Old Love vs Modern Love



With batting eyelids and shivering lips they stared into each other’s eyes. As the camera panned towards the right side of the screen, two flowers were thrust against each other and the soft romantic music in the background set the tone for one to imagine what might have followed next. And that is how old love blossomed and paved the way for modern love. For modern love is all about pace, independence and direct expression of emotions. There are no allegories or understood implications and the meeting of flowers is not required as a cover to wrap the finer details. On a serious note, the manifestation and expression of love, whether in popular media or society in general, has transformed and changed over the years.  Old love implies lasting loyalty, sacrifices and lifelong commitment. On the other hand, modern love lays emphasis on personal growth, wants and happiness. So let this Valentine’s Day be the perfect day to contemplate on which school of love you choose to follow, or if you strategically decide to mix in a dash and a bit of both.

Old Love

Rama-Sita, Lakshmana in exile in the Dandaka forest – Infinite Eyes/Flickr

As the name suggests, old love is how generations before us understood and sustained love. From grandparents and parents, to acquaintances, neighbors and in books and movies, we have seen how it was extremely normal for couples to grow old together. To sacrifice for each other, to shy away from public displays of affection. Old love was when partners agreed to commit themselves selflessly to each other, no matter what the circumstances and pressures. Giving up on each other was a rarity.

This kind of love though called ‘old’ doesn’t essentially imply that it only existed in the past. But it does mean that in today’s modern times, it is hard to find such individuals who believe in this conceptualization and manifestation of love.

Suggested Read: Good Old Days of Loving

Modern Love


Quite contrary to old love, modern love is about open and clear expressions. There are no underlying assumptions between partners. What one feels and thinks is openly communicated as the idea of sacrificing for the other or holding back for the sake and success of the other no longer is encouraged. Partners confess their needs, wants and love directly to each other. 

Self-love and internal peace are placed much higher than surrendering oneself. Modern love is thus, very akin to the modern generation’s thought process. It doesn’t necessarily make it selfish, but it definitely shies away from the idea that to truly love someone, one has to give up on self. Of course, there is an emotional connection and there are strong feelings involved. However, none of those overpower the importance of personal space.  The fairy tale is thus not dependent on finding a Prince Charming or Princess Beautiful and living a never ending happily ever after.  It is in fact, acknowledging that finding the right partner is only one of the many aspects of living a fulfilled and meaningful life. There is no compulsion or social stigmatization when after a period of time the couple no longer want to spend the rest of their lives with each other.  

Technology and Social Media


One of main reasons for the advent of modern love is often attributed to the increasing influence and use of technology and social media. Relationships today are a combination of real and virtual realities. Dating apps, as well as, a series of social media platforms have made it possible and much easier for love to blossom between total strangers. Also, it has helped in knowing each other better through texting and calls. Unlike earlier times, where couples would rarely have enough chances of communication, in today’s age and time, there are umpteen ways to get and keep in touch with others.  

The internet along with other technologies has made it possible for people to meet and communicate with each other across the globe. Freedom and means to express oneself has paved the way for partners to better understand and spend time with each other, in spite of geographical and physical constraints. 

Gender Roles


Modern love also owes its existence to the changing gender roles. Women were often relegated to eye candy or arm candy roles in earlier times. Their main role consisted of taking care of the husband and family. Women were considered to not have strong opinions but follow trails and the leadership of the man of the house. More importantly, they had little financial independence. Perhaps, because of this women compromised far more in a relationship. 

However, over the years, women have established themselves in various spheres. They have gained financial, emotional, social and cultural independence.  And therefore, women no longer find it acceptable or convenient or compulsory to toe the line in a relationship.  They have increasingly become aware that their allegiance lies first to their personal and emotional wellbeing.  

Also, with better education and more job opportunities, thanks to technology, women have assumed a far more significant role in the social and cultural landscape. And hence, they are the key game changers in modern love too. 

Societal Changes


Both with technology and women empowerment, there have also been overall changes and shifts in societal behavior and perception. Society by and large is now more accepting of divorces or single parents.  Live-in relations are not scandalous anymore and casual dating is increasingly becoming the accepted norm to finding the true love of one’s life. 

Cultural and societal changes too have therefore been instrumental in the understanding of love. There is less judgment or social pressure to continue a relationship if it is less than satisfactory. People are okay with moving on and finding and meeting other people if their love stories do not work out.

Relationship Adjustments  


Finally, the core relationship between couples or partners have undergone changes too. In old love, couples understood what was unsaid and there was a strong, silent yet solid affection and belonging that they felt towards each other. They stuck around for each other and believed in repairing and nurturing their relationship.  They forgave much easily and let go too often. They probably had bigger hearts for they ignored the glitches and sought to do whatever it took to be together for life. 

In modern love, on the other hand, couples are perhaps a little less tolerant. They aim for personal satisfaction and happiness first, because they believe that only when the self is happy can the relationship survive and flourish. They are willing to take more risks and walk out of a relationship, because they know that there are more options and that they can hopefully find someone who is more compatible. However, they love and express their love fiercely, and have no qualms about displaying their affections in front of others.    

Old love vs Modern love

Old love vs Modern love-06

Which brings us to the conclusion, is old love better than modern love? A seemingly tough call to make since both the forms of love are but an extension of the times in which they have developed and evolved. However, on Valentine’s Day and for that matter on any other day, it is important to realize that love is after all one of the most beautiful feelings ever. It is also one of the most personalized feelings that is intrinsically connected to the personality and character of the lovers.  And thus, the way one person loves and expresses love is most likely to be different from another.  

Whether it be old love or modern love, the foundation on which both stand are the foundations of love itself. In old times, modern love stories existed, and in modern times, old love stories exist too. Which kind of a romantic are you? Well, it is up to you to find your niche, swag and corner that you would make in the heart of the person that you love the most in the entire world!

Suggested Read: The Only Thing We Never Get Enough of is Love – A Valentine’s Day Special

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