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Love and Romance in the Era of Gen-Z

If you belong to the older generation, you remember your heart racing when you saw someone you liked, the lengthy process of approaching your romantic interest, the nervous looks across the room, at school, at a party, in a canteen. Do young people experience that adrenaline rush now? Remember how many rehearsals you used to do in front of the mirror before saying “I Love You” and yet you failed to say those three words when the time came.

Anupama Kumar

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New Delhi:  Recently Navya Naveli Nanda came up with a new episode of her show “What the Hell Navya”.It’s a Valentine’s Week special episode and the central conversation of the episode is about love. The episode has an interesting take on current generation love and it was indeed a pleasure listening and understanding the perspective of three generations about love. However the most interesting was Jaya Bachchan’s perspective about Gen Z love. In a sweeping statement, Jaya Bachchan said to Navya “Aapka relationship hota hai, lekin pyar nahi hota hai”.

 

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Navya’s expression on her nani’s statement revealed her discomfort. However, she was smart enough to balance her expression. Here it’s very important to note that Jaya Bachchan herself had a love marriage with Amitabh Bachchan almost 50 years back and have experienced love, romance and relationship in a very conservative India.

 

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Way back then people used to fall in love and then get into relationship and dating mode. If you belong to the older generation, you remember your heart racing when you saw someone you liked, the lengthy process of approaching your romantic interest, the nervous looks across the room, at school, at a party, in a canteen. Do young people experience that adrenaline rush now? Remember how many rehearsals you used to do in front of the mirror before saying “I Love You” and yet you failed to say those three words when the time came.

However today the system of love and relationship is all superficial. To get into a relationship one does not necessarily need to be in love with that person. They can simply be in a “situation-ship”. So why this change? Is this evolution of love normal? Well, the way love and relationships have changed in the last 15 years, does not seem to be a usual evolution. This bizarre scenario of love and relationships has a lot to do with social media. The rise of technology and social media has a significant impact on how people experience and express love. Online dating through apps, social media, and virtual connections have influenced the way love is pursued.

These days relationships are worn like a badge on social media, where people mention if they are “Single”, “Committed” or in a “Relationship”. The frivolous display of love dilutes the purity of emotion. Why do people have to tell the entire world if they are in a relationship or not?

Love and relationship is something very personal. It is between two people who experience the same depth and height of emotion. However, in the age of social media, it’s peer pressure and societal pressure that push you into a relationship and later makes you flaunt it on social media. It hardly matters if you are a topper in your class or the best employee of your company, but if you are not in a relationship you are a loser. If your friends have a partner, you also have to find one for yourself. Whether you find it around or on dating apps, the choice is yours. The digital era has also brought about a culture of instant gratification and quick connections. This can influence the way love is pursued with most people seeking immediate validation and different kinds of experiences. Since most of them are exposed to sex and porn from a very early age, all they want in a relationship is to get laid with the opposite sex. People just want to explore their sexual desires and once it’s done they move on. Not many who are into a relationship make it to marriage , some are just in lust all the time, but not in love.

In such a scenario, for someone like Jaya Bachchan, it’s very difficult to believe that people can get into a relationship through apps or social media. Also in India, Bollywood has played a big role in ruining an entire generation by giving them some weird definition of love. Most of the Bollywood love stories are confused love stories where protagonists are not sure if they are in love or not. Hence before actually falling in love they get into a relationship and test each other’s sexual ability. Really! Is it so difficult for a person to understand if you are in love or not?

If you belong to the older generation, you remember your heart racing when you saw someone you liked, the lengthy process of approaching your romantic interest, the nervous looks across the room, at school, at a party, in a canteen. Do young people experience that adrenaline rush now? Remember how many rehearsals you used to do in front of the mirror before saying “I Love You” and yet you failed to say those three words when the time came.

“Love Aajkal”, “Gehraiyaan”, “Tamasha”,”Shuddh Desi Romance”, “Raabta”, “Tu Jhooti Main Makkar”- the list of confused love stories is endless. Such movies greatly impact the minds of younger generation. They start believing that hook-up culture is cool. With the current scenario, the only thing we can do is believe that Gen-Z will eventually learn how to incorporate all that ‘honesty’ into love and relationships. To behave like artists who, through drama and pain, experience love and express it most magically. At the end of the day, we have all been there.

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