The nature of relationships is changing, with the internet now the second most common way for couples to meet. Attitudes towards online dating have also become more positive, with many accepting it as a legitimate way to meet new people. However, love as a psychological emotion hasn’t changed. So what would Jung make of relationships in the 21st Century? In a world where Tinder is responsible for a growing number of marriages, it is important that young couples learn how to navigate a rapidly changing approach to relationships.
One way in which relationships have changed in modern years is terms of the status between the male and female, as well as the rise of same-sex couples. Among younger people especially, it is expected that both members of a monogamous relationship are equal. This allows couples to grow as individuals, so that they could achieve the Jungian ideal of individuation and transcend collective norms, even within a relationship.
However, with the reduction of human beings to a dating profile page, it can be easy to lose the humanity. For an online flirtation to develop into the kind of intimate relationship that Jung ultimately believed in as a key component of happiness, then conversations need to be focused on viewing your conversation partner as having a human soul. Get to know their purpose and life goal, so that you can determine whether you are the person to help them reach their potential.
Part of the increase of online dating is the rise in how frequently young people are traveling. Apps like Tinder are a great way to meet someone in a city or country where you don’t know anybody. This, though, has led to an increase in long distance relationships, with 14 million American couples describing themselves as being in one.
Jung considered making the unconscious conscious to be the key aim of humanity. This involves also becoming conscious of the needs of your partner, which means forming a spiritual connection with them. This can be difficult when much communication occurs online and from a distance. To overcome this, Jung would suggest meeting as often as possible, but, when online, talking about deep and important subjects, such as life goals and worldviews. He summed this up when he said that men and women “both seek a psychic relation to the other.” Pursuing this psychic connection through deep conversations will help to maintain the intimacy of a physical relationship, leading to a more spiritual attachment.
What Carl Jung would make of Tinder is anyone’s bet. However, it seems he would be concerned that social media removes the humanity from social interactions. He may also worry that modern relationships are shallow and lack the spiritual connection of relationships of the past. As such, when communicating online, try and see the soul of your love interest and to connect deeply and spiritually as much as possible.
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