"Hamare zamane me ye sab nahi hota tha," I am sure that most of you must have heard this sarcastic comment from your parents when it comes to modern age love & relationships. But have you ever tried to understand, what exactly makes them so furious about today's relationships? And what was so different in their era of love? Are they too philosophical or there is truly something substantial that stops them in accepting today's generation's love life?
Generally, what we assume is that they are quite old fashioned and not willing to accept the cultural shifts, but guys, that's not the only case. It's a fact that the kind of love they have felt, the relationships they have been into and the feelings they have lived in their times were different that we don't have any idea about.
So, I am trying to bring out the differences between today's love & relationship and our parents' era. I am sure; it will help you understand your parent's attitude and reactions better about your love life.
Here it goes!
Today, even if you try hard, you won't be able to find people who never had any crush, fell in love or never had any boyfriend/girlfriend before they got married. But those days it was completely other way round. There were very few fortunate people who could find love of their lives. That's why the love used to be considered as Lifetime Achievement Award for those who could find it, and they were seen as most lucky people around.
It was a period when neither there were internet, social networking sites, dating apps available nor society was so open that boys and girls can hang out together. In fact, most of the those time's parents were not in favour of sending their wards to co-ed institutions realizing the potential dating threats. The only option left for young boys & girls to know each other used to be marriage ceremonies, mutual friend's birthday parties or family functions that too under strict surveillance of some family member.
So, the fact is that most of our parents never had any opportunity to even develop crush for anyone, forget about the love.
Those days love was never a social status to be announced publicly on Facebook by tagging the partner. Making an announcement about the relationship in public was certainly the biggest nightmare in life for lovebirds in that era.
It was altogether a different period when love used to be the most beautiful secret that one can have in their lives. It was a divine fire burning silently in two hearts but highly inflammable & dangerous if anyone else come to know about it anyhow. Nobody used to share about it with anyone (not even best friends) until they do not require any support to exchange the messages with each other.
It was a time when expressing love for someone was the most challenging task on the earth. Not because of the fear of rejection rather the threat of being labelled as 'characterless' or 'aawara'. It may sound hilarious now, but it was the weird truth behind the fact why a lot of young boys/girls never admitted their love to anyone. They were rather happy being 'Friend zoned' than losing the person forever whom they fell in love with.
Those days, saying "I love you" to anyone was like losing your virginity because it was a firm belief among people that, "love does not happen ever again in the same life." It may sound too filmy & unrealistic but this was the real truth of those times when love was considered to be pure & divine. If anyone ever dares to express it the only way to do it used to be writing a love letter and sending it to concerned person by exchanging books. There was hardly anyone who had the courage to say it out loud to anyone, unlike today.
It was not a time when you can convey your feelings through WhatsApp or messenger by just hitting a tap on your smart-phone. There was no way you could convey your feelings, share emotions or even pass regular messages to your partner if you do not have a trusted messenger (just like police informer), a role that was usually played by a common best friend or a sibling.
This messenger used to be only bridge between love birds so, he/she used to enjoy celebrity status in this relationship, and no one could ever afford to annoy this person at any cost. It was almost next to impossible to be in a relationship without having this person in the scene. He/she used to be a necessary evil that no one could avoid at all.
Can you imagine a relationship these days where you don't have an opportunity to speak, meet or spend time with your boyfriend/girlfriend for months, still believing 'everything is fine'? Can you wait for months to get a reply to your love letter without going crazy? Can you remain sane for years in a distance relationship without having any communication with your partner without having a fear of losing him/her?
I am sure; you can't. But there are plenty of such unbelievable love stories of our parent's era when nothing could ever disturb the commitment between two souls who expressed their love for each other. Those days, commitment in a relationship was not a choice or merely a social status of relationship at all.
The relationships were not so complicated and practical those days. In Indian society, being in love and relationship used to be a one-time life opportunity. There was no concept of hanging out with many girls/ boys over a period of time to check the compatibility, understanding & other factors in the name of dating.
Once you fell in love with someone and started moving around, people started believing that you have plans to get married. It used to become a moral obligation for both of them and considered to be a logical conclusion if there are no serious hurdles involved. It was not a time of even imagining 'Live-in' (which is very common these days) in a relationship. The only way to live together was getting married.
It's very common to get into multiple relationships these days if things do not work. Break-ups & betrayal stories are so common today, but those days, there was hardly any space for such things. At least, it was not so common the way it is today because love was not a necessity or a mandatory possession to have. People used to understand the difference between attraction, crush and love.
So, there were stories of heart breaks when situations do not allow two people to live together due to social, financial or cultural challenges but there was no tradition of break-ups, especially, because someone else could replace the previous one. Those days the love used to be considered as the most trustworthy relationship where there was no place for betrayal.
It's not that there was no physical attraction involved in a relationship or our parents had great control over their physical desires, but yes, sex was the last thing that they could ever think of before getting married. Even if they had any opportunity to come closer, they used to respect that thin line boundary (mutually defined) before marriage.
It was not at all a period when people used to get into relationships just because all of their friends were into it or they needed someone (anyone) to satisfy their emotional & physical (read sexual) needs. They used to consider sex as a very special event of their lives to save for someone very special (that is always debatable today) but yes, those days sex was not an integral part of a relationship just like today.
The love has never been a calculative decision those days considering the social, physical & financial (in case of guys) status of people. It was not even a life goal to achieve at any cost before settling down with someone as a life partner. Neither it was an easy way out to satisfy sexual desires in a dignified way nor a social status to announce publically for proving ourselves in demand. It was never a mind business; it was entirely about the heart – the feelings, the emotions, the loyalty and much more.
Those days the mind had no role to play into love, it was all about an inseparable connection between two pure souls not merely two bodies who did not require any reason to fell in love with each other again and again. It may sound philosophic and unrealistic but guys, that's the true love which seems unbelievable. There are untold stories around when people never got married if they could not find the love of their life. They decided to live with the beautiful memories of their love, and they don't have any regrets about it.
PS: Writer's Note: I do not intent to hurt anyone's feelings by pointing out at certain differences in between changes in idea, perception, and form of love & relationship to the best of my knowledge & understanding of the subject. I may be totally wrong in some of my observations, but that's completely unintentional. I do believe that there are a lot of young people who live the same spirit of love that has been considered pure and divine.
If you have anything to share with me, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.