Bhubaneswar: When we talk of love, a picture pops up in our head of two people holding hands, or looking at each other. With time, a new picture has taken shape, one where there’s a mobile phone, an application, several emoticons, and mushy messages.
Gone are the days when women would wait for their ‘duppatta’ to get stuck in a random guy’s wrist watch, or spot someone at a party and keep digging details to know about the person, or even meet over coffee and talk about life, and love. This generation gets his/her perfect match by swiping on the photos on ‘Tinder’ or following them on Instagram, or through WhatsApp texts.
City-based psychologist Nidhi Garg says relationships are now more online which has its own pros and cons. “It is bringing a lot of people together and helping them to cope up with their loneliness. However, things are so easy these days that it is all taken for granted. Healthy relationships are deteriorating because people are unwilling to put in the effort and make adjustments to strengthen and grow. People have so many options right at the tip of their fingers, which is depriving them of the true feeling of being in love,” she adds.
On similar lines, Sambit Mahapatra, a student, says relationships always have been and will be an inevitable part of human life. “With technology, things have changed a little and there’s this pressure of having the best. Loyalty and time period of a relationship has reduced drastically as well. Speaking of Tinder, I feel it has not yet been a charmer in the city, but that is the future,” he adds.
A student and an old school lover, Shikha Swaroop, says it is indeed difficult to be someone’s first and last love in this generation. Her parents have had a love marriage too, she adds. “I always want to be someone’s first and last but things are different as we all carry different identity and personality. Things often don’t work out but it does not mean we cannot find love. I believe, being compatible is more important than being in love, for our generation,” she says.
Looking onto the brighter side, Deb says people are more aware of what they possibly deserve and can figure out a way of something faster, unlike before. “There is more awareness about what a person wants. Tinder helps you find partners for sex or love and, it is a personal choice what people do. I am not a huge fan of finding love online, but given the lifestyle these days where everyone is striving and working hard to be better, it makes sense,” he adds. He believes people must figure themselves out before finding their better half, online or offline.
Mahima Giri, another student, says Bhubaneswar has nothing to deliver on Tinder. “Tinder in general is good because what is more exciting than an almost blind date? Though it is not wise to think one could find their soulmate,” she says.
For Rhiti Chatterjee, an editor and homemaker, good relationships are simple ones where people can be friends and not try to change each other. “Social media does seem to have a lot of pressure, but if it affects the relationship, maybe it is time to give a second thought on the same. With my generation, there was no concept of keeping it real because we did not have a platform to fake things. But then, there were stigmas that have been lightened with everything out there for people, online,” she said.
Back in her days, people had to keep mum about their relationships unless it was heading towards marriage. “Today, you can make a Facebook post about your heartbreak! My friend Paulami, an author, says Tinder is like a conflict zone with landmines all over. So, the key is to reveal less about oneself and talk to them before you meet. She also mentioned about boring conversations and family pictures of married men!” she says.
Her parents, who met in the 70’s, fell in love and have never been out of love since “They had a love marriage when it was rare. They still go for movie dates, road trips, feed each other in the restaurants. My dad buys the exact number of roses as her age on mom’s birthday every year. I think the main reason for their bond is giving each other the required space and respecting each others’ opinion. They never cared about people and what they would say. Even the marriage and responsibilities, which new generation is quite apprehensive about, did not affect their romance. This kind of love is merely a concept now,” Rhiti adds.
Relationships, old or new, online or offline, need to be healthy because at the end, what do we get into it for? To grow, love and be better humans. As Mark Manson says in his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F**k, “Let your spouse/partner handle their own problems and support them while they do so. Blaming, holding each other responsible for things going wrong, and dishonesty is signs it is not the right relationship.”
On this note, happy Valentine’s Day to all the couples in our city!