In your 24/7 connectivity, are you still feeling the love? Our culture reminds us that friendships last forever, but not always love. But as your friend circles get wider and deeper, are you undermining your romantic relationships? Charlotte Alter, in her February 24, 2014 TIME Magazine article, suggests that in the pursuit of honoring friendships, love can get kicked to the curb. With regard to social media and romance, killer apps could indeed be killing love.
There is another Millennial trend that platonic relationships will turn into romantic ones. However, falling for a friend is not necessarily the same thing as love at first sight. True, the likelihood of one person truly knowing another after years of friendship are stronger than the relationship formed through formal dating. However, familiarity can also breed contempt. What are the expectations of each individual when they were merely friends, and how did those expectations change when they committed to a romantic relationship. Even more complicated, how do friends with benefits morph the act of sexual intercourse for fun (copulating) into a physical act of love? To me, this would be delicate at best if not entirely awkward.
Social media has complicated romance for sure. Smartphone apps just add to the confusion. Tinder is more-or-less a hook-up app, where all members can purvey the customers in any public space, normally a bar, and determine who they would be attracted to and who they wouldn’t. This way, rather than having to decipher who’s available in the bar, the app clears the way. Grouper and the Dating Ring introduce singles by setting up group dates that mimic casual outings. Interestingly, a USA Today found that 57% of 18-24 year olds couldn’t tell whether they were on a date or just “hanging out.” Many single men and women text photos of a possible romantic interest, seeking approval before moving forward. Really? Group consensus has reached a new low.
In this crazy world of romance, it is important to remember that LIKE is not LOVE. Sex is not Love Making. And Relationships are not Romance. The only tried and true way to develop and maintain a true romance is to be romantic. There is no substitute. Developing a relationship based upon love, affection, trust, respect, and consideration will lead to true happiness. Friendship within that relationship is a true by-product. “Friends with benefits” is hollow and shallow; Dating for Life is chivalry and romance forever.