• Patrick McAndrew

Let’s Talk About Love

Let’s talk about LOVE.  Sure, I may be a little late to the game, what with Valentine’s Day being over a month ago and what not, but I figure love is always relevant, isn’t it?

I discovered this article on Huffington Post titled, “How Do You Communicate Your Love in a Digital Age?”  That’s quite a question indeed.  Annabel Acton, author of the article, discusses how “technology has completely transformed the way we experience love, intimacy, and connection.”  It’s no secret that our virtual worlds and real worlds overlap significantly, but Acton references how our virtual worlds are distracting us from real world relationships.

I see this first hand while out and about.  I’ve seen couples sitting together for a nice dinner with their phones out.  I’ve seen couples walking together, one hand in the other’s and then the second hand on their phone.  I’ve also been in situations when I’ve watches movies with friends or played games with friends and a couple is on their phones for a good portion of the time.

According to Acton, only one-sixth of people are effective in expressing empathy through the virtual world.  Many would say that empathy is the cornerstone of all relationships, along with trust.  I wonder if couples become so numb to the effectsof excessive technology use that they don’t even realize that their continuous use is have an impact on their relationship.

Perhaps this is how relationships function nowadays.  I know many couples who have met online and are in very happy and fulfilling relationships.  This leads me to believe that this isn’t the problem.  The older we get, the more difficult it is to meet people and online dating sites and apps can be a great way to connect with like-minded individuals who can be great life partners.

I think the greater problem is for those who have been in a relationship for a while.  Love and relationships take a lot of work to create a strong partnership in which both members are happy.  Technology is often used to escape and sadly some people spend a lot of their waking hours consuming pointless information while the love of their life feels empty.  Two people can be in the same room, sitting side by side, and feel miles apart because one or both of them are consumed in their devices.

It’s important to give our relationships significant attention, love, and respect.  It’s like watering a plant.  So long as we water our plant daily, it will grow tall and healthy and bloom beautiful, colorful flowers.  If we don’t water our plant regularly, it will shrivel up, brown, and eventually die.  Even if we water the plant a little bit, though not as often as we should, the plant still won’t grow into its potential.

We mustn’t get lost in a virtual haze when spending time with our loved ones.  And this doesn’t only go for our romantic partners, but for family and friends as well.  We must nourish our relationships and give them the attention they need to survive.  It falls in line with the epitome of that famous phrase; how much you get is proportional to how much you put in.  Relationships take conscious, hard work in order to benefit from the rewards that come from meaningful friends, a dedicated family, and, of course, a loving, romantic relationship.

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