Our Modern Society is characterized by a High-speed society. Everywhere, life seems to be speeding up: we talk of “fast food”, “power naps” and “speed dating”. Especially the aspect of dating, marriage and love has changed through history. But how and why has it changed?
Tinder and other dating apps are characterizing the image of dating in Modern times. Tinder represent a simple idea of showing people potential partners and have them swipe ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If two people decide to swipe ‘yes’ to each other, they are put in contact. Technology is supposed to make dating easier and less time-consuming than meeting people face to face. It only makes sense that dating has adjusted to our high-speed society. We are however more selfish than ever when it comes to finding ‘the one’ in the dating arena. On dating apps, you are presented for endless opportunities and you are swiping based on the other person’s attractiveness.
For many years, humans have been selecting partners based on face-to-face interactions such as body language, scent, voice etc. But the question really is if mate selection differs when you are only looking at a limited number of pictures and a small introduction? “In one survey of Australian online daters, 85% said they would not contact someone without a posted photo, so physical appearance is indeed important (Fiore et al., 2008).” There is a big focus on attractiveness when dating apps-users swipe but as the Biological Anthropologist, Helen Fisher, says: “None of the dating sites are ‘dating sites’. They are all introducing sites. We can introduce you to the right kind of people but no one knows the details of who you are. You have to go and interview them”
Marriage is another example on how society’s view on love has changed trough time. A few hundred years ago, the primary reason behind people getting married was for survival reasons. It was important to marry a wealthy family and save your economic status, have as many kids as possible to help around and marry a respected person in the community. You can say marriage has transitioned from survival to a more self-centered way of looking at love.
“Our parents married out of love and survival. If our great, great grandparents put love 10th on the list (after financially stable, mature, kind, honorable, etc.), our parents might have put it in the top three spots. They still want to survive (as all humans do), but advancements in medicine, technology, and the overall quality of life made them have a wider safety net of feeling secure in their lives. So survival necessity went down the list, and romantic love, connection, and alignment shot up the list.”
Because of a wider safety net of feeling secure in our life’s, we have changed the way of looking at marriage. Also, the age at which people get married has increased steadily. The average age of first-time newlyweds is now 34 for men and 32 for women.
Marriage has become more about status than necessity, Stevenson found in her research. Today, marriage is more likely to be an end goal after couples get all their ducks — such as completed college degrees and good jobs for both partners — in a row.
Marriage used to be the beginning of a relationship and is now the finale. And if you are to believe the Biological Anthropologist, Helen Fisher, we will see more stable partnerships and marriages in the future. Helen Fisher claims that singles are smarter than ever. They are taking their time, meeting and trying many different people to learn more about themselves and others. And in the end, almost all of them will settle down eventually. Tinder has changed dating but it won't change love because it is what we are built for.
In our high-speed life’s there simply are no time to waste and dating apps are the solution to that. Therefore, the changed view on love, dating and marriage is only a product of our time and currently lifestyle. But is love in crisis today? Probably no more than it used to be. Love has always been complicated but we are, maybe, more selfish with some very specific needs today.