The modern world of dating is a peculiar place. For most people, the ideal situation is a face-to-face interaction such as dinner and a movie, or a drink at the bar. No matter the specifics, everybody craves that connection. Yet somehow we are all stuck with our faces down, swiping away at our phones. The age of internet dating is upon us!
Although it can get a bad rap, dating app Tinder truly changed the dating game. Prior to 2012, it seemed that the commonly held belief about online dating was that it be reserved for the old and desperate. Sites like Match.com and eHarmony were regarded as “the last resort”. However, this is only a personal observation. Growing up, I was exposed to the art of in-person “matchmaking”. I watched the single women in my life — the greater they aged, the greater the intensity with which the family worked to set her up.
When I approached the age where it was acceptable to go on dates and give boys your phone number, I found these dating apps to be an easy way to make a new friend or even score a free meal. But a significant other? This, I was not sure. For me, the dating apps became a way to meet someone new in a city of strangers.
Escapades included a Los Angeles lover who claimed he made out with Miley Cyrus on the set of The Hannah Montana Movie and a Spanish chef who wooed me through the mountains of Barcelona by moped. These are the reasons I spent a little too long swiping right, swiping left, swiping left again — searching for that romance. Yet, none of the adventures ever ended in a love connection.
Is it that love can’t be discovered through a screen? I don’t think that’s the answer considering the numerous couples I’ve met who credit a dating app to finding their soulmate. Rather, love cannot be reduced to a science. There is no app that can promise that. Love is a phenomenon so unpredictable, indescribable and seemingly unattainable.
Currently, the average age of a first marriage for women is around 27 years old.* That is a shocking departure from the late 1940s to mid 1960s women married at just 20-years-old. During the 1990s women were married by their 24th or 25th birthdays. By those standards, I would be nearly past my prime.
The focus on dating and dating apps may be strong but marriage is just not something many 20-something-year-olds seem to be concerned with. The growing emphasis on women maintaining a career and family (or even just a career) has many forgoing a more traditional route. To date, marry and make babies all before the age of 30 is not realistic or desirable for many millenials.
With different goals and priorities has come different expectations when it comes to love. Maybe this change in outlook has lead to a greater emphasis on casual dating rather than dating-to-marry. However, whether dating apps are used for genuine connections, late night hookups, new friends or even dating experience (or all of the above), they are here to stay. I personally find that you can get some great stories and even a solid relationship if you invest the time and effort and allow for quite a bit of luck that the two of you hit it off when your online connection goes face-to-face.
*Median age of marriage statistics drawn from The US Census Bureau and Current Population Survey data.
Elizabeth is a longtime writer and current documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles California. Knowing the greater story of all who cross her path is her inspiration. She’s deeply passionate about food and health and enjoys cooking, exercise and being active in nature whenever possible. You’ll likely find her on a hike, in a documentary screening or at the local Farmer’s Market.