Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Love In An Anomalous Time

What is love in this world of 'social distance'? Is it just about caregiving? Is it about nudity and video calls? What happens to romance in times of anomalies? We are not sure.

Representative image. Shutterstock

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get–only with what you are expecting to give–which is everything" –Katharine Hepburn

Love is eternal. The pandemic has disrupted everything that we have known about life and it is time to change it all. The very definition of “love” too may have changed over the last few years. An “intense feeling of deep affection”, love is what makes us feel connected. Love is that red thread that binds our minds and bodies and wraps it in a glowing radiance.

With social distancing having become the norm, has “love” slowed and halted? Or is falling in love the same as it was back in 2019?

Like every changing energy, love is also susceptible to transformation in the face of a growing crisis.

The Coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdown has cooped up lovers and people within four walls for a little too long now. As much as it has given them the opportunity to explore the beauty of togetherness, it has also led to the downside of discovering way too much goodness in the briefest of time, according to relationship experts in a Harvard forum, who opine that love has changed and strained the “dynamic” of relationships.

Almost two years since the pandemic has taken over our lives, changing the dynamics of work, school, shopping, watching movies, participating in cultural activities, taking care of each other and so on.

While the rapid changes in the daily life chores have led to emotional churn -- a feeling of submission to the long haul as well as the growing weariness to get back to the old normal -- the larger question is, will love stories survive the times of pandemic, the lack of social gathering, intimacy, closeness while we preach to remain six feet apart?

For many, fear and doubts have replaced intimacy. Safety first is the buzzword. 

Psychologists and relationship experts worldwide have long stood their ground in stating that the pandemic has forced people to reconsider their bonding as quarantining together or apart and has further brought to surface longstanding issues, otherwise shielded in normal times.

And it remains true, as adapting to the forbidden methods of old love, is sure to take its toll on mental health.

Credit: Shutterstock

Does it stand true to say that love in times of pandemic has often become a product of intense loneliness that was seemingly lost in an erstwhile business of outdoor lives? 

Perhaps; as technology has taken over the “efficacy” of love. Loneliness has driven people to moot analytics of AI  permeating our lives with communication channels and dating apps opening in leaps and bounds. But can machines build the bedrock of trust and tryst as bloomed between lovers, in-person? Several reports showed the increased use of these apps during the pandemic as the pandemic got us closer to a dystopian world.

What happens to love stories that fail to stand the times of crisis? Do we grieve them the same way we would do for the many lives lost? And what happens to the love stories that have been tested the times and survived? Do we revere them and hold them in the highness of the pyramid? Or we do none and continue to lay back and take pleasure in the temporariness of the blurred reality and remain hopeful of surviving.

However, brushing these myriads of questions under the rug and taking ‘one-day-at-a-time’, has now become the guiding principle of our lives. And that is perhaps okay because the more we try to remain anchored in the idea of “purposeful relationships”, the more we lose ourselves in a life-long quest. To love is to feel alive, and that’s what strained times require us to feel.