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Why childhood sweethearts no longer measure up – and six other ways dating has changed : Romance : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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Why childhood sweethearts no longer measure up – and six other ways dating has changed

By: dayan (M) |Time : July 29, 2019, 05:38:49 AM
A new study has found that online dating is now the dominant way heterosexual people find romantic partners. What else can we learn?

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For future generations, the question: “How did you and Grandad meet?”, will be answered with: “Tinder, obviously.” Within eight years, the internet has become the dominant way heterosexual couples meet. The latest How Couples Meet and Stay Together study by Stanford University found that 39% of heterosexual couples met through online dating or apps, up from 22% in 2009, when the study was last conducted. Life has been disrupted by technology, and so has dating. What else can we learn about how romance has changed?

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 Derek Thompson (@DKThomp)

"How Couples Meet" chart, updated July 2019https://t.co/gz0ffsO12M pic.twitter.com/Gjvh2ZqTqs
July 12, 2019

We meet strangers, not friends of friends

People meeting through friends – previously the largest category – has fallen from 34% in 1990 to 20% in the most recent data; other routes to relationships, such as meeting through work, family and neighbours, have also declined. At first glance of the graph, it looks as if the number of couples meeting at a bar or restaurant has gone up, but that’s only because they “met” online first and the bar was the site of their first face-to-face meeting.

“The rise of online dating has displaced every other way of meeting to a certain extent,” says Michael Rosenfeld, a professor of sociology and lead researcher of the study. “When we last looked at this with data from 2009, friends were still by far the most popular way heterosexual couples met partners. I have been a little bit surprised at how much the internet has displaced friends.” He thought the internet could “leverage friends – that is, you could meet people through Facebook”, but apart from a few dating sites that make that the selling point, people are using online dating entirely separately from their social networks.

Will everyone meet this way in the future? Rosenfeld says he doesn’t want to make predictions, but that it is possible online dating has reached a plateau. The accessibility of web browsers in the mid-90s, and the invention of internet-enabled smartphones just over a decade ago, have had a huge impact. “I don’t know if we’re going to see another innovation as powerful as those two in the next 20 years.”

Online dating has lost its stigma

“People I interviewed talked about starting online dating years ago and being really coy about it and not wanting anyone to know,” says Roisin Ryan-Flood, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Essex, who is writing a book about online dating. “And now they’re much more open about it because it’s become so ubiquitous. One of my participants said: ‘Tinder made online dating cool.’ I think there’s a perception it went mainstream.”

As we live in an increasingly digital world, it’s not surprising, she says, that our relationships have been made digital the same way as online shopping or booking a holiday. “Although online dating does involve rejection, it does also present a lot of possibilities to meet new people,” she says. “From my research, people would often talk about online dating as: ‘I’m really busy and this is an efficient way of meeting people.’ You could go on a dating app and line up a different date every night of the week.”

The view that it is fuelling short-term, meaningless connections isn’t quite right, says Julia Carter, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of the West of England. “When you look at the data and talk to couples, those who met online tend to not say dissimilar things to people who met in more traditional ways. While the very start of relationships might be different – meeting online might give those first few dates a different flavour – when those relationships start to become established, then the way we do things hasn’t really changed.”

What matters more, says Jacqui Gabb, a professor of sociology and intimacy at the Open University, is intention. “It’s a commitment to making a relationship work. You could argue that if you’re actively going out and looking for a relationship, you’re more likely to make it work. If those who commit to relationships through internet dating are looking actively for a long-term partnership, then they’re more likely to stay together.”

Childhood sweethearts are in decline

In the UK and US, people are marrying later. In Britain, the age at first marriage has been rising since the early 70s and is now 37.9 for men and 35.5 for women. “People are doing a lot more dating and experimenting before settling down,” says Rosenfeld. The Stanford study shows the decline of the childhood sweetheart, although for the UK it was maybe never such a big thing to begin with. “I wonder how different it would be to do this study here,” says Carter, adding that it seems like a very American cultural phenomenon. “As we’ve become more globalised, those local narrow contexts – and the very small community of primary school and secondary school friends – don’t have so much of an influence on how we can imagine our futures.”

So are enduring university romances

“In the past, you could meet someone at university and you accepted that and were happy,” says Carter. “What has happened is this dating technology has removed that stopping point, so people carry on looking. In the past [people] might have settled down with their university girlfriend or boyfriend, whereas now they have this imagined wider field of potential partners, so that’s having an impact on when people settle down. We know people are getting married lots later in life, and having children later in life so that university relationship tends to fizzle out.”

Workplace romances are falling out of favour

“I was quite surprised about that,” says Carter. “It went up hugely in the 70s and peaked around the 80s – I think that’s because women were entering the workforce in large numbers – and now it’s coming down. I’m not sure we can say that’s wholly explainable by attitudes now to workplace romances or merely a levelling out in the data over time.” Rosenfeld says it has become easier to meet people online than in offices. “In college, there are lots of single people around you, but if you’re in the workforce, all of a sudden it’s not 100% clear who’s single or if it’s appropriate to date your supervisor. Real-life problems intrude.”

Have office romances become more unacceptable? “There are certainly downsides to dating somebody at work,” he says. “Once things go sour and you have to see them every day, that’s a downside. Our friends in human resources have put their nose into it a little bit and suggested the office is not a great place for romance.”

