It’s Not You, It’s The Big City: Why It’s So Hard To Find True Love In Our Time

Do you sometimes feel that in the cities we live in, and with the lives we lead, it’ll be easier to find the Philosopher’s stone than to find love?

See earlier, it wasn’t so hard. There were a group of people you grew up with, your neighbours. The people you met at church. The people you studied with. They pretty much remained constant. They lived a few doors down from yours and were a big part of your life. All that time you spent together usually meant you’d fall in love with one of them and that was it.

These days though, everyone’s different. Shifting. Changing. Fluctuating. Few of them stick around long enough to become important.


Once you start working, you realise you spend 10 hours, 5 days a week with people who aren’t exactly potential partner material. And while sometimes you get lucky and find a few good friends, the chances of finding a soul mate at your workplace are really slim.

So maybe it’s the lack of opportunity that’s a problem.

Where do you find a good soul in a big city filled with smoke and people and business opportunities and fancy restaurants but no love? Is it in the bars you hang out at every Friday night? Slip into heels and alcohol hoping you won’t go home alone tonight?
Is it in the crowded metro or the shared Ola as you fight through traffic to make it on time to punch in? Is it at a meeting or a trip to the mall? Is it at a house party? At a friend of a friend’s? A corporate launch? A movie premiere?


Do we really get the chance to know people? Or do we just write them off, based on what we can see while waiting in the line at Starbucks? Having been conditioned to be cautious, we’re slow to trust, quick to anger, and unyielding when it comes to compromise.
Perhaps it’s because we’re our only priority that we’ve become incredibly selfish. Especially when it comes to our interests. The thought of doing something you don’t exactly like is almost unthinkable.

We only have so much free time.

Life moves fast in a city. We graduate from college in our 20’s but live like students till we’re 40, struggling to figure out life. We spend a major chunk of our most important years working 24×7, going on getaway trips, eating out every other day and living in rented spaces. Even with no disposable income, we go ahead and invest in an iPhone instead of investing in a future. Who has the time and money to spend in pursuit of a relationship when you’ve got bills to pay, right?


We want what’s easy. Technology’s easy alternatives to real human effort have made us forget the demands love makes. And in the city, well, these demands can mean being stuck in traffic for hours only to see someone for a minute. And we’re just not willing to put in that kind of good old-fashioned effort anymore.
Why should we? The addition of a no-strings-attached option on the menu has convinced us that we don’t need to settle for just one cupcake when we can have the box.

The combination of instant gratification, temporary commitment and being spoiled for choice makes it a tempting package.

It’s hard to say no to, especially since it’s so…convenient. 


So really, it’s not you. It’s the city, and lives we lead. I guess as long as we live in dorms and ride the bus and live from paycheck to paycheck we’ll only be ready for convenient.

Maybe when we have a home, a car, and a career we’ll be willing to find a love that’s more than temporary.

And if you don’t want to wait, do as I do. Escape to a town.

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Amanda Francesca Mendonça

After spending pretty much all of my teen years waiting for a Hogwarts letter that never came, I gave up and settled for being a wizard with words instead. A hopeless romantic, when I’m not penning down short stories, I’m busy imagining my own happily ever after.

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