Dating and Relationships in the Modern World.
Relationship/Marriage, Self Help Mar 10, 2024

I want you to think of a specific moment or memory that had a profound impact on your understanding of love, companionship, or desire. Explore your feelings and reactions in that moment. Can you recall a memorable dating or relationship experience, positive or negative, that shaped your understanding of love and desire?

Dating, love and relationships are deeply personal experiences, and it’s perfectly normal to have a wide range of emotions and expectations.

Over time, partnerships and relationships have evolved. In the past, traditional values ​​often dictated how people approached dating and love. But today’s landscape is much more diverse and inclusive. So let’s explore more with that!

What is Infatuation and love?

Imagine meeting someone new and immediately feeling happy around them. You’re constantly thinking about them, and you get butterflies in your stomach when you’re in their presence. This attraction and strong desire to be with them is a sign of lust. You take this person for granted, seeing only their good qualities, without noticing or ignoring potential flaws. But as you get to know them better, you realize that they have flaws and quirks like everyone else. These initial desires can quickly fade if they’re based solely on their outward attitude or interest in something else.

Physiologically, craving puts your brain into overdrive, opening the doors to feel-good chemicals. A quick burst of dopamine can change the wiring of your brain, causing you to experience highs of intensity followed by much lower levels.

Proper love giving is a proper starting point in any relationship. So, how do we tell the difference between fantasy and reality, in other words..

How do we know when it’s love or Infatuation?

Infatuation usually comes at the beginning of a relationship when sexual desire takes center stage. Love can be defined as the intense affection that one feels for another.

Now, let us understand this by considering another scenario. You have a long-term relationship. Over the years, you experience the highs and lows of life together. You’ve seen each other through your best and worst, and you’ve been through challenges as a team. Despite the occasional argument or heated issues, your relationship has grown stronger.

This lasting relationship marked by mutual acceptance, empathy, and commitment is a symbol of love. Love grows stronger over time, and it doesn’t just focus on the first strong feelings. It’s about building a lasting and strong emotional foundation with your partner.

Dating

Dating is a social activity where individuals spend time together exploring the possibility of romantic or interpersonal relationships. This involves getting to know someone on a personal level, sharing experiences and assessing compatibility. Dating does not imply commitment or exclusivity and can include approaches including casual dating, where individuals enjoy each other’s company without explicit expectations of a long-term commitment as a means of identifying shared preferences, values ​​and compatibility, and can results or may not lead to a more serious relationship.

Romantic relationships are deep, highly committed relationships that involve intense and often mutual emotional connection. Love relationships vary, each with their own strengths:

  • Casual Dating relationships: It’s about a relaxed and uncompromising approach, no matter how solitary or prolonged. 
  • Serious or committed relationships: characterized by high emotional commitment and uniqueness. Partners may be building a future together, often featuring family and friends.
  • Long Distance relationships: The partners are geographically separated but maintain romantic relationships, often through technology and occasional outings.
  • Open Relationships: Committed couples participate by agreeing to have romantic or sexual relationships with other people while maintaining their primary relationship.
  • Polyamorous Relationship: The consent of many romantic or sexual relationships is known and consented to by all parties involved.
  • Monogamy: A traditional and typical romantic relationship in which both partners are exclusively committed to each other.
  • Casual Sexual Relationship or “Friends with Benefits”: Involves a friendship with a sexual component, but without the emotional commitment typically found in a romantic relationship.
Dating in today’s world

Dating is that exciting first step in the journey of building a loving relationship. It is like a portal to a world of possibilities where two individuals come together in the hope of finding something special.

Modern dating is increasingly moving towards dating apps. This often leads to immediate satisfaction or rejection, often skipping the usual busy schedule of talking and getting to know each other. We realize that dating starts and burns out pretty quickly before they get it.

Even if the dating market feels like one obstacle after another, you can actually find someone to connect with. While a string of bad days can make you lose all hope, take a step back and reassess what you want from the event.

