Dating in the Covid Era
“It’s better to wake up alone and know you’re alone than to wake up
next to someone and feel lonely.” Lib Ullman
The human is a social creature by nature; People feel lonely when there is a failure in the quality of social relationships. Being alone means that one person is not with another person. This is about objective social separation. The feeling of loneliness is a subjective experience, which can also be experienced in the company of other people. People can be alone, without feeling lonely, or feel lonely in a crowded society.
In the book of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince, the prince says
he feels lonely in the desert without humans; Then the serpent answers that one
can feel loneliness even among humans. Similarly, poet Dalia Ravikovic said the
greatest loneliness she felt was in a crowded communal dining room.
Loneliness, then, exists wherever there is a social relationship. Therefore, it is likely that the chemical chemistry of the existence of the human race. Already in the story of creation in the Bible, God said: “It is not good for man to be alone” – and the solution to this was the creation of woman.
Loneliness is usually valued negatively because it has an involuntary detachment from key social relationships.
That is why people living alone tend to feel more lonely – but this is not necessarily the case. The philosopher Michel de Montagne praises loneliness as allowing for a present knowledge of ourselves: “It is good for a man to have a wife, children and property, but God forbid he should call them in such a way that all his happiness depends on them.
“Let it be all his own, without a foothold to another, a place where he can rule his true freedom, a place which will be his safe haven and abode for his solitude.”
Many wonder if loneliness is a social epidemic that has expanded greatly in recent decades, and indeed most researchers argue that loneliness has grown in modern society (despite the technological tools that enable visual communication), but some say this claim has no empirical basis.
There is also a debate as to whether loneliness changes with age, and if so in which direction. In this context, the empirical findings seem to indicate that loneliness, like other personality traits, develops in the form of an inverted bell – there is a decrease in the rate in childhood to adolescence, and from this age to adulthood (around the early seventies) the level of loneliness remains fairly stable. There is often an increase in the rate of loneliness.
More articles on dating in the Covid era
The damage of loneliness
“The loneliness and feeling that you are not wanted is the most terrible poverty.” Mother Theresa
There is no arguing that loneliness is a first-rate social problem that causes damage to our mental and physical health. Studies show that loneliness significantly increases the chance of premature death: it is more deadly than obesity, and its health risk equals the risk of smoking, alcoholism and lack of exercise.
Compared to non-individuals, individuals have more heart problems, and their blood pressure level is higher. These people are less happy, less satisfied, more pessimistic and prone to depression; their level of interpersonal hostility is higher, and their sleep is less relaxed.
But like many other negative emotions, loneliness is of positive value as long as it is short-lived, or done voluntarily; in such a case loneliness allows for comparison with desirable social relationships and increases their value.
Indeed, sometimes we seek to be alone. But when the isolation lasts a long time, it can cause a feeling of emptiness, and become unbearable. Self-fulfillment and happiness require a supportive social environment, but also the ability to detach from this environment from time to time.
Loneliness on the web
“For the most part, I feel most lonely after a full day of chatting and chatting with people. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels it.” A woman who often surfs the internet
The internet and social networks create a fast and superficial connection between people, thus significantly reducing the possibility of deep and long-term relationships. Unsurprisingly, this intensifies the problem of loneliness – after all, loneliness is not created by the lack of connections, but by the lack of significant social connections.
William Dershevich criticizes the current broad concept of friendship, as perceived by Facebook users, where a person can have thousands of “friends”. According to him, once we befriend everyone, we forget what true friendship is.
Dershiewicz claims that in the past friendship was perceived as a rare, expensive and hard-to-obtain commodity. A true friend is completely different from the superficial and fake friends that can be found on social media.
However, the concept of friendship has changed from a deep relationship, from something people share with each other, to a superficial experience that people embrace in their electronic loneliness. In these digital enclaves we have stopped thinking of other people as having personal uniqueness, and we have turned them into a multitude within which no details can be discerned.
This is why the more people we know, the more lonely we are. However, many superficial virtual connections can be maintained, as they do not require much investment of resources.
Another disturbing aspect of our online existence, which Dershiewicz points out, is the extent to which people are willing, and even eager, to manage their private lives in public.
The value of friendship lies mainly in the uniqueness of the relationship – and social networks like Facebook lack this uniqueness. Dershiewicz admits that Facebook has advantages in making connections between people, especially friends from the past with whom the connection has been lost, but claims that this was done at the cost of flattening the identity into information about simple details.
Friendship is built by investing resources that are limited by their very nature: time and energy. For example, investing in shared activities and listening to friends’ stories, hopes, beliefs, pleasures and troubles. How can you do that when you have 500 or 5,000 “friends”? Intimate friendship requires patience, dedication, sensitivity, gentleness and above all – time. According to Dershiewicz, we gave our hearts to machines, and now we are turning ourselves into machines.
Has the network intensified the loneliness? This is a complex issue, for which there are conflicting findings. The network can help many build and maintain a social life, and this is especially true in the case of the elderly, people with various physical disabilities and people who belong to groups that suffer from a negative social stigma.
The long-term effects of Facebook on friendship and loneliness are still unclear, although most of the communication done through social networks seems superficial, because “friends” being gathered there as if they were stamps. The key aspect of our conduct is to understand how to use the web as an adjunct to our out-of-network experiences, rather than as a substitute for material social interactions.
Love and isolation while at Corona
Rapid change is the clear expression of the restless and frivolous modern society, which is based on over-consumption and over-production of disposable objects. We are addicted to innovations / thrills / quick gratifications that flood our lives. What’s more, in our current society, there is a greater impact on transient superficial events than on ongoing constitutive events.
Belonging to a meaningful relationship that underlies coping with loneliness ensures that we are not left alone. The saying, “Trouble for many, half consolation,” also expresses not only joy for the troubles of others, but even more so the importance of social belonging in reducing grief.
Mutual help and mobilization for others in crisis situations, as we see today in American society, stems, among other things, from a sense of belonging to a human framework with which we identify and which is a source of support for us. Belonging to the homeland, city of residence, family or group of friends, are of great value in personal blossoming.
A meaningful relationship gives stability to our lives and strengthens the weight of the long-term aspects. This is especially true in times of crisis, such as that of the corona plague, in which existential questions take the place of the more superficial aspects of life.
When we are isolated from other people and from many activities as part of the race for life, we can look at our lives in a more comprehensive and deeper way. Personal, social and national priorities may change in light of the more significant weight in depth and in the long run. Quality must have greater weight than quantity.
The corona plague can also allow for a reassessment of our romantic relationship. It is known, for example, that young people’s trips abroad are a good measure of the quality of their relationship. When couples are together 24/7, then, as in other challenging times, the shortcomings and advantages of each spouse are sharpened. Or in parting
The corona plague can be used as a similar measure. The great physical closeness between the couple and the reduction of the weight of the marginal things, can lead to the strengthening of the relationship, for example through bringing another child into the world, but also to weakening the relationship that can be expressed in divorce.
A crisis can open our eyes to our value behavior and our priorities, but our real test is whether we can indeed maintain the value change in our behavior and our priorities even in routine days, when the superficial and immediate outweigh the deep and lasting.
Finally, can marriage lead to loneliness? The answer is definitely yes. It happens when a person loses his uniqueness and personal blossom in favor of the relationship. Such a rash requires, as de Montagne noted, the existence of a personal space in which the person can also be alone. Being alone, in this case, will not lead the person to loneliness, but will prevent it.