Di Michele Calamaio
<<What is love?>> was wondering Haddaway in one of his best songs recorded during the mid-90s. In the same way, the writer Robert Heinlein, with his famous quote, tried to give an answer: <<Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own>>. Happy and fulfilled with that? Of course not. Over centuries the basic concept of “love” has gone through several changes and millions of renovations, but has always kept the same shape: ability to bring happiness right where there was only emotional prison waiting to be set free from people’s feelings, greatness in the process of recognizing how easy would have been spreading out an hand ready to help out and strength in recovering conflict situations on the point of leading to an irremediable rift. But if on one side Heinlein carries on the fragile point of view of love, that goes around the importance of pursuing an happiness capable of breaking down cultural and social walls all over the world itself, on the other the Beatles have refreshed this idea throughout the decades with their revolutionary <<Love is all you need>>: its new concept has achieved an higher level on intelligence that has led to the enrichment of everyone’s cultural background, as much as emotional processes have been put more in practice, turning this theoretical phenomenon into a much more pragmatic one. So, how is the new modernization working? Simple! First step: getting over the problem of distance by using the new technological tools capable of recreating that atmosphere of “physical proximity”, even without losing that little bit of magic also needed when memory has a “loving” breakdown; step two: always keep each other heart’s in shape, in order to let long phone calls do their job and text messages benefit of the time spent for the loved ones. After all, everything looks like a big “shape sorter”: the more effort is put into a relationship, the more results will be pointed out at the end of it; and, if by chance, long-distance relationships have found the way out of “old times problems”, a great “thanks” must be surely given to technology.
Love 2.0 nowadays: bringing out an example that gives voice to the future
And thus, what’s the best part of nowadays society? The ability of putting easily in practice what the past has taught us over years of intellectual and social decadence and what the future is asking us to develop day by day: more opportunities for happiness, either way expressed in friendship or love. But what really impresses our coming up generations is the necessity to find a modern road that seems to appear irreparably abstract, but desperately needed: that technology that, indeed, allows love to jump onto an higher floor, to turn the tables around and build up that “2.0 spot” by now totally immune from that past. The perfect example given by this upcoming suggestion is offered by the loving story of Giuseppe and Markéta, a couple born from the Erasmus Experience and grown over the choice of entering this new world of love, challenging themselves firstly and winning over distance afterwards.
1. Giuseppe and Markéta, how did your love start?
G & M: Good question actually. Well, we were having our own Erasmus experience in Szeged, Hungary, and we were enjoying one of the many parties ESN usually organized for international students; you know, in order to be polite, you always go say hi to your faculty friends colleagues and, just by chance, we locked eyes with each other frequently until we started talking. Also, since we had friends in common, it was pretty usual for us to go out together and hang out: from that point on, we started dating far more often until we definitely became a couple, knowing how hard would have been to continue it after the end of the mobility period but also aware of how our love was stepping up day by day.
2. Is it still possible nowadays to start a long-distance relationship? If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages?
G & M: For sure nowadays is more possible than before, thanks to the new medias that always keep up with the times: even if we are far away from each other, indeed, through a simple Skype video call we can see each other and share every intimate moment we wish, or simply thanks to a Whatsapp call we can definitely keep in touch and hear from each other without even being charged. Could we have any better? I don’t think so. And what we also want to underline is the impact that love has had on our lives: you don’t plan to fall in love for someone, you don’t choose the person you want around you for the rest of your life but it just happens, randomly, and you can’t do anything else except admitting to yourself that maybe “love at first sight” might exist, even when long-distance relationship takes place. Probably the worst disadvantage of this case is the fact that this love remains “intangible” for the entire duration of this technological approach, while, instead, it might need a bit more of pragmatism in stronger feelings like supporting your partner after an hard day or simply caring about your lover with an ordinary hug that would totally make his day. However, on the other side of the coin sharing traditions, cultures, food and different ways of living put couples like ours even closer and represent a big advantage: the pleasure of discovery grows bigger little by little and everything becomes more intense after a while, since we wouldn’t have “boring periods” between our short visits.
3. Are you guys planning a future together? In this kind of relationship, must you be more realistic or you’re “allowed to dream” thanks to modern technologies?
G & M: Yes, we are surely planning to have a future together and I can also add that, in this kind of relationship, there is much more “freedom” in allowing us to dream: no limits, no barriers, no walls put in between us, since we don’t know anything about our future, which basically means taking out only the best part of it without regrets and not living from day to day without a goal. So, the only thing left for the ones who live the same situation as ours is waiting: you can hope to go through hard moments, you can wish to do your best when time seems to be up but you must dream, you must keep it up, you must fight for your beliefs, even when they only look so far away, while they are much closer instead.