IS BEING CONNECTED ENOUGH? Electronic communication in contemporary love relationships
Based on thoughts resulting from three years of empirical analysis and fieldwork, this article will give a reflection on the meaning of electronic communication within the weaving of our intimate love relationships. In a time of globalization and individualization love relationships have turned into the save havens in which individuals are hoping to find protection, individual satisfaction and recognition for who they are. Electronic communication, as a relatively new, but however central form of communicating today, with its rather cold and technical aura seems to diametrically oppose the warmth, intimacy and intensity a love relationship stands for. However, despite seeming to oppose each other, electronic communication and love relationships have become increasingly weaved together. In fact, electronic communication has become an important part of intimate love relationships, helping couples to organize, share, and even to enchant each other. This article reflects on empirical findings concerning the discussion of whether electronic communication is an obstacle or a helpful tool for relating with each other in our love relationships. Building on the idea that electronic communication in love relationships (and in general) cannot be understood by itself but only interrelated with other forms of socially interrelating with each other, there is no simple answer but many clues about potential variables that shape the relationships of couples which mainly relate with each other via electronic communication.