Sunday, May 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Have We Invested in Intimacy?

By Tia Martello

In an era where technology reigns supreme and the desire for immediate satisfaction prevails, the search for genuine connections has become more pressing than ever before. In a rapidly evolving world, the conventional criteria for measuring relationship success are undergoing a major transformation. As we navigate the complexities of modern romance, a fascinating question emerges: could intimacy be the new currency of our generation? 

As we venture into the intricate realm of contemporary romance, it becomes increasingly clear that the traditional notions of love and connection are undergoing a significant transformation. In the era of current intimacy, dating apps have become the go-to method for finding love. With their enticing promise of a vast array of potential partners just a swipe away, it’s no wonder they have captured the attention of millions. However, beneath the surface lies a harsh reality – the quality of these connections often falls short of our expectations. The superficial allure of dating apps is undeniable. The convenience they offer, allowing us to browse through countless profiles from the comfort of our own homes, is a tempting proposition. But as we delve deeper into the world of online dating, we soon realise that quantity does not always equate to quality. One of the main issues with dating apps is the lack of genuine connection. In a digital landscape where appearances are everything, it’s easy for individuals to present themselves in a way that may not accurately reflect who they truly are.

In the continuous pursuit of work goals and personal triumphs, it’s easy to miss the tremendous effect that intimacy may have on our professional lives as well. The ability to make genuine connections has far-reaching implications outside the sphere of romantic relationships, including those of collaboration and teamwork. Networking today is all about making real connections with people rather than just trading business cards and adding each other on social media platforms. Employers are beginning to appreciate staff who not only perform well, but also foster a positive and supportive work environment through their interpersonal skills. 

Intimacy, in this context, extends beyond the physical to encompass emotional, intellectual, and spiritual connections. It involves understanding and being understood, sharing vulnerabilities, and building trust. In a society that often prioritises individualism, investing in such connections can be seen as a radical act. Despite the clear value of close relationships, today’s hectic lifestyles and the temptation to present an idealised version of ourselves, can stifle genuine interactions. Real connections have trouble getting off the ground when people are afraid to let their guard down.

Those reaping the benefits are those who recognise the transformational potential of closeness. The ability to maintain closeness is crucial in a culture where short attention spans and fast satisfaction prevail. As we redefine success in our relationships, prioritising depth over quantity, the rewards of investing in real connections extends beyond the romantic sphere. In a turbulent world, connections can provide support, strength, and joy. 

While dating apps and chance encounters may provide short-term gratification, the real value resides in the building of closeness. Often our generation struggles to adapt to the changing nature of romantic love. Genuine friendships, relationships, and bonds are life’s most precious commodities.