Last update: 16 March, 2022
Liquid love is an interesting concept enunciated by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman.
This poetic but disconsolate image contains a reality that seems to be quite common today: the fragility of ties.
An idea linked to the essence of today's society in which the ephemeral is valued too many times, the punctual consumerism that satisfies a momentary need which is then discarded.
We are not referring only to interpersonal relationships, but also to the relationship we establish with ourselves, or what Bauman himself calls “the liquidity of self-love”.
To love another person in a mature way, one must first love oneself.
Lack of self-esteem and self-love, whereby we end up losing others, is a constant in today's society.
Let's delve into this interesting concept of liquid love. A love that is increasingly present in our society and of which we must be aware.
Liquid love and individuality
Establishing a strong bond isn't easy for many people. It requires a sense of responsibility and commitment that you may not be willing to assume.
It is also possible that the fear factor and even a personal immaturity take over, but it is impossible to conceive a true, solid, stable and long-term relationship.
Bauman himself explains that many relationships today are "connections" rather than "relationships". We are no longer just talking about the primacy of new technologies and social networks, which unite us with more people in the moment we choose.
This concept goes further. Individualism seeks only to satisfy specific needs with a beginning and an end; hence the idea of liquid love, of emotions that cannot be held back and that slip fleetingly from the hands until they disappear.
We live in a dynamic world where the real sometimes joins the virtual, a liquid modernity where many things seem to get out of hand.
We form unstable relationships because our society seems to enhance more flexible interactions. And we don't just talk about relationships, we also think about the education of the little ones.
We offer them numerous toys, technologies, we establish a dynamic based on blackmail for which each goal achieved corresponds to a new gift.
We drop them almost involuntarily into a consumer society lacking in values and we raise individuals who become tyrants, who do not recognize limits and who, somehow, they also end up becoming liquid themselves.
Their friendships are born on social networks, and to close one they have to do is click on "block".
The importance of self-love to fight liquid love
People are not consumer goods, nor do we have a planned obsolescence like any household appliance. We think, feel and love. But we must always start from ourselves, seeing ourselves as people worthy of love.
Liquid love always leaves us with a sense of emptiness, hungry and deeply dissatisfied. What do we need it for? Why live with so much uncertainty?
Sometimes, liquid love lurks behind it personal insecurity. Not seeing yourself able to maintain a strong enough bond that you can think about the future with another person.
Insecurity is a reflection of self-esteem which has not been adequately developed. Where one seeks only specific satisfaction, one flees.
Any compromise can show our lack of competence, our immaturity. But why not give it a try?
In this life nothing is certain and we are all groping in the fog; if we begin to trust, we will advance with greater security, betting on stability. For the authentic commitment to ourselves and the people around us.
Bauman says that to be happy, two values must be taken into account essential: freedom and security. Security without freedom is slavery, but freedom without security is total chaos.
We all need both dimensions to find balance in our lives. Do you agree?