Many things over the last ten years have changed dramatically thanks to technology and social media, from the way that we present ourselves to the online world to even showing off how we clean our homes. So, when we translate our love lives to the online world, is it hardly that much of a surprise that so many things have changed… sometimes for the better?
I’ll be the first person to put my hands up and say that I met my partner online, we met eight whole years ago but have only been a couple for a year and a half. Back then meeting a potential partner online was less heard of and more looked down on – something that baffled me then as much as it does now.
You see, even though it was less conventional to find love online or to even make friends online, it was paving the ways for the way that millennials would come to date only a few years later, only it wouldn’t take too long for the online dating scene to really take off.
You have your more traditional free dating sites such as match.com, WeLoveDates and PlentyofFish which all work in similar yet unique ways to help singletons meet each other, get to know each other and hopefully fall in love. Then you have the new forms of dating through apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Bumble which again, all work in very similar ways yet have unique characteristics that are made to draw different types of audiences in.
So why has dating changed so much over the last ten years and what do I think of it? Honestly, I think it was natural progression for the way of the dating world to turn this way, everything else did so obviously the way we meet new people would too. Lots of us are too busy to go out and meet someone too so when there’s an easier alternative to going out and standing in the pub hoping to get noticed, we’ll jump to the chance.
I didn’t meet my partner through a dating app or website though, although I have noticed that this particular website has marketed itself as such recently, it was actually just a chat room for kids to hang out with and make new friends. It was the first chat room I’d used where I was given the chance to express myself freely and I had a lot of fun on it, it was almost like a game yet I was making true friendships on it (some of which I still have today, outside of my relationship that is).
But there’s obviously a lot of raised flags that we need to be careful of and new precautions that we need to take, obviously talking to strangers on the internet has become slightly more normalised these days but it doesn’t eradicate the fact that there is a risk in doing so. I read daily about girls that met someone on Tinder only to have spent their evening feeling aggravated, intimidated and exhausted by the situation that they’d found themselves in. If I asked my grandparents about how they met, you’d be told pretty similar stories about how they were either in the same friendship circle or their dads knew each other, it’s quite a difference from “I swiped.”
But I will advocate for online dating, I’m the biggest cheerleader going for it, especially for the busy bodies of the world that can’t catch a break. Just sitting on the tube or on your work break chatting to someone via an app or new website can separate you from your daily stress and help you build a connection outside of your day-to-day life, and maybe they will become a part of your day-to-day life in the best way.
I do honestly believe that the way we meet people has changed for the better, and although you get the old school advocates laughing about it in memes and patronizing tones just because they happened to stay with their high school sweetheart until their forties doesn’t take away from the fact that online dating provides those in the world that are too busy to take a break, to at least get chatting to someone new.
I also feel like there is a lot of pressure for millennials to be successful and have a thriving love life, as I scroll through Twitter I can feel that weight as people micro-blog about their love lives and the dating scene as a young person, a lot of work orientated youngsters feel the pressure to go out and find someone, get married and have a child because it’s what their parents and grandparents did, not even that long before them.
This is why I also feel like dating apps and websites have had such a huge boom and success, it alleviates the pressure a little bit and softens the blow, if you went on a bad date, no worries because you’ve swiped right with fourteen other people.
It brings a sense of ease to finding love and dating whilst allowing you to go about your daily life and try to find your success, it makes living a lot easier for single millennials, even if they do want to have a meaningful relationship, it’s better to have fun whilst trying.
I do feel like I had it easier compared to most, I’m proud of the fact that I was able to find someone as amazing as Pedro, and I have no shame in telling the story of how we met.
Dating as a millennial is online.