The terror attacks of September 11 have also changed the social landscape forever. The realization that life could be so dramatically fleeting and unpredictable meant folks rethought relationships suddenly: broke up, or committed to one another foregoing — perhaps forever — the sense that we all have all the time in the world. Dating in this context has taken on a level of intensity and urgency, with people often looking for instant meaning in an inappropriate way — make my life meaningful, make me happy, make it all worthwhile — a heavy burden indeed for a process that was invented to be light, delicate, and lengthy. Modern dating has always worked best as a carefree, pleasant, experience, at least initially, but that evaporated after September 11. Questioning whether coupledom or bringing children into this world was a good idea was offset by the questioning of the willingness to be alone if the world was about to end. The simple question of "Am I willing to spend the rest of my life with you?" has been altered by the fear factor in general and by the threat of terrorism on a daily basis. Intellectually, people may have understood that anybody could perish at anytime, but September 11 drove home that point in a dramatic and tragic way.
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