Zygmunt Bauman was a Polish philosopher who became known for his social theories on modernity and consumerism. Love has always had an important place in our lives throughout centuries, but how does it work in our consumer societies?
On one side our possibilities have drastically expanded: the new era of online dating has opened the door for love and dating to many people. Meeting singles, finding love and having great dates has become a reality for singles all over the world.
However, on the other side, Bauman argues that our consumer societies also push us to become more dependent, needier. What do we want from love and how to know if our relationship is based on honest, true and pure love?
Liquid love and the duality of beings: An emotional purchase?
Love is hard to define. How can you define such a personal emotion? How do you know when is true love?
Bauman might have some tips to try to identify the kind of love or relationship you are in.
His arguments are based on the connection between modernity, consumerism, and love. We are undeniably living in an individualistic society in which satisfaction is measured by ownership. As such, when love becomes a possession, a game of power and seduction, a domestication of the other, is it really love?
Hard to answer. Societies evolve and with them, people do to. However, we could say that even the old-school romantic ideal of love was still based on that sense of ownership: you had to conquer the heart, the thoughts and the live of your beloved.
Nowadays it doesn’t differ so much, we are just fighting between our need for security and our desire for freedom…but where does love fit in our modern identities?
We want from love novelty and variety as we want from our phones or our clothes. As Bauman says « relationships, like cars, should undergo regular services to make sure they are still roadworthy ».
What’s the state of your relationship?
A true romantic relationship or a relationship to avoid loneliness
Indeed, a scary question that is worth considering…what’s the real nature of your relationship?
If you want to know if your love is merely a transaction or on the other hand, it seems to have an altruistic nature, you’re already taking the first step: thinking about your reasons for being in love or in a relationship.
If, however, you would like to investigate deeper, we would recommend you analyze the dynamics of your relationship: is it a balanced relationship? Do you feel dependent? Are you afraid of loneliness? Do you try to make your relationship better? Do you feel like you own your partner?
The best path towards true honest love is through discovery… welcome to our modern digital society.