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This thought hit me first when I recently saw a video that marked the 20th anniversary of the romantic classic Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. A dramedy(drama-comedy), it sure won the audience over. This movie taught us that you don’t have to look far to find love. More often than not, it’s evident and right in front of you.
But don’t you think that the meaning of love, how we experience love, and how we express it has changed? The doe-eyed damsel in distress falling in love with the handsome and charming guy is no longer the reality of the world we live in. The older readers may be familiar with shy glances and exchanging sweet nothings with their significant others. Still, for the youth reading this article, it may be foreign to view dating as a potential step towards marriage.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” said Jane Austen, highlights the general mindset of people at the time and that courtship and marriage were then a necessity and something that was socially expected and considered appropriate. In contrast, now, the same young men and women are expected to make something of themselves before they delve into the world of romantic love.
A great deal of this change also comes from the fact that the individual identities of both genders – men and women, has changed by leaps and bounds. Women are no longer viewed as the helpless kind, looking for a man to support them, and the term alpha male has long lost its significance. In older times, people searched for their “other half” because they considered themselves incomplete and lacking. A search for somebody who would complete them and complement their personality perfectly, like a puzzle piece *click* was the ultimate goal of those looking for love. In contrast, today, relationships are formed based upon choice. Two people make a conscious decision to be together, which involves a lot more than just feeling love but rather planning a stable future.
Some might agree with me when I say that love in the olden times was authentic and natural. Simpler times defined happy-ever-afters and that love at the time existed in small gestures, red roses, and stolen kisses. That the example of love, we have now in the modern age where we pick up strangers in a bar and don’t bother to remember their names is shallow and tragic, resulting in the deterioration of the most basic, and perhaps the very first feeling that we as human beings feel, that feeling of being loved. But some others might also agree with me when I say that there was nothing romantic about being married off to a stranger under duress and that a peck behind the curtain was all well and good until we entered an era where more was less. Long walks on the beach weren’t going to cut it. That is the 21st century, the need to feel alive took priority over the possibility of a future together, and that stability of future became more important than attraction.
Whatever the case may be, my advice to you would always be to remember the following lines by Leo Buscaglia:
“If you were to define love, the only word big enough to engulf it all would be, life. Love is life in all of its aspects. And if you miss love, you miss life.”