UNITED STATES—According to a study published earlier this year, almost 40% of heterosexual couples now meet online. This is more than through family, friends, or work, indicating a radical change in how singletons choose to connect. Among same-sex partners, the figure is even higher, with 65% of homosexual couples finding each other as a result of dating apps and websites.
This means that millions of US adults never even have to leave their homes to find the partner of their dreams. We take a look at the ever-evolving world of dating and the factors that are driving this relationship revolution.
A changing society
When it comes to modern relationships, it’s no secret that 21st-century couples are very different to those that have come before, and like the world around them, the way they’re introduced to their partners has undergone a rapid evolution.
Experts suggest that a number of factors are responsible for these shifting relationship patterns. Firstly, it’s no secret that many working-age adults are caught up in a phenomenon referred to as ‘long hours working culture’. Spending more time in the office than ever before, these individuals have far less opportunity to go out, socialize, and meet new people than previous generations.
On top of this, the way we connect with other people has changed fundamentally over the past two decades. Much more reliant on technology than previous generations, many would agree that there’s an app for everything – and we expect this to include that most fundamental of exercises: dating. The result is a global online dating market with an estimated net worth of $12 billion by 2020.
According to the statistics, this combination of factors has led to an interesting social phenomenon that abandons the traditional ways of social interaction that would hopefully lead to finding ‘the one’.
Indeed, millions of Americans don’t even have to leave their homes to meet the man or woman of their dreams; no more trawling through dimly lit bars or going on horrendously awkward blind-dates.
Rather than turning to family and friends to help them expand their social circle and meet potential partners, the go-to today for the average American is to put yourself out there with Badoo, for example. Connecting individuals with local singletons in their area, these specialist sites and apps do their utmost to introduce like-minded individuals to one another by giving them the chance to meet dozens of potential partners in one place, all with similar interests. It seems today that we are eager to avoid the common two-minute-long deadly lulls in conversation on the first date.
Despite the seeming unconventionality of such methods, studies have proven that they can actually lead to happier and more enduring marriages, with only 6% of long-term relationships beginning online ending in break-ups, compared to 7.6% for those who meet via more traditional methods.
The reasons given for this are interesting and involve everything from the stronger relationship motivations of those actively looking for love, through to the sheer volume of potential partners that one is able to choose from.
With more of us than ever finding ourselves short on time and stuck for romantic opportunities, could it be that internet dating might yet prove to be the savior of true and abiding love and good, old-fashioned romance?