Psychologist Sabina Read reveals if romance still exists in the modern dating world.

Is true love really a medieval concept, or has it been replaced once and for all by weekend flings and one-night stands?

Rather than pondering this thought on our own, SHESAID enlisted the help of psychologist Sabina Read to give us a little insight into the world of modern dating, and keeps us all hopeful for the future. *Queue those positive vibes*

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In an age where we all want instant gratification, aka, sex, is true romance really possible anymore?

“Romance means something different to each of us and of course what one person considers romantic behaviour can be meaningless or even a turn off to someone else. However if being romantic is defined as anything conducive to or characterised by the expression of love then romance is far from dead because at our very core we are hard-wired to love, to be loved and to belong. While technology has introduced new ways to meet a potential partner, the very human parts of us still delight in and desire the need to express love – in person, and through the spoken and the written word.”

What are a few different ways to keep the spice up in a romantic relationship?

“The best way to keep spice in a relationship is to keep the emotional connection alive. Being emotionally intimate requires both partners to speak in positive and supportive ways to each other and about each other. Physical touch is also important but does not necessarily mean sexual touch.

Finding ways to rub your partners back or give them a kiss and hug hello and good-bye helps maintain a sense of togetherness too. When we create meaningful rituals and practice emotional intimacy we are more inclined to desire and practice physical intimacy.”

How Has Love Changed: From Romeo and Juliet To Tinder

Psychologist, Sabina Read

What’s your take on a little game-play when you’re dating someone?

“It can be tempting to play games when dating however such behaviour can backfire if it means we don’t communicate what we are genuinely feeling or wanting. It can be helpful to understand what is driving our game playing…saving face, protecting our ego, impressing mates, or fear of rejection? We all have wounds we are trying to protect – consciously or unconsciously – and it’s natural to feel vulnerable when we open ourselves up to a partner or potential partner.

However in the long term, both the individuals and the partnership will be better served by bringing our authentic and vulnerable selves to the table and inviting our date to do the same, instead of playing games which at best can be confusing and at worst can be hurtful.”

Do you think Tinder and online dating have played a role in the death of old-fashioned courtship?

“In some ways, online dating shares similarities with more traditional dating. In both cases, each partner needs to be clear what they are looking for. If you are both seeking a one night stand, and this is communicated early on, then bingo, you have a match! However if one person is recklessly swiping left and right in search of a hook up while the other is desiring a longer term connection, then incorporating more traditional dating rituals may be more challenging.

The take home message here is to drop the games and communicate what you are hoping for.  Both men and women who are looking for love will still likely relish the dating process if they are wanting commitment.”

Are there any dating rules that just don’t fit into modern times? The man paying for the bill, for example?

“The best dating rules are the ones that the two daters devise themselves! There is no one size fits all and many women and men will support sharing costs where one partner may pay for drinks and a movie while the other may foot the dinner and taxi bill. Every stage in the dating process provides an opportunity for each partner to share something of themselves and learn important information about the other.”

What do you think dating and relationships will look like in the next 10-20 years? 

“Our universal need to love and be loved transcends culture, technological advances, gender and sexual orientation. While online dating is certainly a growing trend, and many couples now rely on technology and social media to communicate, our age-old hopes for finding a partner who accepts us warts-and-all is unlikely to change.”

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