what’s love in 2018?

A modern guide to dating, hooking up, and opting out of romance.

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May 29 2018, 2:43pm

The western cultural and political landscape has shifted dramatically in recent years. We’re witnessing a dangerous last ditch effort of conservatism, as those who want the status quo are faced with the push of progress. If we keep fighting for openness, tolerance and equality, we can ensure the old guard are relegated to the wrong side of history. We’re in a period of rapid change, that may be unsettling to some but still presents a unique opportunity for a major social shakeup.

If anyone can deliver that, it will be the Millennial and Gen-Z generations because we are the most diverse and unbiased social groups the world has seen. But how is this strange time affecting our relationship choices — who and why we date, hookup and fall in love? This is the question behind our new series, love week. We wanted to know whether the #MeToo movement has impacted dating, how political views are factoring into romances, if gender fluidity is making relationships more open and all the ways dating apps have changed the dating landscape.

It's human nature to be engrossed by other people's love lives. Stories about dating, hooking up and falling in love resonate because of their universality. And, paradoxically, are intriguing in the very uniqueness of experience. Our wants, needs, likes and dislikes, our basic raw attractions are so beautifully varied and ever-evolving. Ask someone what love feels like, looks like, smells like, and you will never get the same response. In seeing the universality and the uniqueness we maybe get to learn a thing or two about ourselves.

There are so many variations of what a loving couple (or more than two — polys welcome!) looks like. So with love week, we also wanted to celebrate that diversity -- from the story of Tallulah and Elijah, who met while Elijah was transitioning, to that of Ruqaiya Haris, a young Muslim who spoke to us about how (if at all) someone's religion can influence their love life.

Be prepared to feel all mushy inside, when you watch our film about married couple Maggie and Rene -- two young women wise beyond their years; Photographer Evan Browning approached young people on the streets of New York and London to ask what matters to them the most when it comes to dating; Did you ever wonder what dating is like when you’re differently abled? A group of students, models, artists and activists tell us all about it.

Still, it’s not all sunshine and roses; we might be more digitally connected than ever, but we are also increasingly reporting a sense of loneliness and social detachment. This, of course, extends to our romantic lives. In love week, we also explore what happens to your love life if you choose not to use dating apps. We talk about dating in the countryside, where your Tinder options start to thin out. And if you're looking for a guide to sliding into people's DMs, we’ve got you covered.

It’s all happening on love week. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you'll never send a nude DM again. This is love in 2018!

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.