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Love in a More Modern Age: 12 Signs of What's Different and What's the Same as Before

Updated on January 18, 2018
heather92383 profile image

Heather has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Moravian College and has been freelance writing for more than 10 years.

What is love? Some people might believe that it's only a four letter word that means nothing; or next to nothing at all these days. Others believe that it's the only word they'll ever need to function in life. Money and success means very little unless you're in the greatest and deepest love of all time. At least, that's the mantra from every romantic comedy that Hollywood has ever spewed out in most recent years.

Old Hollywood romantic comedies and television shows depicted love and romance of the more chaste persuasion with women always being the subordinate to the strong dominant male character. As of 2018, the roles have sometimes been reversed as well as other significant changes. Overall, traditional and modern sensibility go hand-in-hand in the art of love in present and future times.

Here are 12 signs that love and romance in today's times has evolved, while other elements have remained somewhat intact. It's broken down into three categories of things that will never change, standards to live by in any relationship, and some necessary changes in today's world.

The possibilities might come as a surprise, while others will come as a relief. Read on to see where a your relationship might fit in on the list.

Never Changing Standards

Be Yourself When You're Together:

At the start of any romance, many people treat the first date like it was a job interview. They dress to the nines and discuss their best attributes to potential suitors. Everyone puts on a front during the first date. If they say they don't, they're one hundred percent lying. It's an unavoidable aspect of dating in the real world. Think about it. Would you rather hear about your latest Casanova's greatest achievements or his failings as man? If you were any reasonable person, you would choose the former option. Too much blunt honesty on a first date can usually frighten the faintest of hearts. Once you get past the job interview portion of dating, here comes the real hard part. Telling your new partner about who you truly are: warts and all. Will they like what they hear and see? Will they head for the hills? Only time will tell once you decide what comes next.

When it comes to being yourself, never shy away from the truth; unless you're a serial killer in the making. Don't pretend to like everything that they like because it will make you look bad when the truth comes out. Your partner could start to wonder what else you might have been lying about. Be upfront with your significant other. If you don't like a medium rare steak, tell them you prefer it well done. It's a tiny detail that could evolve into something else if you're not careful. The truth is much better than fiction. If you like comedy instead of horror movies, don't hide the fact and embrace your differences. Your relationship might be all the better for it.

Let things happen naturally:

Don't ever rush to the next step because it will make what comes after seem forced and unnatural. Just because one couple moved in together after three months doesn't make it right for you. Be in the moment with your partner for now before picking out wedding venues or apartments to move into together. Take your time and you just might get your wish sooner than you think.

Take the direct approach:

Be honest with your partner, but not too honest. You don't want to scare them off. Sometimes, full disclosure can border on way too much information. It's best to leave a little mystery in the relationship, especially if it's rather early in the process. You don't want to reveal the bigger parts of your story until you've had some time to get to know each other. In terms of honesty with your partner, if something is bothering you; please tell them in a tactful way. Don't let it fester to the point where you begin to resent the very sight of their existence. If they left the toilet seat up, tell them to put it down next time. Plain and simple. Don't let the small things become issues that can't be avoided.

Think of it as an adventure:

You just started dating someone new and you're eager to get to know them. Consider yourself Christopher Columbus and you're charting unexplored territory. Every woman or man wants to having a Romancing the Stone moment; minus the bad guys shooting at them scenario. Every couple wants to be able to get out of their surroundings and let their hair down just for the weekend or longer. Love in an exotic locale is an idea that never goes out of style. Popular destinations may change yearly, but the idea of getting away will always remain the same. Plan an impulsive getaway with your partner to help shake things up if you've been together for a long time, or at the start of something new.

Traditions That Never Get Old

Be romantic and subtle:

It's best to have your cake and eat too in the early stages of any relationship. Hold the door for your loved one; either gender. Pull out a chair. Don't be over the top though. It will show that you've watched too many romantic comedies. If your romantic gestures have too much pomp and circumstance, your grand plans will go over well like a lead balloon. Gauge how a people will react to something before going full tilt boogie and buying dozens of red roses when they could be allergic to them. Choose your actions carefully before racking up debt on your credit card.

