Monthly Archives: April 2015

Short thoughts on love in the age of online dating.

Read this article called Love in the age of Pickup Artists, which makes me think of love in the age of online dating. Where we have things like OKCreepsters, copypastas, and deploying other easy-to-find google-search strategies to help one get across the chessboard. I didn’t know the author was going to delve into Stendhal, an author I loved to read way back when I was 19, and it made me remember a time I believed in his sort of ‘effort of love’/crystallization that seems too idealistic for our age. I like to read a bit on the history and transformation of our understanding of love, and, after reflecting for a bit on this particular article, I kind of agree with certain sentiments in the quote below –

…love is fading fast. Long ago, the world provided much of our eroticism for us, by leaving us few options other than restraint. Now we no longer have Madame de Rênal’s happy home, or Fabrizio’s prison walls, to do us the favor of getting in our way. Were Stendhal to visit us today, this would no doubt be one of his first observations: love has become too easy. Or, rather, love has become too difficult, because sex has become too easy. If you take up love today, then, you take on an extra burden: the burden of creating your own eroticism, of conjuring up walls and limits out of thin air to replace the ones we have lost. You have no choice in the matter. Love was hard enough already; it has only gotten harder. Your love will exhaust you. But it will be worth the trouble. – See more at: http://thepointmag.com/2010/examined-life/love-in-the-age-of-the-pickup-artist

I’m aware I am much more archaic/conservative in my thinking than I should be – for looking at an unanalyzed over-idealized past, and being pessimistic about the current state of online dating (specifically used for the purpose of finding love). Christian Rudder’s book Dataclysm depressed me with its insights on how integral youth and physical beauty depicted through pictures are. I don’t know if I want to raise children that would use online dating to infinitely scroll past human beings to find their significant other, just as much as I have formed disdain for the shallow rishta auntie process I’m going through now. I’d want to raise them reading bell hooks’s All About Love, along with Stendhal, and Proust, and Ibn Hazm’s Ring of the Dove and othersso as to allow them to constantly explore and evolve their definitions and approaches to love, having it be an entity that permeates and transforms through all aspects in their life. To respect and love each individual they come across, to not unconsciously (or, even more frightening to think, consciously) see a relationship as an easy strategy.
And in reflection to how I personally wish to see the future, it makes me think of how love is discussed in currently. Do we, as Muslims, have the appropriate sort of education to be loving. Do we know how to find, keep, respect, and honor love?
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