Love and relationships are concepts that have existed since time immemorial. And as societies evolved, so did these notions. Human beings’ affinity to convenience has reshaped the meaning of these in the light of postmodernism, a concept of life and reality where everyone is becoming more and more independent of their externalities.
With changing times and growing westernization, there is a growing sense of incompleteness that we feel in our relationships despite the fact that we have the freedom to create the framework as per our needs. More and more people are defining how they want to take their relationships forward, by self-defining concepts of monogamy and marriage. There is no specific set of guidelines to adhere to. Social Entrepreneur Gopal Meera opines that education has played a major role in dissolving gendered boundaries in relationships, as more and more women are becoming empowered enough to realize what exactly they want and are also better equipped to negotiate terms with their partners. This has led to more power balance in relationships, and subsequently, the appearance of more self-led and independent women in the public sphere.
But if there is a growing power balance, why is there a sense of incompleteness? Is it because of an increased human tendency to give in to activities of immediate consequence, due to which we are losing sight of the larger picture? Instant gratification is a growing addiction that is killing the sense of satisfaction that comes from being in relationships. It is easy to fall in love, and even easier to fall out of it. This also emanates from the fact that we know exactly what we want in terms of personal freedom, and that is more important to us than the spiritual freedom that comes from a self-sacrificing relationship.
There is also a rising pace of change that contributes to this internal conflict in relationships. Sometimes, it just gets too difficult to to keep up with the pace of change, and relationships might feel both consuming and confusing during these times. Osha Saxena, a physiotherapist from Mumbai suggests that it is difficult to find a partner whose vision for life is same as yours since there are multiple visions and even more diverse realities. Sometimes, she feels partners exist just to add to that status quo, like the the Iphone. We don’t really derive as much utility from it as we gain esoteric social satisfaction of associating our identity to a class.
No need to lose hope. The bright side of post-modern love is that once you find the perfect fit (which is slightly unlikely), it will only add to the pace of your pursuits. Love is no more an expectation of family and procreation, it is the search for true meaning in games of life, love and identity.[Feature Photo Credit: mensxp.com]