While speaking about the concept of love, sociologists usually note that love is a product of people’s relationships which also serves as the medium to make these relationships not only easy and pleasant but also productive. Thus, love in the historical and social contexts can be described from the perspective of the human relationships’ evolution which is based on the idea of a paradox because from the medieval period to the modern reality, love was based on a lot of contradictions.
During the medieval period, the main paradox associated with the concept of love was the discussion of love with references to its romantic and sexual origins. On the one hand, the ideas of the ‘courtly love’ were promoted along with the focus on idealisation. From this perspective, idealisation of the persons’ love relationships was accentuated in using music and other arts in order to confirm the perfect nature of the men and women’s interactions. On the other hand, the popularity of the ‘courtly love’ was associated with the sexual character of human relationships. Thus, the discussed paradox was followed by a range of other contradictions.
The period during the 16th-17th centuries was characterised by the paradox in the vision of love as the complex of passionate and puritan features. Flirtation, passion, and exaggerated feelings were observed in the relationships between men and women. However, these feelings were often hidden because the other side of love’s evolution was the puritan attitude to marriage and social rules. The force of moral codes was extreme as well as the people’s inner passion. The concept of love was based on the obvious paradox one more time.
Following the timeframe, it is necessary to focus on the paradox of the 18th-19th centuries. Love was revealed in people’s relationships as based on pragmatism and romanticism. The individual’s autonomy was associated with pragmatism when the individual’s expressions of feelings were associated with romanticism. The contradictions in understanding the idea of love could not mislead those persons who built their relationships because they chose to balance between the representation of their selves and demonstration of true feelings.
The critical paradox of the modern era is associated with the fact that modern love is reflected in the society in two dimensions which are the real-life love and online love. The paradox is in the fact that online love is often the origin of real-life love when online love cannot be a product of real relationships. In spite of the fact that modern people are focused on self-presentation and on improving their online profiles instead of their souls, the online intimacy often ends with the real-life relationships which then develop according to the principles of romantic love. Online dating and the intentions to promote the profiles are associated with the field of marketing rather than with the sphere of intimate relationships, but many people use online resources for contributing to their real relationships while supporting one more paradox of love.
Referring to the historical perspective and social context, it is possible to note that love is a complex concept which is used to explain the sincere and open people’s intimate relationships. However, the concept of love is associated with many paradoxes which support the idea that the character of love is as complex as the relationship between the human’s emotional and physical nature.