Imagine a simpler time: A well-dressed single gentleman pulls up to the front of a single lady’s home in the early evening, steps out of his car, and approaches her front door. The two of them were introduced to one another by a mutual friend at a social function some weeks prior.
It is their first date.
As she steps outside, he offers an umbrella to shield her from rain showers, walks with her to the passenger side of the car, and opens the door for her. She notices the interior of the car is spotless.
The pair takes a scenic route to a special destination: a reserved table at an elegant restaurant. Conversation flows naturally for a couple hours, with each beginning to learn about the background and interests of the other.
After dessert, the gentleman pays for the meal and then drives the lady home. Accompanying her to her door, he thanks her with a warm smile and departs.
This may be repeated on a regular basis, and could eventually lead to courtship and marriage as the two get to know one another through hours of conversation, spread over months.
To older readers, the scenario above may have at least a vague, distant familiarity. But to younger readers, it may be utterly foreign, antiquated and unrealistic—like viewing a scene from an old black-and-white film in a world accustomed to the rapid-fire images of a high-definition action movie.
Instead, in the 21st century, technology is the way to date. Ask any 20-something and he or she has probably signed up for any number of smartphone apps or online dating sites.
Older adults are also applying by the millions for online matchmaking sites or participating in speed-dating sessions. According to the Pew Research Center, one in every 10 American adults has used an online dating site or a mobile dating app.
“…the use of online dating sites has become steadily more prevalent in recent years. In 2008 just 3% of all Americans said that they had used an online dating site; by 2009 that figure had risen to 6% of all Americans, and today 9% of the adult population has used an online dating site.”
Being able to connect with so many possible matches at the touch of a button should have simplified the already difficult process and made it even easier to find a “soul mate.” Yet it has instead complicated it, resulting in less solid relationships than ever before.