Dating in the 21st Century – Changes in the Dating World

There have been changes to the dating scene over the last few decades. The same routine that the parents of many readers went through before finding Mr. or Mrs. Right has changed dramatically. I want to take a look at some of those changes, and hopefully shed some light on some of the things that are making your dating life a living nightmare or a raving success.

The thing that is most markedly different is the speed at which relationships are expected to evolve. This isn’t surprising anyone out there, because we’ve all been on the dating scene in the last decade and know that the pressure to move along into a relationship is one of the biggest things we feel as daters. You’ve met someone, had some good times, get along well, it must be time for marriage, right?

That’s an over-exaggeration, but the speed at which relationships move has increased in the past few decades. This is in direct correlation with the speed of society in general. World-wide we’ve seen the global pace increasing to amazing speeds. Technology, business, manufacture, you name it, it’s faster. Whether it’s because we feel the pressure of the outside world pushing in on us, or we’re just going with the flow, dating, like everything else, has sped up as well.

Another thing that you’ve probably noticed changing in the world around you is the roles that women and men play in relationships. Traditionally, the man asked out the woman, the man paid for the meal, etc. etc. Today, that’s not necessarily the case. It’s not uncommon for the woman to make the first move, and some even insist on picking up the check (or at least splitting it). This is a large break from the way it used to be in the dating world.

This is easily attributed to changing gender roles. Recently we inducted a woman into the supreme court, with another up for consideration. Women are attaining and maintaining positions of power, high paying careers, things that were typically reserved for men. It’s no surprise, then, that women are moving into the driver’s seat of their relationships.

Television, media & technology have also made huge impacts on our dating world. While outrageous shows like “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” and “Flavor of Love” are a far cry from what we experience in our own dating lives, they definitely have influence over our perception of what is and is not acceptable in dating. It’s become an impersonal competition that has an end goal, defined by the dater. For some it’s hooking up and some it’s marriage. Whatever your reasons, and even if your motivation hasn’t changed, how many people feel about what’s an acceptable means to the end they’re seeking has definitely changed. Lines are blurred & it’s a much harsher dating world out there today.

There are also the effects of technology, making online dating one of the biggest phenomenon that the internet has instilled on our society. While it’s not a bad idea to be able to meet someone from the comfort of our living room, it seems like a far stretch that marriage is now being sold to you on TV. Commercials from eHarmony and Match.com both promote that their websites are likely to land you in a marriage. They are kind enough to say that they pit you with someone that’s compatible for you, but the idea that millions of singles now expect marriage from the internet, a disconnected land of half-truths and lies, is quite astounding.

All that being said, it’s most definitely a different dating world out there. It’s not necessarily so daunting, just different. If you’re active in the dating scene, it’s probably all just another day for you. If you haven’t been out there for a while, you’ve got some adjusting to do. Again, it’s not all that bad, just different.

One thing that I always tell people who are having trouble wading through the dating scene: If things don’t feel right, don’t commit & don’t stay in one place too long unless you know you want to be there. That’s the only sure fire advice I can give. Other than that, good luck & happy dating!