Varying shades of pink and red are overwhelming every aisle of every store right now. It seems like everything has taken on the shape of a heart: pillows, chocolates, pins, plushies, you name it! It’s that time of the year when we try to raise the population’s spirits after the end of the holiday season. Yep! It’s almost Valentine’s Day, but is love in the air?
With the constant development of technology, the internet has become a main method of communication. This has allowed relationships to start
and grow online, especially among Gen Z with 94% saying they use texts to talk with their peers. These advancements in technology have made a large portion of Gen Z tech savvy in comparison to older generations, leading some to believe that the younger generations rely on the internet too much and are becoming worse at making face-to-face connections.
Instead of “meet cutes”, people have turned to online dating which can lead to the swipe mentality, judging people by their looks only. This causes unrealistic expectations and an inability to make emotional, deeper connections. Even when relationships are made, 40% of Gen Z make themselves out to be healthier than they are on social media. These perfect images are easy to fake with loving captions and consistent posts, popular amongst young influencers who date each other for fame.
When more relationships are being faked and communication is increasingly difficult as the generations pass, a person can quickly accept that love is dying. However, it can be argued that it is simply changing and, if anything, is more alive than ever. Gen Z is one of the most accepting generations when it comes to different lifestyles and love, with a large number supporting LGBTQ+ and interracial relationships. Love has also moved away from being thought of as only romantic, “In fact, 55 percent of Gen Z and millennials say friendship is more important than a romantic relationship,” according to the Washington Post.
Love changes with time, but it will never die, so I asked 10 members of Gen Z to tell me their thoughts regarding love to help me prove it. I presented them with three questions:
- How do you define love?
- How do you show your love?
- Tell me about someone you love.
Here are some of their answers:
“It’s hard to define. Like how do you define the universe? It’s everything, it’s everywhere.”17 yr old, “How do you define love?”
“I love my snake because she’s beautiful and depends on me.”20 yr old, “Tell me about someone you love.”
“Gift giving! Giving meaningful, thoughtful gifts, paying attention when someone says something they like or want.”27 yr old, “How do you show your love?”
“I love my friend Sofia, she’s always there for me whenever I need her and she makes me feel wanted.”18 yr old, “Tell me about someone you love.”
“When I think of motherly love, I see unconditional and absolute love. A type of love where the hurt of the child hurts the mother equally. I think the way a mother feels about their kid is how a pet owner feels about their pet. I love my dog Marty and the excitement he exudes when he sees me allows me to see the connection of love we have. But I believe true love is when you are actively choosing to love everyday and this is romantic love. The type of love when you know it can go away so you keep trying to be a better and stronger version of yourself.”23 yr old, “Tell me about someone you love.”
“It’s a force that comes naturally and has the potential to do a lot of good and/or bad in whatever context it’s in, but all the same love is something everyone should have in their life.”19 yr old, “How do you define love?”
“Being able to be yourself without any form of judgment”24 yr old, “How do you define love?”
“Ah here we go … my dear dear friend who I crossed paths with a year ago has become the most beautiful thing in my entire life. He always ventures into my mind where I see glimpses of his eyes, his smile, .. I hear his stupid giggles and remember the moments we shared. They meant the world to me and still do. Hes very quiet and soft spoken .. he tends to do his own thing and is the most independent person I ever met. That was why loving him is so challenging. It’s like I stand on a beach and watch him along the shore from the top of a mountain. He really is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, that I’ve ever been obsessed with. The admiration like he’s my muse. In simple terms … he is that feeling of love that is divinity.”18 yr old, “Tell me about someone you love.”
“Love is an intense feeling that keeps you sane, comforts you and the people around you that requires mutual work.”16 yr old, “How do you define love?”
“The first way I show love is through attentiveness which is why I never use my phone on dates and hangouts with my significant other. My focus is devoted solely to those I love. Another love language I give is the balance of problem solving and comfort. If my girlfriend is stressed I will immediately give comfort to alleviate stress but once she’s ready I’ll try to help her find a solution.”23 yr old, “How do you show your love?”
Cover image from Getty Images