The New Rules of Post-Modern Dating

 

Love is a constant, but relationships are always evolving

 

Joe Swanberg’s Easy premiered on Netflix last September 22 and it poses romantic scenarios that are anything but easy. The anthology series delves into the messy, imperfect love lives of various characters in Chicago and explores the notion that love and relationships are no easier in 2016 than in any generation before it. Relationships this side of the millennium are still, however, an evolved beast. With the integration of rampant technology into our lives and the rise of an open-mindedness about sexuality, new ground rules have to be set for the post-modern age of romance.

 

1. Most courtship is digital

There’s nothing wrong with putting a premium on quality time spent in person with your significant other, but just chatting isn’t so bad either. The life of your average adult these days is fast-paced and hours are mostly spent peering into a phone or computer screen. This isn’t an escape—our work lives and even social lives have become closely intertwined with our online profiles. This means for the generations that have grown up on instant messengers, sweet talk with their pabebe-love is just as real and heartfelt through emoticon use as when in person.

 

On a secondary note, Tinder is a thing and there’s no resisting it. The dating scene has unsurprisingly also moved into the digital space. Don’t go in there with a pre-21st century mindset though—expect most users to simply be looking for hook-ups. This isn’t wrong though, but simply the nature of the game these days. Surprisingly, many real relationships form out of having that third date first, so to speak.

 

2. There is no long distance on the internet

Related to the first rule, the idea of a long distance relationship is more ill-defined than ever. Some clear cases still exist such as for couples who live in different time zones, but even those people can have access to off-hours video chatting. Even in cases where the two halves of the relationship can meet easily in person, they’ll still do most of their communicating through texts, chat messages, tweets and snaps sent back and forth throughout the day. Instead of a loss of intimacy, technology helps love blossom any time, anywhere.

 

3. You should talk about sex

This varies from couple to couple but it is always a good idea to be clear about the boundaries of a relationship with your partner. This means communicating directly and lucidly what each of you expect and want from the relationship. Out of all the things you and your partner should agree upon, sex is one of the most important. Talk to your partner about ground rules and anything else that comes to mind. Too many relationships are ended only because the people in it were not on the same page. It is also for your own safety as a clear agreement can prevent the risk of unwanted pregnancies, or worse, diseases. It’s 2016 and responsible sex and the conversation that surrounds it should really be more widespread than it actually is.

 

4. There are no rules

Finally, this is somewhat contradictory to the previous points raised, but in the end there are no real rules on how to handle your relationship. Each one is configured to be unique to the people in love. Love itself may be universal, but no rule of love applies universally. This is especially important in the post-modern age of dating because just about any relationship exists and is valid. Relationships can be queer, have a huge (legal) age gap, or even involve more than two people. The best way to handle a relationship is whatever feels like the best for you and your partner.

 

 

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