Start by thinking about yourself! We often spend time figuring out who the person we would like to date is. That can be useful when looking at potential dating app matches, but in the beginning, we have to think about you.

It’s easy to define who might fit into the life you want to build:
and a sense of their own virtues,
their  likes and dislikes,
entertainments, and
goals for the future.

Once you know who you are, why you want a relationship, and you have a fair idea of ​​what you expect from a relationship, you are more in the middle of knowing what things are required to look for

And remember, we change as we get older, so what you want now when you’re looking for a relationship may be different than what you were looking for in the past. That’s OK. The reason you need to rediscover yourself in order to know what you want and need now.

But how can we expect another to know and love us in a relationship if we don’t know ourselves on a deeper level?

Relationships and Commitment

Imagine you have been in a relationship for a while, and things are happening in a way that takes you beyond the beginning of your relationship.You find yourself emotionally connected to this person. The conversations you’ve had have become meaningful and intimate, and you begin to share your thoughts, feelings, and life goals. You feel confident and comfortable expressing yourself. One important clue is the exclusivity discussion. You both said you wanted to be exclusive, meaning you were committed to each other and wouldn’t accept other people. This is an obvious step towards deeper commitment.

Think of it as embarking on a journey with your partner, and you develop a deeper connection. It is a fertile ground of mutual respect, a safe place where both individuals can be authentic.

 It is a promise to stand by each other through life’s ups and downs and work towards shared dreams. Think of it as a constant effort to choose and love each other more.

One of the most important things is that committing to a relationship often requires openness and emotional vulnerability. Some individuals are afraid of being hurt or rejected, which can make them hesitant to fully invest in a relationship.

Also , past negative experiences such as a broken heart or an unhealthy relationship can leave emotional scars. These scars can make him unwilling to participate again.

It is important to recognize that commitment plays an important role in any relationship, and emotional readiness is an important part of that commitment. This is something both parties should consider as it benefits not only the relationship but also the individuals involved. Taking the time to make sure they are emotionally ready is a shared journey that can strengthen the relationship and allow both partners to grow together.

Also, it is important to have a clear understanding of your desires, values ​​and goals before entering into any committed relationship. Knowing what you are looking for will allow you to honestly communicate your expectations and make informed commitment decisions. It also helps you align with a partner who has similar relationship goals, which can lead to a more satisfying and harmonious relationship. Taking the time to reflect on yourself and understand your needs during rehabilitation is a valuable step on the journey to a healthy and satisfying commitment.

Activities / Homework

  • Make sure you are in a safe place — both physically and mentally.
  • Clear your head . Get your journal and start thinking about your past relationships.
  • If nothing happened, consider what you appreciated about your parent’s or friend’s relationship.
  • Write down all the good things you love about romantic relationships.
  • This could be from your experience or others.
  • Then, do the same for the bad things you don’t like.
  • For example, you don’t think you can go into a long-distance relationship like your friend Katie.
  • Look beyond both issues, cut out the negotiable, and then hold the unnegotiable between the positives and negatives.
  • Once you’re happy with your list (remember there are no limits!), put it on another page side by side.
  • Good things are on the right and bad things are on the left.
  • Focus on what you want in the relationship, not what you want in the person. Doing this exercise gives you a different perspective on how you view relationships because:
  • Writing gives your brain a deeper way to process things.
  • Seeing these side-by-side visually creates a different perspective than just imagining them in your head.
About author

Karuna Kaul is psycho socio clinical psychologist, who works with all age group people. Her profession motivates her to serve people who are facing behavioral issues. She has over 8 years of experience and has successfully established credibility in the areas of counselling and wellness. Assessment and behavioral analysis and training and coaching. She has been an active advocate of mental health awareness. And all her endeavors in the field are primarily focused on educating more and more people about Mental Health concerns and promoting Holistic Wellbeing. She has done master in clinical psychology PG Diploma in counselling and guidance and certified in drug addiction counselling Also she has done neuro medicine psychology from London University, Kent College of United Kingdom. With an experience of six years, she had worked with various organization which provides mental health services.