LOVE 2030

Three future scenarios that challenge everything we believe about love


In the fall of 2017, an interdisciplinary team at Idea Couture created Love 2030 to explore what relationships, loneliness, sex, dating, and romance might look like if we questioned the ideas we’ve come to hold as true. Things like: 

“The best partner is someone you can grow old with.”

“Your true love should be your everything.”

and

“Love is all you need.”

This project is not an exploration of emerging dating technologies and newfangled sex toys. Rather, it delves into the humanity of love and puts forward three distinct future worlds that challenge our commonly held beliefs.

 
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Video Teaser (password: ideapass)

Consider the stories you read or watch about the future of love. Tales of princes and princesses, fraught with their own morality and stereotypes, are being replaced by lonely souls ordering robots and AIs custom-built to mimic the love they crave. These sleek romantic leads may look new and be designed without all the baggage of human relationships, but they also do little to question the underlying myths that define what we believe love to be.

The summaries below outline three new ways of finding romance in 2030 that challenge our dominant views of love while remaining distinctly human.


World 01

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It Takes Twenty to Tango

A World Where Marriage Isn’t Our Most Important Commitment

Love Myth

“Only your one true love can complete you.”

Leading Question

What if, instead of relying on one romantic partner to be our everything, we build and optimize a close network of people to help meet our distinct and critical needs?

Overview

In our first world, we imagine a future in which we no longer believe that only one partner can be our everything. Instead, we now consider our relationships with family and friends to be on par with our romantic ones.

Dating apps and social media have been replaced by relationship management engines, which use rich sets of data so that we may better map, optimize, and strengthen our connections. We give an optimal amount of attention to all those we care about, and are pleased to be assured the same in return.

Dominant Qualities

Optimized, distributed, holistic

Desired Role of Partner

Fill in gaps within a larger network

Role of Technology

Relationship optimizer

Approach to Courtship

Analytical

Breakups

Complex but mitigate against risk


World 02

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Between Fling and Ring

A World Where Relationships Begin by Setting Their End Dates

Love Myth

“The best partner is someone you can grow old with.”

Leading Question

What if we viewed love not as a lifetime commitment, but as a series of purposeful partnerships that support us in becoming our best selves?

Overview

In this world, we imagine that commitment extends beyond the ideal of a lifelong marriage. Instead, our intimate relationships are structured for meaning and purpose, not longevity. As our lives get longer and more complicated, we seek different life partners based on personal goals. Our partnerships end after a set period of commitment, as we accept that it’s nearly impossible to learn and gain everything we need from just one person. Time between relationships is considered sacred in this future; it is an opportunity to integrate our learnings and contemplate new areas for growth. Once this phase is complete, we begin to search for a new, more appropriate partner.

Dominant Qualities

Goal-orientated, temporary, reflective

Desired Role of Partner

Teacher

Role of Technology

Outlet for values-based matching, reflection, and structure

Approach to Courtship

Focused on personal growth

Breakups

Premeditated, involved, and supported


World 03

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Hacking Our Ever Afters

A World Where We Amplify Love’s Physical Realm

Love Myth

“The honeymoon phase can only last so long.”

Leading Question

What if the passion at the beginning of a new relationship was viewed as a jumping-off point from which to unlock new levels of intimacy through deeply sensorial experiences rather than a fleeting feeling?

Overview

In this world, we go to great lengths to hack passion and lust in unorthodox ways. Relationships are ground zero for experimentation with new technologies, and passion is said to be enhanced, rather than fading over time. As a result, couples readily rely on external sources to heighten their physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy. Drugs, biohacking, and new sensory realities are designed to provide an almost unnatural closeness with our partners, allowing us to create intense, almost otherworldly meaning in our relationships. These bonds are nearly impossible to break—but when they do, heartbreak takes on a whole new meaning.

Dominant Qualities

Amplified, sensorial, primal

Role of Technology

Outlet for augmented physical experiences

Desired Role of Partner

Conduit

Approach to Courtship

Intuitive and bold

Breakups

Entangled


The future of love is universal; it will affect all people, families, countries, and industries. Now is the time to take inspiration from the changes happening around us, examine how the future might unfold, and decide how we can meet the unmet needs that are set to emerge.

It’s easy to think of technology as the solution. But, before we resign ourselves to designing a future focused solely on technology that simplifies our every experience and emotion, we have the opportunity to build new types of experiences and explore the human side of love. The only way we can do this is by deeply reconsidering what we want our lives, and our loves, to look like.


Completed: 2017

Team: Laura Dempsey, Emily Empel, Jamie Ferguson, Maria Jeansson, Jocelyn Jefferey, Kelsey Hannon, Kirk Lepiten, Rachel Min

Full report available upon request.