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Are we entering a new age of love?

Have the tides of love found a new course in which to break?

An ever-changing and adapting modern world is witnessing a new trend in how folks purport to love.

Relationships continue to remould, and marriage seems to be on the way out. Since the 70s, the number of weddings has almost halved, and there is more chance that today’s adults will remain unmarried than embark on the harrowed tradition. With this age-old practice on a hurried decline, it begs one to wonder, why?

There are reams of data unbridling the influences of a declining convention. Behaviours and culture, digital expansion, and shifts in societal acceptance are among the few.

Since the birth of social media and reality TV shows, our perceptions of self-image, mental health, and relationships have taken a hit. Shows like Love Island – though wildly entertaining – negatively affect how we couple up with an unwavering focus on physical qualities.

Within this glamorously skewed world, we look to find a compatible partner based on how Instagrammable they are or how aligned their appearances are with trends. We look to recreate seemingly flawless lifestyles, and our relationships aren’t exempt.

The need to look perfect casts a looming shadow over the undeniably essential areas of our lives.

It’s a living representation of Hinge, Tinder, and Bumble. We over-analyse physical features, scrutinising and comparing hordes of matches – if you’re lucky enough to get them.

Dating apps aren’t always detrimental. They’ve expanded the dating world for those who may not have the confidence to approach people in real-life situations.

I commend those who look for ways to combat their anxiety or introverted personalities by harnessing digital tools to fulfil a part of their lives that, without it, may look entirely different.

In a world of perpetual technological advancements, has love escaped our grip and entered an era where anything is possible? Or has it created infrastructures for those of us who were trapped in a low-ceilinged, wall-shrinking, unprepossessingly dull room?

I believe there are positive qualities to our era of love. The romantic in me, however, feels we, as a generation, missed out on courting our desired interest.

With society becoming more appropriate in how we do things – albeit a never-ending challenge – we could manoeuvre the old ways into the twenty-first century. Taking their foundations, rejigging actions, correcting deliveries, and, most importantly, understanding.

For many love-hunters, the single life isn’t all that bad. There are certainly ways to fill time. OnlyFans, anthropomorphised carnal toys, and ribald discourse groups, for instance.

Social media boasts both unsolicited and solicited access to X-rated content. Where there’s a user there’s a twerk thread, and where there’s a twerk thread, there’s a comments section. A digital pocket for our amorously dark thoughts to live in peace. Reimagining them as expressions and creating spaces for them to thrive.

And so, a relationship with our algorithm is born. We contently scroll with the knowledge it’s curated for us. We have avenues to receive, converse, and ignite arousal, all from the buttons on our keypads.

Society has also become more adjusted to meet the ways of human nature. With a flurry of options, titles, and categories now available, heteronormative conventions aren’t the sole answer. The limits of our sights have grown beyond old horizons. Cultures, once drenched in hopelessly romantic ways, are ditching the archaic and adopting the new.

How we think and feel reaches more people than ever before. The range and following that comes with digital technology is unprecedented. Trends, good or bad; education, true or false, fall upon the laps of millions.

In a recent article published by the Times Literary Supplement, Miranda France dissects how sex and relationships continue to evolve.

Miranda leans on David Levy, an expert in AI, who predicted that by 2050, we will be able to marry robots. The advent of AI has brought life to swathes of new relationship forms. Dating apps and matchmaking are the most prevalent, with chatbots coming in second.

According to Forbes, Tidio – a leader in the AI customer service space – recognised that 69% of chatbot users had a satisfying experience, while only a little over a third preferred waiting for a human. Although this is a customer service tool and not a product of romance, it shows an acceptance of human-less interactions.

There seems to be a correlating link between society’s expansion and the seismic extension of love. As we progress into unknown cyber worlds and digital dimensions, so will love.

More opportunities to love and be loved will arise, and perhaps this will diminish the structures of genuine human relationships, or it will evade those foundations, leaving them untouched, and construct multiple annexes to house those who want to explore new spaces.

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