The Future of Love



On the weekend I thought about it, triggered by various encounters, current disappointments and the awareness that nothing is the way it used to be. How does love work in today’s society and where does it lead us? While some try to find the love of their lives through dating apps, because the time that remains, besides work and various hobbies, is very short and the whirlpool in which they move does not give them proximity, the rational experiences bring disappointments rather than real ideas of a partnership with themselves. Everyone is marked by experiences from the past, everyone somehow has to carry their own package and nobody is really ready to open again. What remains is a kind of disposable society that takes on new relationships time and again, but without reacting to one’s own inner life and seriously reflecting on past relationships.

Back then, you fell in love, gave in to your feelings completely without thinking whether it was worth it, whether it was right or not. Back then, you were screaming, you were in love and everyone should know. Today it almost seems like a punishment if you want too much, if you express your feelings. In most cases, the other person is overwhelmed and has difficulty dealing with these outbursts of emotions. The consequence is: retreat! The relationship in its emergence has no chance to develop. Communication is neglected, openness, sincerity, all these important values, find no place in the buttoned heart, which must first remember how it once felt to love. On the other hand, too many disappointments leave no room for a friendly relationship. The person was there and is now gone. All the beautiful memories of a familiar time sink into anger, dejection and want to be forgotten as soon as possible.


And again, when we talk about love, we sometimes get the impression that it is a swearword, something that makes it impossible for us to feel out loud when we long for it. Our society aspires us to be strong, to function without showing any vulnerability. We may not yet be aware of the extent of this, but the melody of the future already plays the desperate tones of those who no longer dare to open up to a person, to express feelings because they have been hurt too much in the past. The answer is virtual love, robots that are used against loneliness and suggest love to people without hurting them. Or: Writing messages instead of meeting a person, communicating with them without really having to face them.

While »Romeo and Juliet« conquered our hearts many years ago, socially critical films like »Her« now find a place at the centre of the lonely soul world. And indeed, this is the truth. We meet people every day, we arrange to meet in the hope of finding love and actually have no sense of what moves the person sitting opposite. First of all it’s all about putting yourself in the best possible light, drawing attention, pointing out all the beautiful advantages, proving that the other side has made a really good catch at this very moment. How many times have I just listened and found that there was no exchange at all. One of my last encounters, the man said to me, »I don’t know how I feel about us, you don’t flirt or anything.« For a moment I felt like a machine that had to agree to flirt directly for a date, but such attractions develop all by themselves and with time as you get closer. But how much time remains to give a person the chance to get to know them? Isn’t the next opportunity that promises quick love already waiting at the next corner?

The fast-paced nature of our social structure leaves little room to engage with a single person, to find it interesting enough for it to go on for a few months. It is like fast food, which was eaten without further ado and never really taken apart. But you only discover the interesting ingredients when you take the time finding them.



If you are in the lucky position of having already found your partner in crime, you should remember every day that you hit the jackpot. As they say: hold on to your love and even if love changes, transforms itself in a kind of platonic connection, that is all that counts. Love remains a mystery, but I too adhere to my principles of honesty and openness, I believe that at some point it will feel real again when you face the exact person who feels the same way as much as oneself. So my buttoned up heart will never really be entirely buttoned up.


Excerpt from »Love and its Decay in Modern Western Society« – Erich Fromm

»Modern capitalism needs people who function smoothly in large numbers, who want to consume more and more, whose taste is standardized and can be easily predicted and influenced. It needs people who feel free and independent and think they have no authority, no principles and no conscience – and who are nevertheless willing to let themselves be commanded, to do what is expected of them and to fit smoothly into the social machinery; people who let themselves be led without the use of violence, who let themselves be led without a leader and who have no real goal other than to meet expectations, to keep moving, to function and to progress. What’s the result? Modern man is alienated from himself, his fellow human beings and nature. He has turned into a commodity and experiences his life forces as an investment, which has to bring him the greatest possible profit under the given market conditions. Human relationships are essentially those of alienated automatons. Everyone believes himself safe if he stays as close as possible to the herd and does not differ from the others in his thoughts, feelings and actions. But while everyone tries to be as close as possible to the rest, he remains completely alone and has a deep feeling of insecurity, fear and guilt, as it always arises when man is unable to overcome his separated self.«

»People capable of love under our present system are the exception in any case. Love is inevitably a marginal phenomenon in today’s western society, not so much because many activities exclude a loving attitude, but because in our society, which is mainly focused on production and yearning for consumer goods, only the non-conformist can successfully defend himself against this spirit. If love is the only sensible solution to the problem of human existence, it must be concluded that important and radical changes must be made in our social structure if love is to become a social phenomenon and not remain a highly individual marginal phenomenon.«