The Paradox of Love

Viktor Frankl and his second wife, Eleonore Schwindt.

We all know it: dating is hard. On the one hand it clears any ambiguity: you both know why you’re there; but on the other hand it raises the stakes, because you both know why you’re there. But online dating is a different story. I can’t account for all the possible reasons why online dating is especially hard but I think one significant reason is that every dating app is in the business of dating, not love. They provide a platform for people to meet but how useful is that platform if every aspect of its design from its colours to the way people show interest (i.e. swiping) is only to keep me on the app and ultimately pay for upgrades? It’s all counterintuitive.

Sometime this past summer I remembered a quote I found on Wikipedia years ago by Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and Auschwitz survivor:

[…] happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself[.]

– Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

As with happiness, so with love, I think. It sneaks up on us. The wave of a hand. The way someone calls our name to say goodbye, and they really mean it. Who knows what summons love?

A swipe right?

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