences. By experiences understand going out with a lot of people and sleeping here and there.
Could you count the number of your fellow students who slept together and the number who decided to commit to each other? These two numbers are probably quite different. Maybe also because our perception of sex has changed. We are far from the time when sex was only used to show our love (and make heirs to the kingdom). Sex besides meeting some biological needs has become an occasional fun that we practice with partners that we sometimes have known for less than a few hours. (Needless to say, the assertion above does not take into account the influence that our culture has on our vision of intimate relationships, but rather tends to demonstrate a generality.) This ability to dissociate sex and feelings has become our best weapon to fight the loneliness caused by this desire to live everywhere without ever building where we are.
Do not misunderstand, I am not trying to make a judgment here. These relationships are the result of a world in constant change and it is indeed becoming more and more difficult to ask someone to commit to us when we don’t know where we will be in a year or two. Unsurprisingly, most of you think the same way. This could be seen in the numbers. According to the BBC, in the late 1960s, 76% of English brides were under 25. This percentage drastically decrease to 14% in 2012. As for 2019, we can easily imagine that this percentage remained low or decreased even further.
Despite all this, the desire to live a love story as seen in films like “The notebook”, “Price and prejudices” or “Shrek” has not completely disappeared from our hearts. At least not from mine and probably not from most of yours. It will seem incoherent of me to tell you that I dream of my soulmate while I don’t feel ready to commit. And yet this is the case. Because wanting to live experiences and having a more realistic vision of love does not mean erasing all the romanticism of our minds. We still aspire to take a mud bath with our partner in the light of little fairies locked in lanterns and make a trip to a castle aboard a giant onion even if it is for a short time.
So yes. Psychosocial and sexual relations have changed. We commit ourselves less. Our main goal is not to get married in the years to come (unless you have come to Hult to live an international love and find a rich husband or a wealthy wife) and we celebrate polyamory by living multiple adventures. Nevertheless, our relationships, however short and with little commitment, remain intense and passionate.
So, let us live our loves fully. Let’s love each other for 24 hours.