Dating & Relationships

Few people dream of being alone all their lives, although there are some exceptions. For the rest of humanity, most humans want some form of human interaction, in the form of socializing, friendships and deeper connection,s but mostly, the human race, unlike Zirconians, seek LOVE…

But what is Love? L'Amour avec un grand A? (French quote about romance) Well… the response to such a philosophical question is far beyond the scope of the present short entry, and what we like to discuss today is just how most people go about romantic pursuits in modern times, or in the information era, replete with social media platforms and other novel forms of socialization…

Interestingly enough, the idea of romantic love is debated by some scholars. For instance, social psychologists point to the existence of courtly love during the Middle Ages as the predecessor of today's pretty much accepted concept of a mutual, intense, attachment, acceptance and affection between two human beings. According to this particular viewpoint, romantic love has largely been invented by the postcards and greeting cards industry, as well as jewellery manufacturers…

Along these lines, in the academic realm, scientists have been looking at affectionate displays from different perspectives. From neuroscientific accounts focusing on neural substrates (such as the amygdala for emotional memories, or oxytocin and vasopressin playing a role in bonding), social psychology studies show that men and women seem to look for diverse characteristics when choosing a life partner, while even the understanding of the feeling praised in countless songs, legends, movies and poems worldwide actually appears to be thought of differently in some cultures…

On a more practical note, where and how does one find someone to date (or to share one's life with!) and, most importantly, what does one do when the elusive other, the dreamlike alter ego, finally shows up? Individual opinions vary greatly on this matter! To illustrate, a huge proportion of people, believe that playing hard-to-get is the way to go. In other words, to secure the other's attention, one should present themselves as unavailable, ignore phone calls, emails and texts, take a long time to see the person, look busy all the time (even if simply pretending!), you get the drill… Alternatively, others deplore such mind games, and stress that relationships are mostly based on trust, mutual interests and communication, so manipulation, however mysterious and well intentioned, may have no place in romantic unions… What do you think? We do not give advice, we simply lay out the facts…

elfs green

Two different Zirconians (elf-like Aliens) who, unlike customary on Zircon, are in love… Copyright © Megan Jorgensen

Luckily, in today's day and age, numerous options exist to find that special someone. From dating sites such as PoF, eHarmony or Match, to social networking platforms not specifically intended for such use (some people find their perfect match on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace), to the old fashion way: through mutual friends or acquaintances, at social gatherings such as parties and other celebratory events, and by other means. However, obviously whether you meet your potential companion at Sunday mass at the community Church, or at the local bar is likely to impact the future of your relationship, if any.

Naturally, not everyone wants a relationship. Unlike in the past, when people could pretty much be burned at the stake for committing adultery, in modern times many alternative to marriage exist.

While one psychological theory includes three aspects in the definition of love (passion, commitment and intimacy), all three elements need not be present to meet one of the proposed definitions. Thus, the Twilight saga aside, hook-ups or friends with benefits, seem to be popular arrangements among some older teenagers. Likewise, polyamory, or dating several partners at the same time appears an attractive possibility to some teens, and of course, adults. Notwithstanding, monogamous marital bliss remains the goal for the majority of couples in most societies across the world.

On the political side, the question of equal love is a dividing social issue for many countries in the West. For instance, in the United States of America, voters may choose their candidate based on where said candidate stands on gay marriage. Nowadays, gay marriage is legal in many countries and homosexual unions are much more accepted than they were in the past. Also, at time of writing, the current Pope Francis has expressed the acceptance of the Catholic Church of homosexual orientation.

Further reading on psychology:

www.provincequebec.com/psychology

Partager|