Saying "I love you":

Who knew that three little words carried so much weight? Pretty much everybody, because once it's said you can never forget it. It's a bell that can't be forgotten. When it comes to saying it, never rush it along; especially if you don't mean it. That false sentiment makes it much worse. When it's said for the right reasons, those words carry much more significance. Choose the right time and use how you say it wisely. You and your partner could declare your love for each other three months or six months from now. There is no timetable. Do what is right for you; and not by what other dating websites suggest. Reality is on a different schedule to what Hollywood has in mind during a 90 minute romantic comedy. When it comes to love, take pressure off the table, especially if the person has a hard time declaring their feelings. Make them comfortable enough to say it back when they're ready. If they're never comfortable to do so, it's time to re-evaluate your relationship before you invent too much time into someone who might not feel the same as you do.

PDA isn't the Enemy:

Well, it's not always necessary for couples to openly grope each other in public, but a little hand holding goes a long way. It may be a simple act, but a little simplicity goes a long way to establish a meaningful connection. Women still like when their partners open the door for them or push their chair back for them at a restaurant. Many people believe that chivalry is dead, but it could use some work getting revived in this day and age. You can be affectionate with your partner; but there's no need to be overly flashy about it.

Step Away from the Technology and No One gets Hurt:

We're now in an age where everyone is usually glued to their cellphones or their social media pages. They're more concerned with how many likes they have; instead of what's in front of them. For one night, turn off your cellphones and talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend. Be old fashioned for a change. Previous generations managed without all of the hardware. You can do the same for one night. Earlier generations didn't have a cellphone or texting to do the talking for them. Sometimes, it's best just to pick up a phone and hear someone's voice. Even better, when you're looking at them and having a more in-depth conversation that the phone company won't eat up your minutes for.

Modern Day Changes and Realities

Break Past Bad Habits:

When it comes to relationships, many people come in with the baggage of past failed ones. If you say they don't have any baggage, they're lying to themselves and their partners. For example, your last relationship failed because one of the partners was unable to commit out of fear of getting hurt. For the next one, face your fears head on and forget about the consequences for the time being. If you were always the first one to make a move, take a step back and let your significant other take the reigns for a change. They might like that and it could help strengthen your relationship in the long run,

Don't get Your Signals Crossed:

You might be ready for a commitment, but your better half might not be. Don't force the issue if they're not ready to delve into it. That will never change no matter what era you are from. One half of a couple tended to get to the commitment stage faster than the other. Table the subject for now, but if you revisit it and they're still not ready. It's time to reevaluate your relationship before spending too time on something that might not progress any further.

Commitment Comes in all Forms:

Love doesn't always mean saying you're sorry, but it also means that a ring isn't a necessity anymore. With the divorce rate being so high, many couples forgo legally wedded bliss and remain committed without the red tape. Look at Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. They've been going strong for more than 3 decades and there will never be a ring on their collective fingers. Since 2015, same sex marriages was legalized in the U.S., which allowed all couples the right to marry whoever they choose to love. No matter what sexual orientation you are; love still shared its fair share of complications. You just have to learn to work on what makes your relationship tick and leave everything else to the so-called experts. When it comes to relationships, it's better to create your own traditions and leave everyone else's behind.

Staying Friends with an Ex:

Realize that sometimes even the greatest romances have an expiration date attached to them. If you wait too long, pretty soon you'll resent each other; especially if there was cheating involved. Best to leave as friends instead of enemies. If you choose to remain friends, try to bring a different type of love into your relationship, even if the romantic part died ages ago. It's recommended to have a separation period after the break-up, especially if it ended less than ideally. If you're able to run into your ex and feel the need to be friends, give it a shot. Just make sure that you've both moved on and have accepted your break-up. If you still feel bitter when you see them, talk with them briefly and make a discreet exit and just simply move on.

