Is It Possible To Find A ‘Suitable’ Soulmate In The Digital Age?

Communication amiss between a dozen messages, lies become the only way to carry on – to give strength to the relationship. Meet, mate, marry – is it really that simple anymore?

Many relationships fall into despair, many are left to rust. Love is losing its essence in the digital age. Have we started to settle for less only because we want more? Are we drooling over romantic comedies in movie theatres only because we lack such narratives in our own lives?

Our relationship status? Perpetually complicated. We don’t talk anymore, we ramble, blither and blather. Whatever happened to think before you speak. Internet sure did help us communicate sweet nothings no matter where we were, but it also played the anti-hero, of misunderstandings. So much was said, of which so little was meant.

Let’s just be honest, dating is not easy. Back in the day, when our parents fell in love, dating had a point, dating meant something – marriage. One night stands, friends with benefits, hook-ups, casual date-nights… Today, dating someone is a personal getaway. Dating is just for fun. We dread the idea of an actual relationship, because that just gets too damn ‘clingy’! We want a facade, we don’t want to do the work that keeps a relationship going. We yearn a deep connection, but are too shallow. We are forever wishing for a happily ever after, but never really present in the moment. We can’t be giving anymore because we only know what we want. Relationship is an investment in a world where love is a thing on speed dial.

We have altered human interaction. “Don’t talk to strangers, a not so common advice anymore. Today we are all daring enough to find our soul mates based on risky internet algorithms. Behind the scenes, that’s what dating apps do – find a ‘suitable match’ through too narrow a lens of compatibility. Let some powerful math do the business and not his charisma?

Instant gratification

Brought up in a culture of impatience and instant gratification, we have lost the art of thinking. We want everything and we want it NOW. Instant gratification comes at a price, is it our emotions? Are we growing numb to anything that is notoriously slow or demands any sort of effort? That’s a problem for love.

Too many fish in the sea

That fear of missing out? The perception that there could be someone better, better than what you have, waiting out there? Such thoughts are preventing people from being happy with an otherwise satisfying match. There’s a ‘choice overload’ and we’re suffering in more ways than one. We’re addicted to the idea of endless choices. One can easily get stuck perpetually “shopping” for the ideal match, failing miserably at beginning a real relationship.

Fake equivalents 

People re-create themselves to impress others, blurring the lines between the real and the fake. Men typically lie about their age, height and income, while women tend to lie about their age, weight and body build. The need for acceptance is the only need central to our lives. With the ability to filter and edit, why suffer from vulnerability?

We are more lonely than ever

We like to think of ourselves as a generation that knows what they want. We are born with an innate sense of individuality, or so we like to think. When in reality, we are in a state of perpetual confusion. We are indecisive and it shows. We are so in love with ourselves to ever be completely in love with someone else. We are focused, but limited to our own likes. Often, we are in a relationship simply because we don’t want to be alone. We aren’t a big fan of compromises either. We need someone to fill the void however.

It’s a circle

Love has become a habit, heartbreak has become an excuse. We date with a belief that we are supposed to date. Owe it to both, society’s unsubtle discomfort with singles and our power to have the world on the palm of our hands. And the simplest route? Online dating. We are all stuck in a loop. We are hurting others because we are hurt ourselves. Trust issues or dirty habits, who is to blame? We ‘can’t care too much’ to find out. After all, who’s got the time? We wonder why 20-somethings lose their faith!

In reality, unlike our fairy tales, our prince charming is neither coming on a horse, neither should you be brainwashed to believe that he is just a ‘swipe’ away. He’s the one you didn’t make eye contact with at the bar because you couldn’t seem to loosen the hold of your internet device.

These walls in Delhi seem to have taken inspiration from love ‘aaj kal’, explore art on the streets of Lodhi Colony:

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