Love in the age of globalisation
By definition, globalisation characterises the process in which national and regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through the global network of trade, communication, immigration and transportation. It is an unerring phenomenon that, over the past twenty years in particular, has evolved from being a term that applies almost exclusively to commercial enterprise, to redefining our psychology, reformulating our outlook, and shining a new light on how we interpret our place in the world day to day.
The transformative effect of globalisation has, inexorably, become more pronounced with the advent of international travel. While it has been possible to fly, sail or drive across borders for over a century, frequent travel was once the exclusive preserve of the international business community –whereas today setting foot on a plane has become as commonplace as hailing a taxi.
To that end, the world has reinvented itself as a global playground. Much as it might once have been a treat to head up from the country to the city at the weekend, our horizons are now much broader, and often we must travel further to feel rewarded and satisfied. Many of us think little of taking the Eurostar from London to Paris for lunch; weekends in New York or Berlin [and of course Singapore or Sydney, depending on your continent] fulfil our cultural appetite – and of course afford an opportunity to catch-up with friends and business associates, who we have absorbed into our global social network along the way.
As a natural extension, international and cross-border relationships have become a must in today’s contemporary society. Perhaps the flex-pats who were located abroad for work two or three decades ago were the early pioneers of the international relationship. With little choice but to accept an overseas posting, particularly for those who were keen to advance their career, there was of course the risk that many would put their romantic lives on hold. However, the human condition and need for companionship inevitably rose to the forefront, and the foundations for cross-border romances were laid.
The flex-pats also proved influential when it came to demonstrating the ease with which international relationships can be nurtured and perpetuated long-term, superseding any old fashioned notions of the often short-lived ‘holiday romance’. Flex-pat or otherwise, if both parties are committed to the relationship and moreover to one another, the logistics inevitably fall into place, even if there is an element of compromise.
And so it has become that love has proliferated against a backdrop of globalisation. The evidence is there for all to see; the opportunities that arise when you are open to falling in love with someone who is not just from a different city, but from a different country, too, are manifold. In addition, the fulfilment of a cross-cultural pollination is, more often than not, one of the most enriching facets that a relationship can provide.