Is love dying? A view into today’s hookup culture

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Scrolling through any kind of social media, one is very likely to find a post talking about relationships. It is quite a natural human obsession. After all, humans are social beings who need to be loved and cared for. One can fulfill their own emotional needs, but only for a certain duration of time and to a certain extent, after which the pursuit for love from other humans becomes a necessity. 

While love does appear in many forms, the romantic variant of love seems to be the most talked about in the modern day. As they say though, there’s no smoke without fire, and all these posts about picture-perfect romances hints at a scarcity of true love and romance in the new generation.

The nature of relationships has changed drastically throughout the 21st century, especially among the college-aged population. Yet, some of these changes have been made for the better.  More open-minded families have emerged from orthodox backgrounds allowing relationships to transcend divides that were prevalent in previous generations. There has also been a rise in the acceptance of same-sex relationships, though there is a long way to go before love is universally accepted for what it is. 

Stories of perfect couples are often circulated, regardless of whether they are real couples or reel couples because they possess the kind of love that people dream of and struggle to find in today’s tempestuous waters. Stories and posts of heartbreak are shared and upvoted en masse because people seem to relate to the pain, and the pain is shockingly prevalent. Youth (the years from high school to the end of college) is normally the time of learning and rectifying but the process has changed as the 21st century has passed.

While we do see heartwarming stories of love today, majority of the stories come from people who belong to previous generations. Generations where love survived war and famine and natural disaster. Generations where distance was a number and age was not a deterrent, but a mark of how long a relationship lasted. But today, a simple misunderstanding of a text could end a relationship that didn’t even have any love to begin with. Young people are very likely to down tools and make a run for it rather than roll up their sleeves and fix what needs fixing. The learning and rectification that comes with young adulthood can be done with patience and without jumping tracks at the smallest inconvenience. A Hindi proverb says that patience bears the sweetest fruit, but a new culture has been born in the last decade or so and there’s no room for patience in that.

Today, there exists the deadly “hookup” culture that’s become the norm for many youth. All it constitutes is meaningless sex. At a young age, physical satisfaction might be very tempting but it is pure foolishness to overlook the mental and spiritual satisfaction that love brings with it. Often, hookups don’t end well and leave behind a devastating scar and a heightened aversion to love and commitment, which is baffling because there was no love or commitment in the first place.

People who hook-up should be demanding the very best for themselves. The euphoria and thrill from sexual experiences might last temporarily but like any kind of high wearing off, people are left feeling lonely, guilty and full of regrets. Males and females get objectified and before long, there’s the aversion to love and commitment. There’s almost an aversion to people in general. Many dive in thinking they’ll have a great story to tell, but they emerge with painful tales that keep them up at night. 

Relationships in close proximity are bound to create some spark for love, but hookups don’t accommodate such sparks. Thus, love dies where there was once great hope and that’s the new way of learning and rectification for many youth.

Hookups are killing love as we knew it. The people who post about love are the hopeless romantics who wish that true love existed in the void of meaninglessness.. Instead of love, there now exists hatred. Hatred for those who deserve it can be justified, despite it being a very strong sentiment, but hookups are creating a general sense of hatred which is dangerous.

Various Instagram pages and twitter accounts expose toxic people and rightfully so. People who objectify deserve to be named and shamed. But it can also have the wrong impact. For example, exposing toxic males and toxic masculinity is a brave and justified move but it has resulted in increased hatred towards males in general. Fighting against those who are wrong is perfect, but generalizing is damaging. It has only given wings to the pseudo feminism movement, which has reduced actual feminist movements to a laughing stock. Rather than tackling genuine issues of inequality, males and females engage in a “warfare of manipulation” and hookups become battlegrounds. All of that only results in one main casualty — love.

Love is dying a painful and merciless death and hopeless romantics feel like they’re part of a wrong generation. Several years that could’ve been used in forging meaningful relationships and rectifying personal flaws are wasted in recovering from hookups and flings. Perhaps with time, like the revival of old movies and fashion trends from previous generations, maybe love can make a comeback to the big time too.

Anupras is a Freshman studying Computer Science. Do you think love is dying? What are your views on hookup culture in today's society? Send all comments to opinion@dailycardinal.com. 

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