What is Love in Today’s Society?

Love is the poetry of the senses by _Paula AnDDrade is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Paula AnDDrade

“Love is the poetry of the senses” by _Paula AnDDrade is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Today there isn’t much that remains unscathed by inevitable generational change; what was the norm 50 years ago is no longer convention.

But what about love? Is love still perceived the same in today’s society?

Those are the questions that I asked myself before I wrote this article; I also must add that this article is subjective. I am not implying that what I say is fact; this is purely subjective.

To start, I had to look at the history of love throughout history.

In the Presocratic period, Empedocles was a high-born citizen of Acragas and a pre-socratic philosopher. In Empedocles’s cosmology, love stands as a cosmic and consistent principle: the world exists through mixing elements.

However, in the classical period, the idea started to become a bit more developed. Phaedrus, the father of talking about love, describes the concept of love as a god. Aristophanes, also from the classical period, delivered an interesting assertion. He says that humans used to be beings with two faces and four arms and legs, but Zeus cut us in half. Therefore, search for our missing half. Rousseau described love as goodness that works for and originates in a person’s balanced nature for the enlightenment period.

Now having established the history of love, , I think it is essential to look at the different kinds of love, which include:

Eros: Personal infatuation and physical pleasure.
Phileo: Brotherly love, love that gets often shown in close friendships.
Agape: Unconditional love that transcends and persists.

All three of those concepts make up the textbook definition of love, and every romantic relationship should include all three. But nowadays, most relationships likely don’t include include any of these concepts.

However, love itself is a feeling that you cannot dictate. Although I will argue that nowadays most try to govern who they are in love with. And the reasons for that include personal gain, comfortability, societal pressure, etc.

And there lies the crux of the issue: the majority of love today is not wholesome. Love is artificial; people do not love from their hearts in today’s society.

To explain why love is artificial, I point to the fact that every moment gets documented on social media in most relationships. People do not seek privacy. They seek exposure; they seek engagement and attention from others.

That can invalidate and ruin any relationship if you constantly have input from others. If you see your significant other as a photo opportunity, you set your relationship up for failure.

Additionally, social media platforms allow you to show what you want to show; people start to compare themselves to others and celebrities, and try to reach unattainable relationship standards.

To clarify, I am not saying that you shouldn’t post your significant other on social media, but posting every moment on social media is a critical issue.

Most relationships do not include any of the three pillars of love, meaning they have no foundation. It is a fact that divorce rates are increasing, and rates skyrocketed in the pandemic.

People do not truly know each other.It is no coincidence that the divorce rate and couples universally experienced mass breakups amid the virus. People only were with each other for the benefits it gave them. Once the pandemic stuck them with that person for 24 hours a day, the truth came to light.

Hopefully, we can change this dynamic and actually try to get to know the person with whom we are supposed to share our most intimate bond instead of choosing someone simply because of what they could provide to us.