If you have ever asked your parents how they met, you might be met with some romantic story about how they spotted each other in a bar and one of them plucked up the courage to start a conversation. Maybe your dad later found the courage to pick up the phone to give her a call, all the while praying that it wasn’t her own dad that picked up the landline first. Fast forward to 2017 and it’s definitely changed in terms of how our means of communication has evolved.
Now, when our kids ask us about how we met our significant other we might be relaying stories of how we both swiped right on Tinder or that daddy saw mummy on Instagram and sent her a DM.
Okay, the hopeless romantics of you might hark back to a more Hollywood approach involving rose petals and grand acts of romance and bemoan the impact modern dating apps such as Tinder, Happn and Bumble have had on our propensity for showing some sort of romantic inclination. Yes, there has been a big change in how we approach dating in the modern era. People do still meet strangers in bars and ask them out on a date but it’s more than likely that they have already ‘stalked’ them in some way on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Romance is still alive, it’s just now publicly documented on our Facebook for us all to see. I mean, how many proposals and choreographed first dance videos have we all watched?
The undoubted shift in this change of attitudes has been driven by technology. However, there is a certain snobbery surrounding dating apps and online dating. There is often a stigma attached to those who use them but those attitudes are changing. In 2000, around 100,000 people had online dating profiles in the UK. Fast forward to 2015, that number had reached 7.8m. It has been claimed that there are 26 million matches a day on Tinder across 196 countries. With the ‘Tinder economy’ worth almost £12bn to the UK economy, who are we to look down on those that use it?
Unsurprisingly, following the rise of digital, the number of couples who met their partner online has skyrocketed and was the third most popular way of meeting your romantic partner in 2009. What is most refreshing of all this is that the boom in online dating has helped more and more same-sex couples meet. In the US, 70% of same-sex couples admitted to meeting their partner online.
On some dating platforms, there is a certain degree of anonymity that means there isn’t that fear of being outed and you can meet someone who is in the same situation. Dating apps may not have the romance of meeting your partner at a farmers market as you both reach for the last punnet of strawberries and your hands brush against one another but online dating and dating apps have undoubtedly helped a generation find love.
So technology has broadened the dating pool. We are no longer limited to meeting someone on a random night out. It’s why a peely-wally Glaswegian boy can meet a gorgeous girl from Cincinnati, Ohio and no one will bat an eyelid. People will complain that there is no exclusivity in modern dating but it means people can be more bold and adventurous. Dating apps might lack a certain romance but they have empowered a generation. The great success of modern online dating is that it has helped people find love in the most unlikely of places.
Dating apps and online dating may come with a certain reputation but it is time to embrace dating and technology and show it the tender loving care it deserves.