Is finding love getting harder in the 21st century?
By Jade Seashell
Finding love is hard. We know it based on what we see in hundreds of movies and novels. In reality, finding love is probably getting harder in the 21st century due to the following reasons.
The pandemic is hindering most people’s love lives.
Yes, you read that right. I said “most people”, not “some people”. Please let me explain.
Okay. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to be pessimistic in this article. (Actually, I will introduce some strategies that can help you improve your love life). I’m just a realist.
First of all, single people are unable to meet people during the pandemic. Because of social distancing, it’s not realistic to go out for a real date effectively nowadays.
Second, married people are experiencing a host of challenges during COVID-19, as evidenced by the significantly higher divorce rate right now. This is happening in most western countries, partly because money is always the No. 1 reason for divorce in western countries (COVID-19 has given so many people financial problems), and partly because during the lockdown, couples have to stay at home and a lot of them realize that they can’t even stand each other when they stay together 24/7!
Modern technology has made emotional infidelity very, very common.
A well-known psychologist once said, “If people don’t forgive their spouses after cheating and affairs, then most couples can’t stay married.”
Statistics show that cheating and affairs are actually commonplace – most people just don’t want to talk about it/admit it.
Truthfully, what’s more common is emotional infidelity, i.e., an emotional connection, elements of secrecy & sexual tension that hasn’t been actually acted upon. In this day and age, social media and texting have already made emotional infidelity very common as it’s so easy to chat with somebody on the phone throughout the day. Unlike a marriage which usually involves housework, children, in-laws, careers and finances, an emotional affair is much less stressful – you simply have a good time.
Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel famously said, “Emotional infidelity has three components – an emotional connection, secrecy and an element of eroticism.”
Let’s say you’re in a committed relationship. At the same time, you find yourself texting a colleague every single day (an emotional connection); you are hiding this from your spouse (secrecy); the thought of kissing this
colleague/having a make-out session with this person excites you so much (eroticism). This is a typical example of emotional infidelity.
In modern-day society, the ease of divorce is another factor which has made many individuals’ love lives difficult – whenever something like emotional infidelity happens, a lot of people consider getting divorced instead of consulting with a marriage therapist.
How to have a satisfying love life:
If you are single, you can use online dating to your advantage. Before the pandemic happened, about 45% of couples met online. Since COVID-19 happened, this percentage is becoming significantly higher. Therefore, it’s perfectly okay to join a dating website or app and start your journey there.
If you are in a relationship, it is your responsibility to maintain the spark. You go to see the dentist twice a year, but how often do you do something special for your relationship? Now here is a list of ideas for you:
Have a weekly date night.
Learn something new together (e.g., Tango & Salsa).
Start a book club for you two.
Fly somewhere for a holiday regularly – this can be done when the pandemic is over!
In conclusion, although finding love is not easy in the 21st century, you can have a happy love life as long as you know that you are 100% responsible for your happiness!
(Jade Seashell is a columnist and relationship advisor.)