When did you last sit down and enjoy a romantic comedy on Netflix? Did you notice references to online dating? Of course, you would have! The days when people would show up for dates at a pre-agreed rendezvous point, wearing some suitable identifier so that they stood out from the crowd, seem positively quaint.
Nowadays, the lead characters in any romcom are more likely to be sitting in a coffee shop, organizing their love lives by merrily swiping right or left on their favourite digital dating platform. It’s hard to believe online dating has only been a thing for a couple of decades – this medium is now responsible for introducing around one-third of today’s relationships. So how has online dating impacted how we see romance in 2024?
Digital dating is all-inclusive
Online dating has been particularly welcome among people from communities who have felt marginalized and lacking the same opportunities as their ‘mainstream’ counterparts. This is especially the case with LGBTQ individuals. It might be the case that their rights are governed by legislation, but there are still pockets of ignorance within society. Dating sites have provided a crucial level of acceptance, creating a haven where singles can connect, safe in the knowledge that they’ll never be under scrutiny, or feel ‘judged.’
They can now feel as if their perception of romance is, at last, being placed on a par with the straight community. LGBTQ dating outlets are also so much more than matchmaking services. To give you some example, LesbieMates.com platform provide not only matchmaking opportunities but an informational blog and other forms of guidance which are welcomed by fresh starts, particularly those who are relatively new to the scene and might have been reluctant to ‘come out’ up until now, for fear of drawing undue attention to themselves. Instead, they can seek counsel and advice in a relaxing atmosphere.
People can shape their relationships
Romance comes in as many different guises as there are individuals, and is driven by deep undercurrents of desire. Every single will have a particular ‘wishlist’ of characteristics or personality traits they would prefer in an ideal partner. There will also be a further level of preferences, concerning the intensity of a potential relationship. Some are merely seeking casual flings, with no strings attached.
Others will be fixating on finding their soulmate, or at least someone to embark on a meaningful and longer-term partnership. Online dating allows site members to select the outlet they sign up to carefully, by checking out the functionality that would be on offer before completing any application form. So they can be far more discerning, allowing them to embark on the course of romance that would be most appropriate.
You are in charge of your destiny
One of the most powerful attributes of online dating resources is the way that each site user assumes control of their journey. As well as making decisions about which website to register with, or app to download, you can take responsibility for your progress. It’s up to you whether you wish to dip into your dating account periodically, in-between other aspects of socializing, or you’d rather commit to a more intensive degree of interaction with other users.
Some apps offer shortcuts to allow unsuitable candidates to be eliminated simply by swiping in a certain way. Whether you use this option or would prefer browsing through personal profiles checking out photographs and descriptions, is entirely up to you. You are free to home in on particular individuals, or swiftly move on to someone else. No one is ever going to be criticizing the decisions you make!
Romance can be whatever you want it to be
The first commercial dating sites were just an extension of those ‘lonely hearts’ columns that appeared in magazines, offering singles a platform where they could message kindred spirits. Nowadays, these resources have evolved beyond all recognition, catering to a dizzying array of topics. Popping ‘online dating’ into a search engine will produce a mind-boggling torrent of results, containing every possible relationship permutation you could imagine – and perhaps several that had never crossed your mind before!
Their subjects will cover everything from polyamorous relationships to senior dating and much more. The decision about which site to complete a registration form to join can therefore be fairly crucial, but neither should it necessarily be seen as being ‘carved in stone.’ The flexibility of digital dating means nobody is under any pressure. If you sign up to one site, only to discover the service on offer isn’t what you were looking for, then you are within your rights to simply cancel your membership and move on to another. There are many for you to choose from!
Dating is now a 24/7 situation
In the past, you might have conducted courtship for days or weeks, arranging weekend dates, while touching base with regular phone chats. The online world allows a couple to stay in contact whenever is most convenient.
Given the ease with which site users can drop each other texts or emails, send WhatsApp messages, or phone, or even video chat, and from wherever they can access a WiFi connection, communication can be fluent. Having downloaded an app to your smart device, you could be checking out whether anything interesting has landed in your inbox while sitting in a bus or train commuting to work or study.
There are no boundaries anymore
Previously, romance was driven by location. If you were single, you might have been used to hanging around in a trendy bar, or visiting a favorite nightclub. The pool of talent you had access to was restricted to whoever happened to be sharing that venue with you at that time. Once you’ve joined a dating site there are no restrictions to who you might find yourself chatting to in this environment. Because some of the larger services enjoy global memberships running into millions, there is every likelihood you could connect with singles from a different timezone.