Caught in the fantasy of love

  • Rasmus Rask Jepsen
Keywords: Modern love, dating, society of enjoyment, Jacques Lacan.


Today we live in what the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek has called a society of enjoyment. We strive to be happy and successful and to enjoy ourselves, but no matter how hard we try, it is as if we can always enjoy a little more and a little better. This diagnosis applies clearly to the domain of love. Today more than ever, we are free to participate in the pursuit of sexual enjoyment and love. Nevertheless, I argue that this freedom of choice has become a new kind of tyranny that gives rise to new forms of pathological tendencies. Based on French philosophy (Alain Badiou) and French psychoanalysis (Jacques Lacan), I discuss the notion of modern love and its impasses. First, I raise a critique of Anthony Giddens and his idea of »the pure relationship« to propose a more radical understanding of late modern love. Second, I analyze the popular dating application, Tinder, as a symptom of how difficult and anxious the face-to-face meeting with a date can be. Finally, I take critical a look at the so-called matchmaking agencies and the belief in the fantasy of the perfect match.


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