Thoughts on Modern Courtship

Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I tend to ruminate consistently on the psychological and sociological landscape of postmodern society and thought it interesting to share some of my conclusions about the development of relationships in the 21st century. These ideas are broadly applicable across each facet of interpersonal communication but are particularly relevant in the context of romance.

The universe seeks to strike a balance between good and evil, and this holds within the domain of intimacy. As we have shifted our society almost entirely toward online dating, courting has become laborious and confusing in a manner isolated from its previous challenges.

We see this idea borne out during the initial introduction between two parties. Encountering a person online, forming a relationship solely through text messages, Snapchat, and even FaceTime calls is injurious to building a sustainable attachment. This is the fruit of the issue, but its causes are easily observable through a few superficial manifestations.

1.) There is an endless catalog of potential suitors for one to — literally — swipe through, as if placing an order for a new paramour, and so these people come to be viewed as dispensable. Thus, we devalue our interactions with them. I have termed this Plenty Fish Syndrome (PFS).

2.) Rarely are people who they say they are upon introduction, forgoing emotional and psychological compatibility namely as a consequence of prioritizing sexual attraction and the fear of rejection. You put your best face forward and pretend to be a million things even when those qualities run counter to your true nature. A couple that takes this course is from the outset blind and weakened as neither party can read the fine print until after their contract is signed.

3.) An overwhelming majority of people do not know themselves extensively. Youth tend to fixate on trivial pursuits such as general likability or hedonistic indulgence. A moratorium on romantic relationships until age twenty-five (at minimum) would be ideal for improving the likelihood of longevity, though simultaneously inciting chaos for fear of being unduly tyrannized.

Ultimately, to develop a relationship with relatively few hitches, seek another with the same fundamental priorities, so long as you understand your own. Your methods must be similar as well. Do not misunderstand me: This is difficult work, but nothing worthwhile is easy.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.
— Carl G. Jung



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