The Internet has certainly revolutionized so many aspects of life in the early 21st century. Dating is one where the changes have been particularly profound. Once considered only as a last resort for singles who had been unsuccessful in finding a partner in the more traditional outlets, an online dating is rapidly becoming the norm. Here are some of the many ways in which the web has changed dating forever.
There are no boundaries anymore
It might seem laughable trying to explain this to today’s social media-savvy teenagers, but there was once a time when dating involved hanging around in bars or clubs, where you would bump into a fair percentage of the same people, week in, week out. With the advent of dating websites, you now have access to an endless pool of talent. Rather than being restricted to individuals in your own peer group or even town, you are now free to interact with singles from anywhere on the globe.
This breaking down of barriers has made it much easier for people to connect on a personal level, leaving behind much of the societal baggage of racial, cultural or religious hangups. With internet dating, there is far more scope for individuals to start meaningful relationships outwith their own communities. This has been a Godsend for those who may have felt inhibited because of fears of persecution, and have been less inclined to get involved in a full-blown relationship. For instance, in countries where same-sex partnerships do not enjoy the same freedoms as in others, participants can reach out from the safety of their non-judgemental web browsers to establish real connections.
Communication is instant
Once upon a time, dating could be a somewhat laborious endeavor. Dates had to be arranged around calendars of work or family commitments. But in the online environment, communication is immediate. You could be accessing your dating account to check for personal messages at any time, making it so much more convenient to get to know a potential partner. Unlike social venues closing at a fixed time, Internet dating sites are open for business 24/7. This immediacy makes it much easier to build up a real sense of chemistry with another website client. When couples eventually decide to meet in the real world, they’ll already have developed a strong rapport.
Monogamy still prevails … eventually
In the offline world, the tendency is for singles to get together, then embark on a committed relationship. Obviously, there are individuals who are only looking for one-night stands, or who might be up for polyamorous set-ups, but these activities will still raise eyebrows amongst the majority of people who aren’t comfortable about sharing their partner with anyone else. In an online setting, anything is up for debate. The proliferation of dating sites has meant there are outlets for every possible aspiration – same-sex, age-gap, fetish, no-strings-attached – the list is endless.
Anyone accessing a matching website is aware they are not under any pressure to end up with the first person who catches their eye. They are free to get in touch with any number of individuals, juggling their messaging in the way a circus performer might spin plates (while carefully avoiding they don’t do the equivalent of taking their eye off things and causing everything to come crashing to the ground around them.) In most cases, the monogamous aspect is only delayed, as the site users are really taking advantage of the opportunity of not having to rush into anything. Their ultimate aim will still be whittling down the possibilities until they come across someone they truly connect with.