Technology has gotten in the way of many of our opportunities to create stronger relationships with people in our lives. We look at our phones rather than at eyes, we e-mail rather than call, we search Instagram rather than asking about a friend’s vacation. Yes, maybe technology and social media are playing a hand in destroying the art of conversation, maintained attention and genuine interaction.

But technology also supplies a forum for relationships to continue despite physical distance. Maybe this causes more pain and elongates relationships that could have ended sooner, or maybe it provides real opportunities in ways that weren’t possible before.

The truth is that it’s damn hard to find a partner in this world who is truly compatible with your personal vibe. The main message behind many works of art, books and movies is that love is incredibly difficult to find and maintain, and it’s also one of the best feelings in the world. While there are many fish in the sea, not that many fish seem to swim in your current.

Finding love is often a matter of sheer dumb luck (five points for Gryffindor).

The increased possibility of long-distance relationships by means of technology gives us the power to explore more connections in our lives and stay linked to the people we find who really work, rather than settling for what is in our general proximity.

Of course, it would be better and less painful to find someone who lives next door, but life doesn’t always work so seamlessly. If you find someone who fits in your puzzle, hang onto him or her. It’s not as common as it may seem.

If things work after months or even years of distance, you will find a way to bridge the gap and make the distance disappear. Sometimes what we need is time to figure out how to be with someone when they’re miles away.

Love is damn hard to find. Tinder can help, but only so much. It’s a mix of effort and sheer dumb luck. The luck is so dumb you better hold onto that person you love even if that means communicating only through Skype, texts and calls.

The technology age may have created a flakey hookup culture and an eye-contact-free texting community, but it has also made great strides in the ways of love. Texts and Snapchats are not nearly as romantic as handwritten letters delivered by horseback courier every other week like in “Pride and Prejudice,” but they can help maintain a relationship pretty effectively. Keep writing letters, but also take a Snapchat or two. Send a couple texts a day. Skype when you can. When dumb luck knocks on your door, use what you can to hold onto it.

Maris Harmon can be reached at marhar@umich.edu.

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