It could be that, in the wake of #MeToo revelations of sexual harassment, people are keener to have “professional distance at work,” says Ryan-Flood. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing if it makes people more aware about sexual harassment or boundaries,” she says, adding: “You don’t get together with someone who sexually harasses you.”

You don’t love thy neighbour

Fewer people are getting together with their neighbours – again related to a more mobile population, settling down at a later age. “Seventy years ago, Americans were marrying when they were 19 or 20 years old,” says Rosenfeld. “You haven’t really gone anywhere, so you’re talking about [marrying someone] from high school, church or the neighbourhood – those were the only people you ever met. Now people are settling down later in life, so they’re travelled, they’ve lived in different places and the neighbourhood of origin is not as relevant as it used to be.”

It may also have something to do with the fact we don’t know our neighbours any more. A study in the UK last year found 73% of people didn’t know their neighbours’ names and 68% described them as “strangers”.

Our love stories are getting more boring – or at least shorter

In 2009, respondents to the survey used 67 words to tell the story of how they met. By 2017, that had shrunk to 37 words, probably because it doesn’t take many to say: “I went on Tinder and swiped right.” Is it a shame we’re losing those stories of sparks and spontaneity? “Some people I interviewed did express a kind of nostalgia for this idea of a different way people dated as opposed to going online, and there was a sense of disposability, but most of the time people had really positive experiences,” says Ryan-Flood.

Anyway, technology will change “and maybe Tinder will seem really quaint and romantic”, she says, with a laugh. “My parents met at a dance, and that doesn’t strike me as epically romantic. I don’t think apps are any better or worse than any other way. What really counts is meeting someone with whom you feel a connection.”

Culled from Guardian

Re: Why childhood sweethearts no longer measure up – and six other ways dating has changed

By: dayan (M) |Time : July 29, 2019, 05:44:34 AM
Let me first say that love and romance is a factor of the times that human beings lived in.
There was a time that lovers threw apples to signify their interest in dating someone.

And, it also varies by culture.
Therefore, Mutatis Mutandis I really don't think that there can be a "bad way to date".

Re: Why childhood sweethearts no longer measure up – and six other ways dating has changed

By: dayan (M) |Time : July 29, 2019, 05:46:18 AM
Quote
Fewer people are getting together with their neighbours – again related to a more mobile population, settling down at a later age. “Seventy years ago, Americans were marrying when they were 19 or 20 years old,” says Rosenfeld. “You haven’t really gone anywhere, so you’re talking about [marrying someone] from high school, church or the neighbourhood – those were the only people you ever met. Now people are settling down later in life, so they’re travelled, they’ve lived in different places and the neighbourhood of origin is not as relevant as it used to be.”

It may also have something to do with the fact we don’t know our neighbours any more. A study in the UK last year found 73% of people didn’t know their neighbours’ names and 68% described them as “strangers”.

A statistic which, IMHO, is a definitive proof or evidence that humans are headed in the wrong direction -socially.

Re: Why childhood sweethearts no longer measure up – and six other ways dating has changed

By: dayan (M) |Time : July 29, 2019, 05:52:07 AM
Quote
It could be that, in the wake of #MeToo revelations of sexual harassment, people are keener to have “professional distance at work,” says Ryan-Flood. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing if it makes people more aware about sexual harassment or boundaries,” she says, adding: “You don’t get together with someone who sexually harasses you.”

Dating at workplace these days is a "riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma". It has become an esoteric art because you never know who would accuse you of sexual harassment for ANY number of reasons, some of which may be purely fuelled by greed or schemes to extract money from individual or company.
So, workplace romance is essentially dead to a lot of people, particularly those with some worth in cash or career.
Quite sad.

Re: Why childhood sweethearts no longer measure up – and six other ways dating has changed

By: dayan (M) |Time : July 29, 2019, 06:03:35 AM
Quote
The rise of online dating has displaced every other way of meeting to a certain extent,” says Michael Rosenfeld, a professor of sociology and lead researcher of the study. “When we last looked at this with data from 2009, friends were still by far the most popular way heterosexual couples met partners. I have been a little bit surprised at how much the internet has displaced friends.” He thought the internet could “leverage friends – that is, you could meet people through Facebook”, but apart from a few dating sites that make that the selling point, people are using online dating entirely separately from their social networks.

I never for once underestimated the power of the internet when it came to dating and sex.
And when smartphones came out, it was alarming the way it connected previously unconnectable parts of society.
Combining the internet of smartphones with dating/sex was a disruptive move that will remain unrivalled for ages.
Whatever would be invented in the field of connecting humans across the world would have to piggyback on the innovations around smartphone/internet.
These days, I worry that entire human relationships are going to be redesigned, redefined and reconfigured.
There are opportunities in it, but there are also pitfalls.
I think that humans have made a quantum leap, whether they were ready for it or not.
These days, I don't even know how to advise a teenager because I don't know what he or she may have been exposed to already online. I was already in the university when I saw the picture of a fully naked mature adult woman for the first time. These days, all manner of dating apps can have a teenager chatting up old women and getting pictures from them online. So, if I want to tell the teenager to mind his or her studies, he or she may just laugh at me. lol

Well, here is the future folks! It is here, whether we are ready or not!

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