In the end, it might be 2018 according to your desk calendar, but love is still a many splendored thing in all its forms. Men still want to be deemed as gentlemen and treat their ladies with the respect that they deserve. Some women want to be worshipped like the goddesses they want to seen as by their men. Other women want to be viewed as equal to their partners, which might not always be the case.

Despite all of the misconceptions, everyone wants to be loved no matter how much they deny it. No one wants to spend their days alone, unless they choose to. That's why online dating seemed to be the way to go these days, because many people are scared to meet someone face-to-face unless they were carefully vetted. Once you find someone to meet in the real world, keep your expectations reasonably low because you might be surprised how much fun you actually had. If not, carefully look for the exits and run. A bad date is a bad date regardless if you were set online or by a matchmaker. It's the same in any era.

Love means never having to sacrifice an adventure, even if it's going to the grocery store.
Love means never having to sacrifice an adventure, even if it's going to the grocery store.
A new kind of love that brings new meaning what it means to be a family.
A new kind of love that brings new meaning what it means to be a family.
How can you move on from a failed relationship if neither of you will let go of the past?
How can you move on from a failed relationship if neither of you will let go of the past?

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      5 months ago

      Excellent advice.

      “They dress to the nines and discuss their best attributes to potential suitors. Everyone puts on a front during the first date.”

      “Be honest with your partner, but not too honest. You don't want to scare them off.”

      Essentially both of those statement can mean the same thing, A person who shines the light on their best attributes is still being honest. As you noted whenever someone is truly interested in being with someone they are going to do their best to win them over.

      At the start of most new relationships is an "infatuation phase".

      Everything you want to do they want to do. No one wants to do or say anything that might "blow it" for them to be with the object of their affections. The word "no" is seldom if ever used.

      Conversations and laughter flows easily, cards and token gifts are exchanged "just because", romantic plans and weekend getaways are the norm, sex is spontaneous, passionate, and off the charts!

      It's no surprised that an "inexperienced dater" would make the mistake of assuming they have found their "soulmate".

      The truth is we really don't start to reveal our "authentic selves" until after we feel (safe) that there is an emotional investment or commitment or we've lost interest. Essentially we're at a point where we don't believe there's much risk of losing our mate at this point or we simply don't care if they do leave. We feel we can now RELAX.

      Note: This not only happens with relationships but most people are the same way with a new job, new car, or any "new" items they get.

      During those first months we bend over backwards to preserve whatever (new) item we have. After we're "comfortable" we slack off.

      The (experienced dater) learns to accept the first 3-6 months of a new relationship is part of the "infatuation phase" and enjoy it for what it is. They however do not allow themselves to become overly emotionally invested because they know you really don't start to know one another until you have some major disagreements or touch upon one another's boundaries and "deal breakers".

      Once that happens you're in a positon to know if you're compatible.

      The bottom line is these days too many people want to "fast forward" through the dating and courtship phase in order to cement having an "exclusive relationship". They really HATE the dating process.

      Most people allow "impulsive connections" and "happenstance" to dictate their relationship choices.

      It's the equivalent of going shopping without a list!

      Dating is suppose to be fun and enjoyable way of getting to know someone better. Initially one wants to know if they're compatible and enjoy each other's company. The next step as you pointed out is to allow things to (naturally evolve) as you conduct due diligence.

      Once again too often people want to rush to exclude people so instead of having fun on the date and asking a couple of questions over time during several dates they opt to "interrogate people".

      It's no wonder so many of them complain about not having second dates. They don't now how to relax and enjoy themselves!

      A second date usually happens when both people had a great time. First dates should be easy going, flirtatious, and discovering what each other likes or there favorite whatever.

      No one is asking you to decide on whether to cut the red wire or the blue wire! It's just a date! Relax and have fun!

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