Most of our contemporary developed nations including the US have seen a major shift in the manner in which couples meet. Long gone seem to be the days when we met our prospective partners at work, college, school or through friends or family.
An increasing number of men and women now meet online. In a combined study carried out by sociologists from the University of New Mexico and Stanford University, 39% of heterosexual couples connected online with 60% of same-sex couples. This shows that online dating is the most popular way by which couples in America meet. Another statistic from the study, for the period (1995-2017) shows connecting via friends saw a sharp drop from 33% to just 20%.
Earlier looking for a partner and hooking up with them was something couples did on a community basis. Now it is mostly done individually. The benefit is it has created a $4 billion industry i.e. for paid sites. Consequently, dating platforms like naughtydate.com are flourishing with an increasing number of new members joining almost daily.
All data gleaned was from a survey about how couples actually meet and stay together, and is one of the most exhaustive of surveys on couples’ relationships across the USA. The questionnaire permitted multiple answers about the manner by which couples met. The increasing trend of couples meeting at cafes and bars is not to chance but rather preplanned arrangements done on dating platforms.
The study further reveals that online dating or the number of couples that have met online has almost doubled compared to what it was ten years ago in 2009. While there has not been all that much improvement in technological advances from the 90s to 2000s, the answer seems to lie in the fact that online dating is now culturally and socially much more acceptable.
Unlike the early days when people frowned upon online dating, it has now become more mainstream. In fact, the number of people that consider dating online unsafe is far less than in the early days. When people started dating online in the initial days, they used to be hesitant to share about how they met their partners. Now they are more than happy to say they met their partners online.
Several other statistics from the study show about the noticeable increase in dating online. In fact, it is web platforms accessible through computers and not phone apps that accounted for the majority of relationships online in 2017.
However, this trend is likely to change in the coming times. It was also seen that the percentage of people that were strangers and first connected online shot up from 80% (2009) to around 90% (2017). In addition, the break-up statistics for online couples vs those who met offline is about the same.
The tremendous cultural impact that online dating has on society is underestimated to a large extent. The study has further shown that dating online has led to more intercultural couples getting married, partners from different ethnic groups, varying education levels, etc. marrying. It also shows couples pair up with partners of closer age groups.