“Fifty shades of gray” – is not erotic novel, but a description of the actual models of love relationships in the modern couple. To such an unexpected conclusion came sociologist Eva Illuz after careful study of this book and hundreds of surveys worldwide. Why has romantic love disappeared from our lives, and why loving relationships between men and women today are more like chaos – to these questions sociologist devoted two of her books.The first discovery made by Illuz – love in modern society brings more doubts and uncertainty than joy.
Love affairs have lost weight, became a place of ambivalence (duality), risk and uncertainty. Many couples are pending to discuss their common plans for the future. Social norms and rituals that used to allow partners to feel more comfortable (especially at the beginning of dating when everything so vague), do not work today. Men and women overcomes a lot of doubts, “For what I need this relationship?”; “Will they have continued?”; “Am I in love?”. Difficulties also arise because we are constantly confronted with two conflicting social attitudes – on the one hand, we should cherish our autonomy, on the other – afford to be dependent on each other. This is a contradiction – the cause of frequent conflicts in the couple: we cannot choose what is more important, how and when to act.
Another important fact: to break up has become much easier, but the relationship itself does not become less important for us. At any break we still react acute. Today we have a huge selection. We are free, no one and nothing can make us not only to get married (to be married), but also to maintain long-term relations. Particularly this change is positive, but there is another side: in romantic relationships become possible all or almost all. They become medium without obligation. In other areas of life, such as work or policies it required to comply with basic ethical rules, in love – no more.