Love in 2021

Love is a complex thing, an elementary emotion globally felt. It is a motive used by many, and it is the number one subject discussed in books, movies, songs and daily conversations. It can be defined as a chemical reaction, a collision of hormones or even as a mathematical equation. 

The Love Formula
Image Credit: Tim Terror

Three types of love are said to be experienced by everyone in their lifetime. All three types have a profound impact on us, and they shape us in more ways than one. They teach us how to have positive and meaningful relationships, and they help us grow as a person. 

The First Love

It’s the love we experience when we are young. It is our first crush or our first real relationship, and it is also called fairytale love. Because up until then, our perception of love is based purely on what we have seen on television and in the media. We think love works the way it works in movies and books, where everything is too good to be true. We put the opinions and views of others above our own wants and needs, and we push any doubts or negative feelings away. We like to pretend that this love will last forever and that it is as perfect as it could be.

Hardship comes when we finally realize love isn’t always how we’d like it to be. We understand that those idealized movies are just that: fantasies of a hypothetical love. With our first heart-break comes a first moment where we question every belief we ever had. We realize that it is more important to be who you are than to conform to others’ needs. 

The Hard Love

This is the love that hurts. It brings you a lot of pain, self-sacrifice and an unbearable amount of problems. The reason it is such a complicated  relationship may vary, but in the end, it always comes down to this: it just didn’t  work, no matter how much you wish it did. 

We thought we learned it all from our first love, but now it becomes apparent that we didn’t. As with everything else in life, the incredible highs of love aren’t there without its sinking lows. But we also learn that real love should be easy and that we should prefer relationships that flow naturally, instead of the ones that have to be forced to work. 

It takes some time to recover from this love. When we have, we know that we are important and that we never should sacrifice ourselves solely because someone else is asking us to. 

The ‘you-didn’t-see-it-coming’’ Love

This is the type of love everyone deserves, and we all will hopefully find one day. It is the type of love that takes your breath away. It  makes you alive and touches you at your very core. It is the love that forms you, shapes you, is you.  

Love in 2021: A couple in Sunset

We all desire to find such love one day, and luckily most people do. But it hasn’t always been that way. 

As seen in Bridgerton, the now-famous series on Netflix, relationships looked quite different in the 18th century. They were often oppressed and stimulated to look a certain way. Back then, marriage was seen as a political and financial decision to ensure your future. Girls were married off to men they’d never seen before, only because it benefitted the family’s reputation. Everything was done for a perfect appearance in front of society. Needless to say it was very often strained and all just a big show. 

Love in 2021: Bridgerton
Image Credit: Netflix

In those times, it was hard to go through the three different types of love, and therefore they couldn’t change and better you as a person. When a person cannot undergo their first love, hard love and their ‘you-didn’t-see-it-coming’ love, the lessons they normally take away from them stay unlearnt and they’ll keep struggling to fully understand relationships.  

Luckily that has changed in most places in  the world. In the western world, marriage is usually for love, and boys and girls can generally make their own choices about who they want to be with. However, in some cultures, girls are still, married off to men they have never seen before and still their relationships are for their families’ benefits only. True love in such relationships is never guaranteed. So, things are still far from perfect, but there has been significant progress for the last few years. 

“Let love conquer your mind
Warrior, warrior”


All that up until now. Love has always been there as a soothing glue between two worlds. In our multidivisional life, love overpowers culture and language; it conquers hate and war. But when the corona pandemic hit, I asked myself: is love strong enough to defeat this virus? Life all around the globe came to a pause, and social life disappeared. We rebuilt the world virtually instead, and school, work, social activities and the occasional event all took place online. So did the dating world. 

Love in 2021: Online Dating
Image Credit: Huffpost

However, if you’re without a love interest during a lockdown, then your options of what you can do are pretty limited. You can listen to sad and hopelessly romantic songs, watch cheesy perfect movies or read novels where love is portrayed as this forever working medicine. Of course, that doesn’t help much because you’ll only long for social contact, a human touch, or a humble interaction even more.

Love isn’t simple and never has been. But love in 2021 has become quite complex indeed. While there are many options out there, both virtually and in real life, to come in contact with potential dating partners, the chances of falling in love spontaneously have decreased tremendously. Maybe in the future there will be a fourth, virtual, type of love relationship everyone undergoes – who knows? As for now, we can use this quiet time to cherish and build the relationships we already have, knowing that, hopefully very soon, this will all be over. With that, we can also focus on ourselves for now, so that when the time comes, we are ready for our (un)expected happy ending.

Liked this piece? Also read, How You Should Feel About Self-Love?

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Nella B
Nella B

Nella is an intern at Arcane Lost. Nella is a high-school student with a great love for reading and writing. She loves science and nature, and she’s passionate about healthy living and mindfulness. 

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